LDS Launches Child Abuse Prevention Program

Every adult who works with children must complete the course by September 22, 2019.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made it mandatory for all adults working with children or teenagers in the church to complete a 30-minute online training course on preventing and responding to abuse. Last Friday church leaders announced every church adult working with children must complete the course by September 22.

The training presentation says members of the church can play a crucial role in preventing abuse and protecting children. They should not tolerate abuse of any kind in their presence.

The audiovisual training course is available at ProtectingChildren.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. The course contains an illustrated slideshow which includes scenarios that mandate responses from the audience.

Sister Joy D. Jones, General President of the Church’s International Primary Program stated her organization receives Christ’s teachings about children and the youth with utmost seriousness. The program consists of over one million children. Christ welcomed children into His kingdom and warned against bullying, hurting, or abusing them.

The press release said it had discussed with therapists, child protection groups, and other professionals before designing the program. It is motivated to train leaders on how they can prevent abuse and how to respond to cases of abuse.

The program explicitly states the responsibility of anybody aware of a child having been molested, emotionally harmed or physically abused must act proactively in the best interests of the child and to protect them. They should look upon any complaints they receive of inappropriate behavior by another adult working for the church with due seriousness and keep lines of communication open. When abuse has taken place, the adult’s primary responsibility will be to provide safety to the victim and prevent any chances of them suffering the abuse again. They should not dismiss the child’s complaints or be hesitant to believe them. It should be their task to make the child feel secure and comfortable to confide in them in details about said abuse. Bishops and church presidents are instructed to report cases of abuse to the church’s abuse helpline.

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