there is a section in the exponent II magazine called "sisters speak." this column features a specific question and responses from various sisters. sort of like a "dear abby," if you will. in january a question was posted on the blog regarding abuse. i am going to post the question here, but you can view the article and all comments here.
Our first question comes from Emily. She writes, “For the past couple years, I’ve been wondering how the Church could teach/protect its members from sexual abuse. I’m dying to do a lesson in Primary or Relief Society on the topic, but I’m no professional and feel ill equipped to deal open a can of worms without knowing what to do. It kills me because statistically-speaking, I’m sure there are people under my charge who are dealing with sexual abuse in some way. I’m wondering how other wards deal with this.”
-If you were given the chance to do a lesson on sexual abuse, what points would you especially want to make?
-What issues surrounding this topic should people be sensitive towards?
-Have you had any experience with wards approaching this issue? What are the potential pitfalls of doing so?
i posted a comment on this article, and here is what i said.
i can't tell you how thrilled i was when a few weeks later i received an email from the post author caroline, who would like to use my comment in the magazine! my comment will be published for all readers of the exponent II to see--how exciting. i am so glad that a topic i am so passionate about will be brought to the attention of so many people. teaching others about abuse, how to handle it, how to prevent it, how to recognize it, is so important. i am honored to be able to use my experiences to help others. at least, i hope it will help.
and for curiosity's sake, i would love to know how my readers would answer these questions. many of you are not LDS, but are religious. how would you address this topic in your own church setting? if you aren't religious, how would you address it among a group of your peers? in a school, at a community meeting, etc.? i'm curious to know what aspects of educating others about abuse is most important to you. and if you have not been abused, what would you most like to hear about?