CHARGES OF INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL CONDUCT WITH A MINOR
Through this Guideline we seek to honor God and serve our spiritual family by providing policies, procedures, practices and other resources which promote a safe environment free from accidental and predatory risks. By having a formal Guideline, and faithfully following it, we best insure the safety of all. At the same time, we also protect our legal position and improve our credibility as careful stewards in the face of legal challenges or inquiries by authorities.
The Arranging Board is a standing committee prepared to respond to any complaints of sexual contact in a ecclesial relationship brought against any member of the ecclesia. In dealing with any complaint, the Arranging Board records all proceedings carefully.
Steps to be followed are:
• 1st – Solicit a clear statement of the experience and the complaint from the person(s) making the complaint.
• 2nd – Determine whether this is a single complaint or whether others have experienced sexual abuse by the accused individual.
• 3rd – The Arranging Board should confront the individual with the complaint. As part of this confrontation a statement from the individual who has been accused shall be requested.
• 4th – The Arranging Board shall carefully consider each complaint and the response of the person accused and shall make a determination regarding appropriate action to be taken.
GUIDELINES FOR ACTION
1) Response to Victims
Since we are deeply concerned for the welfare of the victim(s), the victim(s) shall be offered support, information and counseling as needed to deal with the experience of victimization.
2) Response to Alleged Perpetrator(s)
When it has been determined that an individual has violated the Ecclesial Guideline on sexual misconduct, one or more of the following disciplinary actions may be deemed appropriate by the Arranging Board.
• Notification of the ecclesia that the individual has violated the Ecclesial Guideline by inappropriate sexual conduct;
• Requirement that the individual receive rehabilitation treatment and that the individual be placed under stringent supervision during the rehabilitation process;
• Denial of request for transfer of membership to another ecclesia;
• Requirement that the offending individual provides restitution to the victim(s), e.g. the cost of the victim(s) medical or therapy expenses, etc.
3) Response to the Ecclesia
When individual members of the ecclesia are involved in these violations of ethics, the ecclesia is also a victim of the offense. This is especially true if the offense is widely known.
The ecclesia as a whole may need pastoral care from a counselor.
4) Additional Actions
The Arranging Board will also determine if any additional actions are required, including, but not limited to the following:
Initiate the required mandatory reporting to the appropriate state/local agency.
Consult with the Ecclesia’s counselor about appropriate follow-up actions.
Notify the Ecclesia’s liability insurance company to assist in determining coverage applicability and to solicit advice on additional required actions.