Thursday, April 28, 2016

Windows in doors -- and other preventions

Today is a decent day for anyone associated with the LDS church -- especially if you have kids.  

Mormon officials have released a new document outlining its standards for preventing child sexual abuse in its congregations. The statement is on its Mormon newsroom website.

It's the least we can do
I think that it is important to mention that this is not a new direction for the church. These standards have been in place for some time. I had these rules explained to me when I was called as a primary teacher years ago with my wife. I was instructed that we were a "team." 

Subtle. I was told that if I was ever alone with the kids that I should grab the nearest female primary worker or anyone in a skirt -- and by grab I mean get their attention and politely call them over. It was canon even then: 
  • Fire drill, 
  • Stick to the manual
  • No sugar treats (Didn't follow that one. Give the child a treat at the end of class as a reward and the parents have to deal with the sugar rush.)
  • Keep the kids safe
It pains me to say that am not new to the world of abuse. In my social working days, I knew all the rules of dealing with children -- especially children who had been abused: Leave the doors open, do not wander off even if you are having a heartfelt talk with a kid, do not be alone with an adolescent, know the difference between an adult psyche and an adolescents, don't be stupid.

This was standard practice twenty years ago. Even so, when I was reminded of these same standards by a church lady in flats, I confess that I was a little offended. Men were singled out as abusers.

Well, it's time to face facts, and the fact is that the chances of an abuser being a woman are slim. As an LDS man and a father, I will gladly live with a bruised ego for the opportunity to protect a child from potential abuse.

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