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Published:April 16th, 2012 00:08 EST
Penn State's Abuse Scandal: 12 Lessons Church Leaders Should Learn

Penn State's Abuse Scandal: 12 Lessons Church Leaders Should Learn

By SOP newswire

The allegations of child molestation by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky stunned the nation last fall. In the 25th anniversary edition of Church Law & Tax Report releasing this May, Richard Hammar - an attorney and leading authority on church legal matters - provides a comprehensive article designed for church leadership teams to read and discuss together. Hammar addresses a dozen vital issues, including how to:

Recognize "grooming" behavior

Recognize abuse disguised as "horseplay"

Identify reportable abuse

Understand who mandatory reporters are Report abuse and to whom

Understand the criminal liability for failing to report

Understand civil liabilities for perpetrators of child abuse

Understand civil liabilities of employers for employees` failure to report child abuse

Understand civil liabilities for employers based on negligent hiring, retention, and supervision

Implement the two-adult rule

Obtain insurance for intentional acts

Pre Prevent site access by former employees

  • Situations like that of Penn State tarnish the image and reputation of those involved in the despicable acts, but also those people and organizations who had the responsibility to report and failed to report. An important lesson for church leaders is to treat every allegation of misconduct seriously, take immediate steps to protect the congregation from being victimized, and in the case of child abuse, make a report to civil authorities immediately.

    Church leaders can get the complete report by subscribing to 
    Church Law & Tax Report at a special 25th anniversary rate. Richard Hammar also will host a free webinar, Child Abuse Reporting Laws -- What Churches Can Learn from Penn State on Wednesday, May 2. Space is limited so sign up today.

    Christianity Today is a nonprofit, global media ministry that serves the church through digital and print publications, as well as practical and accessible web resources that together reach more than 2.5 million people every month.