Last week I received a blog comment asking about counseling helps for sex offenders who wish to leave behind their offending behaviors. You can see the question and my answer here. I would add my thoughts from this short essay gives an overview of the kind of growth we want to see in reforming abusers.
This week I was shown some materials designed specifically for churches in order to protect victims (and potential victims) and aid the recovery of sex offenders–whether prosecuted or not.
These materials are published by an English organization, Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS). They have a number resources relating to the protection of children and describe themselves as,
a professional safeguarding charity providing training, resources, support and advice in all areas of safeguarding and a 24 hour helpline. CCPAS is also an umbrella organisation appointed by the Criminal Records Bureau to process criminal records checks.
The great thing about this organization (yes, I spell it with a z) is that their pamphlets are available for FREE downloads. Their “Help” series covers issues from sex offending and church attendance, sex trafficking, domestic violence, responding to allegations of abuse, etc.
The organization also encourages every church to have a volunteer safe-guarding coordinator.
Also, they have a host of DVDs as well. One I have in my hand is entitled, The Supervision and Pastoral Care of Sex Offenders. It is a 2 DVD set with victim and perpetrator accounts and reviews offender behaviors and helpful assessment, treatment and church supervision plans. You can purchase it on the above websites for about 25 US dollars.
I wasn’t able to review one other item sold by them: Walk the Walk: A Treatment Supplement for Sex Offenders with Christian Beliefs. Authored by Tim Horton and 80 pages in length, it is available on an American site (along with two other titles, one for helping sex offending clergy and for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Finally, a recent Christianity Today article covered the topic of working with sex offenders after prison. It did a good job as far as it went. But too often we concern ourselves with issues such as forgiveness, church attendance, and restoration. These issues are indeed important and ought not be neglected. However, focus for offenders should be on treatment, accountability, and willingness to support the well-being of others over their own supposed rights and freedoms. Diane Langberg and I wrote a letter to the editor that was published in a subsequent edition that might peak your interest.