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What do I do if a participant discloses sexual abuse, or hints at something that might be abuse?

It is very important to contact the Religious Educator and/or Minister in your congregation immediately. They should have connections to resources in the community that can help the person who disclosed the abuse and will know your state/province’s laws for reporting abuse. It is important to remember that even if the person disclosing the abuse is now an adult, many states still require mandatory reporting if the abuse happened when the person was a minor. If your congregation does not have any religious professionals on staff, you should contact the staff of your Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) District or the Canadian Unitarian Council as appropriate.

Facilitators should be trained by their local congregation about their state or province’s procedures concerning mandated reporting of issues of abuse. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) website can provide information, support and state laws. Your congregation should have procedures and policies in place for all safety issues, that is, should have a written Safe Congregations policy.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Monday, November 7, 2011.

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