I have yet to encounter an abuse situation that was handled “in house” where the consequences were not extremely harmful to the abuse survivor. Boz Tchividjian
Boz Tchividjian of G.R.A.C.E. gives a wide ranging and powerful interview to Rachel Held Evens, about child abuse, institutional self-protection and the need for Christians to go beyond basic policy (such as background checks) in children’s ministry. He talks about the dangers of in-house investigations, the misuse of scripture in institutional self-protectionism, and what abuse survivors need from those of us who follow Jesus Christ.
This is something divinely fitting about Tchividjian making this announcement to Rachel on her blog. She is someone who has been criticised, dismissed and even held in contempt by some self-proclaimed evangelical leaders in the US.
BT: During the past few years, the GRACE team has come to the realization that if the Christian community is truly going to work towards ridding our world of abuse, it is going to require a more comprehensive approach and one that will last for generations into the future. During the past year, GRACE has worked with a handful of Christian academic institutions in developing a proposal for the creation of the National GRACE Center.
The National GRACE Center will fundamentally change the way the faith community addresses and responds to the many issues associated with child abuse. This Center will be located on the campuses of Christian educational institutions located strategically throughout North America. This historic center will research issues related to abuse and spirituality, as well as train and equip the faith community and front line professionals to better understand, confront, and respond to the many issues related to child abuse. Included in this landmark plan is the development of child protection curriculum that will prepare the leaders of tomorrow on how to correctly address this issue within their spheres of influence. To date, four Christian academic institutions have expressed interest in partnering with GRACE to make The National GRACE Center a reality (Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida; Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia; Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois; and Biblical Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).
In sum, The National GRACE Center will improve undergraduate and graduate training of Christians entering child protection careers; improve the ability of the Christian community to respond in a godly manner to the needs of child abuse victims, and provide training and technical assistance to churches struggling to address the sin of child abuse.