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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, smac97 said:

In any event, the Church doesn't really…."fire" an alleged abuser.  

They do release from callings and could do so without public awareness the issue was abuse.  There needs to be care taken to avoid consequences of false reporting, not sure where the line should be made, but I think there should better ongoing reporting to the local members of offenders in church. Even in cases where I have heard of church members being informed in a ward through a special meeting or something, follow ups through the years can be lacking.  We believe in repentance and while there is a dangerous class of predators that are repeaters who may have many victims over years of predation, iirc the majority do not.  We could discourage confession and efforts to change problematic behaviour if someone knows it will always be made a point to make sure to let a ward know that sometime in the past they abused someone. But in the cases I am aware of, at least a couple do not show signs of repentance (they are pushing limits or crossing them).

Edited by Calm
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35 minutes ago, Calm said:

Perhaps everyone should read the policy info before continuing posting so no incorrect assumptions about current church procedures are made.  The Church has made the wise move to post all this info online. 

The hotline provides legal advice to the reporting leader about confidentiality issues and mandatory reporting, but also provides info on providing professional help for the victim and their families.  Members can also find this info help through Family Services.

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/multimedia/file/Preventing-and-Responding-to-Abuse-attachment-final.pdf

I would like to see a statement about if in need or a member who is aware of abuse to go the online info to learn more of help available as well as what the Church’s role should be as standard on all Sacrament programs.

I would also like to see a separate member’s ‘hotline’ (call it something else to avoid confusion between the two and to prevent assumptions it is a ‘first response’ service) for reporting abuse in a church setting or by a church leader, but it should never be considered as meant for dealing with the abuse.  The service would need to make that clear, similar to the messages “if this is an emergency, hang up and dial 911” you get when calling doctors’ offices.  It should be used only as a means to ensure information about predators (actual and alleged) is known to general as well as local leaders, that records get annotated when appropriate (not automatically, but after appropriate investigation to avoid abuse of the system through false reporting).

I would not be surprised if we eventually end up with something like this, if only for better visible awareness by the public that the Church intends to actively track offenders. I don’t have access to data on the current effectiveness of the current system, it may be excellent. But no system is perfect, even mandatory reporting ones as evidenced by ongoing abuse still occurring on occasion with teachers in schools, etc, so I would expect to see occasional reports like this EQ Pres occurring. 

How dare you confront me with factual information?

Seriously, though, thank you for that. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Calm said:

 It should be used only as a means to ensure information about predators (actual and alleged) is known to general as well as local leaders, that records get annotated when appropriate (not automatically, but after appropriate investigation to avoid abuse of the system through false reporting).

Some information about record annotations:
"As authorized by the First Presidency, Church headquarters annotates a person’s membership record in any of the situations listed below.

The bishop or stake president submits a Report of Church Membership Council form indicating that the person’s membership was formally restricted or withdrawn for any of the following conduct:

Incest
Sexual abuse of a child or youth, sexual exploitation of a child or youth, or serious physical or emotional abuse of a child or youth
Involvement with child pornography as outlined in 38.6.6
Plural marriage
Adult sexual predatory behavior
Transgender—actions to transition to the opposite of a person’s biological sex at birth (see 38.6.23)
Embezzling Church funds or stealing Church property (see 32.6.3.3)
Church welfare abuse
Threatening behavior (such as sexual, violent, or financial) or conduct that harms the Church
The bishop and stake president submit written notification that the person:
Has admitted to or has been convicted of a crime involving one of the actions listed above.
Has been found liable in a civil action of fraud or other illegal acts involving one of the actions listed above.

When a bishop receives an annotated membership record, he follows the instructions in the annotation.
Only the First Presidency may authorize removing an annotation from a membership record.
To recommend removing an annotation, the stake president uses LCR. The Office of the First Presidency notifies him if the recommendation is approved or not."
(CHI)

Edited by JAHS
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4 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I think that one systemic issue the church has in this area is demonstrated with the church hotline. As far as I know, it is only intended for the use of priesthood leaders handling abuse cases or accusations of abuse.

Thus there is a significant systemic feature that can disrupt the disclosure process between the potential abuse cases and upper church leadership.

 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/welfare/leader-resources/24-hour-help-line?lang=eng

 

 

Quote

 

1-855-LDS-HELP (1-855-537-4357)

The help line will offer assistance to stake presidents and bishops regarding various welfare matters, including:
Crisis and emergency situations.
Difficult social and emotional situations.
Exceptions to fast-offering expenditure policies.
Employment.
Technical support for the ldsjobs.org employment website.

 

 

3 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

the hotline is not intended for regular members. That means that the organisation itself does not have guidance for how regular members can report abuse to the organisation. And even if they do go to their local leaders, they'd be going to untrained laypersons. Abuse disclosures are not always obvious, and even when they are they are an extremely heavy topic that can be overwhelming to an untrained person already working a full time job somewhere else and supporting a family.

So, there's the Protecting Children and Youth training, which every leader and teacher of children or youth, are to complete within one month of being called.

Quote

This training covers how to recognize and prevent physical, sexual, verbal, and other types of abuse. The resources below can also help you recognize and prevent abuse. The training provides scenarios to help you better understand and apply key principles and policies.

Quote

When inappropriate behavior or abuse happens, you should act promptly to protect the child or youth. (U.S. and Canada)
If you learn of abuse, you should immediately contact legal authorities. You should also counsel with your bishop or stake president, who will call the abuse help line for guidance in helping victims and meeting reporting requirements.

[bolding and underlining mine]

So, @Meadowchik, every single leader and teacher of youth in the US must take this training.  Which specifically tells them, on, like, page one of the training, to contact legal authorities first, and also tell the bishop/SP.   Does this help you?

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57 minutes ago, Calm said:

I wonder how many members would report a violation of the two deep rule if they saw it rather than assuming there was a unforeseen problem that popped up last minute and think it was better to ‘bend the rules’ rather than not allowing kids to go to activities, etc.

In the real world two deep leadership, while desired is not always possible.

What would you do if you were on a youth activity and the other adult all of a sudden left? Run away screaming? 

Even if you canceled the activity and called all of the parents, it could still be quite some time before you had two adults present. 

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7 minutes ago, Danzo said:

In the real world two deep leadership, while desired is not always possible.

What would you do if you were on a youth activity and the other adult all of a sudden left? Run away screaming? 

Even if you canceled the activity and called all of the parents, it could still be quite some time before you had two adults present. 

And I am guessing most members would assume lack of two deep isn’t intentional rather than manipulation for the purpose of grooming or abuse. My concern is would they even bother to ask what the problem was in the first place. Knowing myself, I might not even register it as I have not been involved with youth since it became mandatory for everything (almost everything?) and not attended church enough for it to become the default setting in my awareness.

How is it handled for ministers these days? Last time we had priesthood ministers the younger partner was over 18 iirc.

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24 minutes ago, Danzo said:

In the real world two deep leadership, while desired is not always possible.

What would you do if you were on a youth activity and the other adult all of a sudden left? Run away screaming? 

Even if you canceled the activity and called all of the parents, it could still be quite some time before you had two adults present. 

The other should follow suit and run away screaming too. That way no possibility of grooming. I am sure it will be fine.

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19 minutes ago, Calm said:

And I am guessing most members would assume lack of two deep isn’t intentional rather than manipulation for the purpose of grooming or abuse. My concern is would they even bother to ask what the problem was in the first place. Knowing myself, I might not even register it as I have not been involved with youth since it became mandatory for everything (almost everything?) and not attended church enough for it to become the default setting in my awareness.

How is it handled for ministers these days? Last time we had priesthood ministers the younger partner was over 18 iirc.

I have always thought the 2 deep rule was more "adult Protection" and "Church Protection" than "Youth Protection".

People who would abuse children are not all that interested in observing rules in the first place. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Danzo said:

I have always thought the 2 deep rule was more "adult Protection" and "Church Protection" than "Youth Protection".

People who would abuse children are not all that interested in observing rules in the first place. 

And experienced predators are likely good at finding vulnerable families who accept them, but I imagined the two deep rule even for church will cause adults and maybe older children to sense something is wrong in some cases with adults who try to get them into one on one situations and that might prevent some cases.

There are also the large class of non repeat offenders who abuse due to unique circumstances. Giving less opportunities for these “unique circumstances” to include being alone with kids makes sense for these types of potential offenders. 
 

The two deep rule also helps imo prevent abuse by juvenile predators (1/4-1/3 of child abuse iirc is by juvenile predators) because an adult focused on teaching or dealing with a large group of youth might miss something that the adult who is able to be more focused on observing the kids might catch. 

Edited by Calm
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2 minutes ago, Calm said:

And experienced predators are likely good at finding vulnerable families who accept them, but I imagined the two deep rule even for church will cause adults and maybe older children to sense something is wrong in some cases with adults who try to get them into one on one situations and that might prevent some cases.

There are also the large class of non repeat offenders who abuse due to unique circumstances. Giving less opportunities for these “unique circumstances” to include being alone with kids makes sense for these types of potential offenders. 

The problem is that predators are really good at finding people who don't sense something is wrong (or wont act on it).

It seems like hardly a month goes by without a report of some teacher or other committing child abuse even though most schools have much more aggressive anti abuse policies than we do.  If stopping child abuse were that easy, we would have stopped it a long time ago. 

 

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1 minute ago, Danzo said:

The problem is that predators are really good at finding people who don't sense something is wrong (or wont act on it).

Agreed.  Plus no system is going to work as it should every time. People will be tired, overloaded with work, assume someone else is taking care of an issue, etc.  Between intentional and unintentional mischief, there is always going to be victims…at least until we are no longer in a ‘fallen world’.  But closing up the gaps reasonably is something I hope every institution that can will do and no one will take advantage of the excuse “we can’t stop all abuse” to not make best effort attempts to stop it. 

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3 hours ago, Calm said:

Why provided by the Church?  Seems to me there is less likelihood of concern for the Church community’s wellbeing being too much an influence in the counseling efforts over the needs of victims is unconnected to the Church than if paychecks are being paid by the Church.  Better to use professional services from other sources Imo.  Family Services can, of course, provide help in making connections with appropriate resources, which it does. 
 

Concern for the community is important, but I think it is asking too much of individuals to have to be the primary caregiver of both the community’s needs and the victim’s primary counseling needs. As additional support spiritually, that can be very helpful but it should never be the ‘first responder’ approach unless there is no other option because of community lacks (which should never be the case in the US, Canada or most of Europe and other developed countries I would think, countries in social upheaval might be lacking) or because the victim themselves isn’t ready to talk to anyone but their Bishop or branch President or other local leader. 

No I think that the church has the resources and therefore the moral obligation to provide regional ombudsman who are paid to liaise between potential victims and church and given a blind shield from any punitive action from the organisation. It cannot assume that the rest of society will be able to clean up messes it has potentially helped to create.

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

Perhaps everyone should read the policy info before continuing posting so no incorrect assumptions about current church procedures are made.  The Church has made the wise move to post all this info online. 

The hotline provides legal advice to the reporting leader about confidentiality issues and mandatory reporting, but also provides info on providing professional help for the victim and their families.  Members can also find this info help through Family Services.

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/multimedia/file/Preventing-and-Responding-to-Abuse-attachment-final.pdf

I would like to see a statement about if in need or a member who is aware of abuse to go the online info to learn more of help available as well as what the Church’s role should be as standard on all Sacrament programs.

I would also like to see a separate member’s ‘hotline’ (call it something else to avoid confusion between the two and to prevent assumptions it is a ‘first response’ service) for reporting abuse in a church setting or by a church leader, but it should never be considered as meant for dealing with the abuse.  The service would need to make that clear, similar to the messages “if this is an emergency, hang up and dial 911” you get when calling doctors’ offices.  It should be used only as a means to ensure information about predators (actual and alleged) is known to general as well as local leaders, that records get annotated when appropriate (not automatically, but after appropriate investigation to avoid abuse of the system through false reporting).

I would not be surprised if we eventually end up with something like this, if only for better visible awareness by the public that the Church intends to actively track offenders. I don’t have access to data on the current effectiveness of the current system, it may be excellent. But no system is perfect, even mandatory reporting ones as evidenced by ongoing abuse still occurring on occasion with teachers in schools, etc, so I would expect to see occasional reports like this EQ Pres occurring. 

I'm glad you agree (it seems) that the hotline is inadequate and that something more is needed for abuse victims to be able to report abuse to the church organisation.

FTR I have never said members should only be reporting to the church. I said that there is a systemic issue with there not being a way for members to disclose directly to the full-time church leaders. 

Also I know the church makes attempts towards some training but I really don't think a relatively simple, nonprofessional, unpaid course is enough for such serious, heavy matters.

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1 hour ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/welfare/leader-resources/24-hour-help-line?lang=eng

 

 

 

 

So, there's the Protecting Children and Youth training, which every leader and teacher of children or youth, are to complete within one month of being called.

[bolding and underlining mine]

So, @Meadowchik, every single leader and teacher of youth in the US must take this training.  Which specifically tells them, on, like, page one of the training, to contact legal authorities first, and also tell the bishop/SP.   Does this help you?

Did you understand the problem in the situation when the leader is the accused? How can the alleged victim still rely on them to make appropriate reports? They cannot. And that's just scratching the surface.

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This article sounds much like what our church has done. It has sought to protect the church rather than the victims. There is a large list of abusers from our church as well.  Seems to be a common thread among religions.

https://mormonleaks.io/wiki/documents/6/60/INSTANCES_OF_CHILD_SEXUAL_ABUSE_ALLEGEDLY_PERPETRATED_BY_MEMBERS_OF_THE_CHURCH_OF_JESUS_CHRIST_OF_LATTER-DAY_SAINTS-2017-06.pdf

https://kutv.com/amp/news/local/mormonleaks-leaked-document-sheds-light-on-lds-churchs-handling-of-seven-sex-abuse-cases

 


 

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

 

How is it handled for ministers these days? Last time we had priesthood ministers the younger partner was over 18 iirc.

My 17 year old is partnered with a 60+ high priest who he has never spoken to a day in his life.  He's been partnered with him since he was 16 (maybe 15) but the man (who i'm sure is very nice but he's also single and a little odd so I don't know anything about him) has never tried to contact him. He's probably as uncomfortable with the assignment as my son is.

But it makes zero sense to require two deep leadership for youth activities and then send out the youth one-on-one with an adult that's not even a part of the youth program to visit other members.

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42 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

think that the church has the resources and therefore the moral obligation to provide regional ombudsman

Is this typical of organizations?  What organizations do this?

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Calm said:

And I am guessing most members would assume lack of two deep isn’t intentional rather than manipulation for the purpose of grooming or abuse. My concern is would they even bother to ask what the problem was in the first place. Knowing myself, I might not even register it as I have not been involved with youth since it became mandatory for everything (almost everything?) and not attended church enough for it to become the default setting in my awareness.

How is it handled for ministers these days? Last time we had priesthood ministers the younger partner was over 18 iirc.

The ministering carve out for two deep is a pet peeve of mine. Makes no sense. Like, if they’re ministering partners it protects from grooming? Abuse? 
 

My daughter in laws father is in jail. Arrested a month ago. Had served in Bishoprics and was the ward mission leader for many years. He was very popular. He raped his cognitively impaired niece on the way to seminary. Two other victims have come forward. Two deep needs to be required ALL the time.

He lied and was a manipulative schmoozer. Abusers are very, very good at making people think they are ‘safe.’ 
 

If you see a lack of two deep, please say something and fix it. And for your own safety and theirs, don’t give rides to youth without others present. 

Edited by bsjkki
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1 hour ago, bsjkki said:

you see a lack of two deep, please say something and fix it. And for your own safety and theirs, don’t give rides to youth without others present. 

We need to teach kids this is given. And the only way to do that is to act that way. 

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7 minutes ago, Calm said:

We need to teach kids this is given. And the only way to do that is to act that way. 

We need to change the 'culture' around certain things. Just because it has always been done does not make it okay to continue.

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5 hours ago, 2BizE said:

This article sounds much like what our church has done. It has sought to protect the church rather than the victims. There is a large list of abusers from our church as well.  Seems to be a common thread among religions.

https://mormonleaks.io/wiki/documents/6/60/INSTANCES_OF_CHILD_SEXUAL_ABUSE_ALLEGEDLY_PERPETRATED_BY_MEMBERS_OF_THE_CHURCH_OF_JESUS_CHRIST_OF_LATTER-DAY_SAINTS-2017-06.pdf

https://kutv.com/amp/news/local/mormonleaks-leaked-document-sheds-light-on-lds-churchs-handling-of-seven-sex-abuse-cases

 


 

Abusers find opportunities to abuse. It's a not a religion problem. It is an abuser problem. Have you studied teachers? Too many abusers to begin counting. What we need to do is have common sense protections and awareness. I am not aware of many times a known abuser was 'promoted' in the church or passed off to new ward knowingly to continue on with the bad behavior. Can we do better? Yes. There is a still a lack of awareness in some leaders who don't take reports seriously or downplay the seriousness of behavior. Some allow themselves to get schmoozed by the abuser. Some will say, it didn't happen at church so there is nothing I can do about it. 

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10 hours ago, Calm said:

Is this typical of organizations?  What organizations do this?

From wiki:

Main article: Organizational ombudsman

Many private companies, universities, non-profit organisations and government agencies also have an ombudsman (or an ombuds office) to serve internal employees, and managers and/or other constituencies. These ombudsman roles are structured to function independently, by reporting to the CEO or board of directors, and according to International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Standards of Practice they do not have any other role in the organisation. Organisational ombudsmen often receive more complaints than alternative procedures such as anonymous hot-lines.[11]

 

Since the 1960s, the profession has grown in the United States, and Canada, particularly in corporations, universities and government agencies. The organizational ombudsman works as a designated neutral party, one who is high-ranking in an organization, but who is not part of executive management. Using an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or appropriate dispute resolution approach, an organisational ombudsman can provide options to whistleblowers or employees and managers with ethical concerns; provide coaching, shuttle diplomacy, generic solutions (meaning a solution which protects the identity of one individual by applying to a class of people, rather than just for the one individual) and mediation for conflicts; track problem areas; and make recommendations for changes to policies or procedures in support of orderly systems change.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ombudsman

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/23/2022 at 9:16 AM, Nofear said:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2022/may/southern-baptist-abuse-investigation-sbc-ec-legal-survivors.html

It's not a good report, not good at all. If any of you see comparisons to the Church from the nay-saying side of things, please post and share. I'll be on vacation for a week and so may miss much.

Another Patriarchal religion rife with sex abuse.  No surprise there.

Edited by Teancum
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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, bluebell said:

https://www.startribune.com/former-minnesota-mormon-leader-convicted-of-sexually-assaulting-13-year-old-boy/600173140/

We don't have a great track record on this kind of stuff sometimes, but I don't think our failings have been systematic.  At least not in the last couple of decades (before that, I think that there were probably few churches prepared to acknowledge the sexual predator problem in society in general, let alone in their congregations).

The abuse in the article above happened 4-5 years ago, so I don't know that we can say it would happen today (since the church is much more aware and active in preventing it now), but I'm not sure how this man, a registered sex offender in Utah, was able to serve as EQ president in Minnesota.  Did someone purposefully allowed it to happen or did the information fall through the cracks because of failures in the system when he moved?

I really hope it was the second.

Well if the Church knows a person is a sexual offender their record is annotated.  The Church needs to start to do background checks for leadership positions like this.

Edited by Teancum
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25 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Well if the Church knows a person is a sexual offender their record is annotated.  The Church needs to start to do background checks for leadership positions like this.

This is what I’m wondering.  Did the church in Utah not know he was a registered sex offender?   I’m wondering if this was a failure of the system or a failure of a leader/leaders who didn’t follow the system?  I’m hoping it’s the first. That would be easier to fix.

Doing background checks on people in leadership callings would probably be a good idea. 

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