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How to Prevent Sexual Harassment in Your Church

New research confirms it does happen in ministry and the trend isn’t changing.

The #ChurchToo movement has unmasked some uncomfortable truths over the past three years, most especially on the topic of sexual harassment in church offices. Allegations of misconduct have surfaced nationwide, some involving high-profile pastors, and countless more revealing troubling patterns across congregations of all types and sizes.

Sexual harassment is a serious matter. Its legal definition reveals this issue’s insidious nature, demonstrating the way it subjects a person to unwanted conduct or conditions their employment on acquiescing to inappropriate demands or requests. More importantly, at a basic, fundamental level, sexual harassment strikes at the very heart of the gospel, attempting to rob the dignity of a person made in the image of God.

There is simply no place for it in church and ministry settings. With that in mind, we’ve compiled resources, listed below, to help you to both address and prevent it.

Confronting Harassment in the Church

Insights on how church leaders can confront harassment and foster the type of healthy culture that honors Christ.

Featuring Theresa Sidebotham, Attorney

What Churches Should Know About State-Mandated Sexual Harassment Training Laws

Some states now require employers to train annually on harassment, and don’t exempt churches. More states may follow suit.

Myron Steeves

Why Every Church Needs a Sexual Harassment Policy

The growing numbers of allegations highlight the need for appropriate responses.

Richard R. Hammar

How to Investigate a Sexual Harassment Allegation

Seven steps to take when an allegation arises—and when outside help may prove wisest.

William R. Thetford Jr. and H. Robert Showers

Seven Steps for Creating an Effective Sexual Harassment Policy

A carefully crafted policy not only can provide protection for all involved, but also can serve as a deterrent.

William R. Thetford Jr. and H. Robert Showers

Are We Prepared for a Sexual Misconduct Allegation?

Use this checklist to help prepare for a sexual harassment allegation in your church.

Lorie Quicke

Sexual Harassment in the Christian Workplace – Executive Report 2020

An inside look at the church and parachurch ministries workplace environment survey.

Church Sued for Supervisor’s Sexual Harassment

Court in Oklahoma ruled that plaintiff was treated wrongfully by the church.

Richard R. Hammar

Sexual Harassment Training

Church Law & Tax has teamed up with Telios Training and advisor-at-large attorney Theresa Sidebotham. Learn more about individual or group training for your staff.

An Affiliate Agreement with Telios

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This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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