The Story Doesn’t End With “Spotlight”
Friday, March 11th, 2016
“Spotlight” recently won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you may be familiar with its central topic: a journalist team at the Boston Globe in the early 2000s exposed decades-old child abuse and its cover-up within the Archdiocese of Boston.
The movie focuses on the journalists pushing for answers despite denials, doors slammed in their faces, and threats from powerful church leaders. The newspaper team won a Pulitzer Prize for its work, but the important consequences of the project include bringing this issue into the open so that abuse is addressed directly, and taking action to prevent abuse rather than hide it.
The story doesn’t end with the movie, and neither do the headlines. Abuse isn’t limited to a certain denomination, region of the country, or socio-economic group. Churches need to lead the way and do everything possible to make sure that the message of “Spotlight” is not lost with the Oscar buzz. Here’s how:
• Raise awareness in your church or churches about abuse.
• Make every member of your congregation an important part of the fight against abuse.
• Establish clear policies for anyone who works with children and youth.
• Increase communication to ensure that people know they have the right to speak up.
• Conduct background checks and screening.
• Train clergy, staff, and volunteers about abuse prevention, boundary awareness, and how to recognize abuse.
Safe Gatherings helps more than 3,000 churches across the country. We provide a multi-layer system of background checks, reference checks, and comprehensive online training that helps churches and faith-based organizations prevent abuse.
Call us today at (888) 241-8258 to talk about the Safe Gatherings system and get started.