Responding to abuse: New guide available for women’s ministry leaders

October 8, 2019

A new resource developed for women’s ministry leaders to help them minister to victims of sexual abuse is now available, thanks to a partnership between the North Carolina and South Carolina Baptist state conventions.

“Responding Well: A Guide for Women’s Ministry Leaders to Help Survivors of Sexual Abuse” is a free resource manual created by and designed for women’s ministry leaders that includes biblical and practical advice on how to support and care for abuse victims. The guide is available as a free download at respondingwell.org.

Ashley Allen, women’s ministry leader with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, and Melanie Ratcliffe, women’s ministry leader with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, co-authored the guide as a way to serve and equip other women’s ministry leaders.

“Many women’s ministry leaders serve in volunteer capacities in their local church, and our desire was to create a resource with them in mind,” Allen said. “Women often turn to other women for help, so we wanted to equip women’s ministry leaders to respond well to hurting women who may turn to them.”

The resource addresses topics related to developing policies and procedures, reporting guidelines, definitions of terms, training volunteers and more.

“Women’s ministry leaders are trusted mentors, guides and confidants to the ladies they lead and serve,” Ratcliffe said. “The ‘Responding Well’ resource was designed to help women’s ministry leaders to not only know how to counsel women who are victims of abuse, but also what steps to take if information that is shared with them is required to be reported by law.”

“Our prayer is that God would use the ‘Responding Well’ resource to help women minister to, care for and support other women who have suffered from the pain of abuse in their lives.”

Allen and Ratcliffe said they view the ‘Responding Well’ resource as a complement to the ongoing efforts by pastors, churches and leaders across the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to address and respond to cases of sexual abuse.

“We are thankful for the efforts that pastors and leaders across the Southern Baptist Convention have devoted to equipping churches to respond to the issue of sexual abuse and care for victims,” Allen said. “The ‘Responding Well’ resource aligns with those efforts.”

Ratcliffe added: “Our prayer is that God would use the ‘Responding Well’ resource to help women minister to, care for and support other women who have suffered from the pain of abuse in their lives.”

In June, LifeWay Christian Resources, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and those working with the SBC Sexual Abuse Advisory Study worked together to produce “Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused,” a free multimedia resource geared toward church staff members, lay leaders and volunteers. The resource is a comprehensive training curriculum that combines a handbook with 12 video lessons from experts in the areas of social work, law enforcement, trauma counseling, abuse counseling, legal services and pastoral care. The resource is available at churchcares.com.

Southern Baptist leaders are also encouraging churches to take the “Caring Well Challenge,” which is a multifaceted effort to prevent abuse and care for abuse survivors. More information on the challenge is available at caringwell.com.

Executive leaders with the North Carolina and South Carolina Baptist state conventions said the “Responding Well” resource will help church leaders prevent abuse and care for the abused.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with our friends at the South Carolina Baptist Convention to develop such a valuable resource for women’s ministry leaders,” said Milton A. Hollifield Jr., executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. “I believe pastors can also benefit from the information contained in this guide to help them prevent abuse and provide the appropriate care to the abused. My prayer is that this resource would be used by God in a mighty way.”

“Here at the South Carolina Baptist Convention we are committed to providing the best resources possible so churches have the necessary tools to recruit, screen and train volunteers and staff in order to prevent abuse before it can begin,” said Gary Hollingsworth, executive director-treasurer of the South Carolina Baptist State Convention. “Additionally, we are committed to helping churches know how to best care for and minister to persons who have been victimized by any type of abuse. This resource will go a long way to those ends.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Information from Baptist Press was used in this report.


by
 BSCNC & SCBC Communications

3 things I would do differently in ministry

I will soon celebrate 40 years in full-time ministry. During the course of my career, I have pastored four churches, one of which was a church plant. I am now in my third interim pastorate, and I continue to serve as a strategy coordinator with the state convention. I have often...

When the kids come back: Navigating new challenges in your children’s ministry

Your church has decided to reopen its children’s ministry for Sunday mornings. With excitement, you dust off curriculum packs and plan for a grand welcome back. Children who have been learning virtually and in person on a limited basis walk in the door and you expect a return to...

The role of pastoral health in church revitalization

The “RevitalizeNC'' podcast is hosted by Terry Long, senior consultant for church revitalization with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Each episode includes an interview with a leading expert in the field of church revitalization to offer help, hope and...

Whose side are you on?

It’s human nature to divide everything into sides. We take sides in insignificant matters like what toppings to have on our pizza, or whether to drink Coke or Pepsi. (Some here in North Carolina may be a little partial to Pepsi since it was invented in New Bern.) College...

Explainer: EDT transitions, special meetings & more

A special meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina has been called for 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem to elect an individual to serve as the next executive director-treasurer (EDT) of the state convention.The process for...

Top 5 resources for May 2021

Every month, we spotlight five helpful resources for you as you seek to walk closely with the Lord and make disciples. Many of these resources are created by the staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) to help meet the ministry needs of pastors and lay...

Why overcoming negativity is crucial to fruitful ministry

One of the greatest enemies of longevity in ministry is negativity. This disease presents its hideous face in many ways in our personal lives and ministries. Like many other hindrances to our walk with the Lord and our relationships with family, friends and those we lead in our...

12 ways to involve every church member in VBS

Often churches consider Vacation Bible School (VBS) to be exclusively a children’s ministry event. And yet, VBS is one of the most effective evangelistic emphases many churches offer their community each year. According to "It’s Worth It" by Landry Holmes of Lifeway Publishing,...

A guide to help survivors of sexual abuse.

Email [email protected] or call (800) 395-5102, ext. 5558 for more information.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!