Sexually Safer Congregations

A sexually healthy and responsible congregation is free from sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct. Congregations need:

  • explicit policies and procedures to keep children, youth, and adults safe from abuse and harassment;

  • strong codes of conduct for religious professionals; and

  • safeguards for congregants who have been accused or convicted of sexual offenses.

A safer congregation policy is the work of the entire congregation and touches on all aspects of congregational life. The resources below are meant to help guide your congregation through the process of evaluating and/or updating a current policy and creating a policy if none exists currently.

Recommended Resources

We recommend the following resources to help Unitarian Universalist congregations adopt and implement policies and procedures for sexual safety.

  • Sexually Safer Best Practice Initiative. The Religious Institute has partnered with the Unitarian Universalist Association and has created a list of the most important policies and practices that every congregation – regardless of size, theology, location, or demographic composition – should have in place. Congregations that achieve at least three-quarters of the policies and practices can be publicly designated as Sexually Safer Best Practice Congregations and display the seal. Visit the Religious Institute’s website to watch the short videos to learn how your congregation can become a Sexually Safer Best Practice Congregation.

  • 18 Sexually Safer Best Practices from the Religious Institute

Sample Policies:

Additional Resources:

About the Author

UUA Congregational Life

The regional Congregational Life staff are congregations' local connection to the UUA. All of the program Congregational Life staff have expertise in most aspects of congregational life and each also has a few program areas of expertise. See the...

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