Supporting those who have experienced abuse
In our Baptist family we believe that our life together should express what is on God’s heart. As we show compassion to those in need and difficulty, and as we care for the broken hearted, we become living examples of God’s great love in action. We act to support justice and mercy, recognising this is part of demonstrating our hunger for God’s coming kingdom, both within and beyond our churches and local communities.
Within the Baptist Union of Great Britain, we recognise that many individual Christians and local Baptist churches have been effectively supporting those who have experienced abuse, and have offered love, care and Christian fellowship to those who have survived abusive families and relationships. Yet we must also acknowledge that some churches have got it wrong. Sometimes we have not been equipped to help, and on other occasions we have not understood or minimised the extent of the harm done.
Encouraged by many good examples of support, and equally challenged by those who have experienced abuse but have not felt that the church provided the help and care they expected, we have produced this new guide. Aimed at the lay person as well as ministers and church leaders, it is a first step in a longer-term series of actions to improve the way in which we can support and walk alongside people who have experienced abuse.