Raising Concerns about Abuse
If you believe a child has been sexually abused:
- Child abuse does not stop if it is ignored. Nor does it usually stop if an individual confronts the alleged offender. Allegations of child sexual abuse need to be reported to government child protection services and/or Police in your jurisdiction.
- For further information about reporting incidents to Police and child protection services or to report abuse within our Church, please contact Adsafe.
If you have been abused:
The Survivor Services Team want to make sure that you feel cared for and supported. We know it's not easy. We also recognise that it’s possibly one of the hardest things you'll ever do.
How you feel may depend on a variety of factors including your particular circumstances and the support you have received recently and in your life. You might be feeling a range of emotions like overwhelmed, deeply upset, angry, hurt, vulnerable, confused and in two minds and other emotions we may not have mentioned. Whatever your experience, we know it’s hard and we also want you to know that all these different possible responses are understandable and normal.
We are going to outline the process that happens once you've raised a concern about abuse. If you find reading this and thinking about what will happen next challenging, please remember that we want to help you and there is other support available as well.
Once you fill in the Reporting Form we will let you know that we have received it. We will then contact you and ask you for further details. We will explain how the process works and next possible steps. Depending on the situation there are a number of possible options or actions that could be taken.
If the conduct is considered to be a criminal offence, we will need to talk to you about contacting police. It is up to you whether you contact police and we can support you with this. Even if you don’t want to contact police, we have a responsibility to contact them whenever we become aware that an offence may have been committed.
Generally, police will only investigate and take action if they have a person who is willing to give evidence about the offence. If the police do investigate, the investigation could lead to a court case. We will support you so that you understand what is involved and so that you can make decisions that are right for you.
In cases when you're raising a concern about a person who was or is an Adventist employee or an officer of the Church and criminal proceedings are not occuring, an independent investigation will be initiated. In simple terms, it means that an independent person will look into what happened, conduct interviews with relevant people (including yourself), consider all the evidence and a determination will be made in relation to whether the allegations are sustained or not. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, certain recommendations may be suggested to manage any identified risks.
Once there is an outcome we will let you know and you will receive a letter as well letting you know that the matter has been dealt with appropriately. In some circumstances, you might be referred to our Redress Section to consider what other support could be made available to you.
Please remember we are here to explain the process, to keep you updated about any progress and to support you.