Prevention of Sexual Misconduct and Exploitation. The Safe Church Program of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island. Agenda. Opening Prayer Introductions Power and Ministry Sexual Harassment Sexual Exploitation Prevention and Intervention Wrap up. Welcome!.
The Safe Church Program
Episcopal Diocese of Long Island
“A new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments.”
2 John 5-6
“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?”
Book of Common Prayer
O God, our heavenly Father, you have blessed us and given us dominion over all the earth: increase our reverence before the mystery of life; and give us new insight into your purposes for the human race, and new wisdom and determination in making provision for its future in accordance with your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP 828)
Understanding of issues and perspectives on sexual harassment, misconduct and boundaries.
An awareness of how we create the environment for both lay and ordained members that affects the incidence of sexual misconduct.
Adult consent is full, mutual agreement achieved without coercion or manipulation.
A power imbalance or relationship of fiduciary responsibility makes consent problematic.
Power begins when a position of authority and responsibility has been established and accepted.
Power can be both negative (benefiting only the one holding it) or positive (a service to others)
Credibility of profession
A confidant (secrets)
Culture and language skills
Transference (larger than life)
Mythology of “having the answers”Power and ministry -Where does power in ministry arise?
Conferral of power onto a caregiver is
Abuse and exploitation can happen when the power differential is not acknowledged, honored, and protected.
Sexual Misconductis an umbrella term that includes sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment. Sexual misconduct by those engaged in ministry is contrary to Christian morals, canon law, and in some cases civil law.
Sexual Harassmentis any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that makes the recipient feel uncomfortable or threatened.
Sexual harassment has traditionally been defined as within a work context, but this has expanded to include collegial, mentor, and ministerial relationships.
Explicit or innuendo, sexual nicknames, sexual jokes, stories, rumors, comments about anatomy, clothing
Staring, facial expressions (winks, throwing kisses, etc.), sexually suggestive visual materials, sexual gestures
Unwanted touching of any sort, blocking or restricting freedom of movement, giving unwanted personal gifts
It is considered harassment regardless of the actor’s intention, and even if the receiver seems to be “going along” with the behavior.
Experienced sexual harassment in church:
Source: Office of Research, General Council on Ministries, The United Methodist Church, 1990
“By setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every person’s conscience in the sight of God.”
2 Corinthians 4:2
Developing or attempting to develop a sexual relationship between a cleric, employee, or volunteer and an individual he/she has a pastoral relationship whether or not there is apparent consent.
As we are all members of a royal priesthood
(1Peter 2:9), we are all involved in ministry.
Neither consent nor
provocation is a defense
(516) 248-4800, ext. 31
For more information you may also contact the Mercer School of Theology at
(516) 248-4800, ext. 40