This post is for Small Group members and leaders to provide care for anyone who has shared about sexual abuse. At the outset, when your church or small group decides to take on an issue with this much weight, it is important that you set the expectation up front that your group is a safe place for people to share secret suffering. Here is a small group study that can help you start the conversation: Sexual Abuse Small Group Guide.
The documents and video below will help you to create an open environment and respond with care to someone who shares. It is estimated that one in four women and one in six men have been affected by sexual abuse. The numbers are much bigger than what is normally acknowledged in “polite society.” It is a special honor to be able to listen and pray with someone as they unburden this secret for the first time.
But these are also awkward moments. We’re not sure what to say. We want to “make things better” but whatever we say can seem to trivialize the experience. But you can quickly get some good guidance on this in the resources offered here. Help the church of Jesus Christ become a place of refuge and restoration in the face of this evil.
Watch this video and read the first document below. The rest will flow from there:
Here are the documents, a blog, and an invitation to an event:
This blog is from bradhambrick.com about how to pray for someone in intense suffering. If you find that you the conversation becomes too intense and goes beyond the training in the above events, then make plans to attend this seminar with the person for whom you are providing care.