A sexually healthy and responsible congregation is free from sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct. In order to keep children, youth, and vulnerable adults safe from abuse and harassment, congregations need explicit policies and procedures, strong codes of conduct for religious professionals, and safeguards for congregants who have been accused or convicted of sexual offences. To help realize this vision, the Religious Institute developed the Sexually Safer Best Practice Initiative in 2014. The resources here provide a turnkey program for putting the necessary safety policies in place, with templates and examples.
The Religious Institute encourages congregations to review the 18 best practices, assess their current policies make improvements, and, if they meet three-quarters of the best practice criteria, apply to become a Sexually Safer Best Practice Congregation and receive the seal.
Review the 18 Sexually Safer Best Practices
These 18 practices aim to ensure that your congregation has a commitment to up-to-date well-publicized policies and procedures to prevent sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and professional sexual misconduct. Learn More
Access Denominational Policies and Programs
Many denominations have created specific resources around sexual health and safety in congregations. Here you can find tools specific to your denomination. Learn More
Once you’ve completed a self-assessment of your congregation’s sexual safety policies and procedures and meet at least three-quarters of the best practice criteria, submit your self-assessment form and apply for the Sexually Safer Best Practice Congregation seal.
A congregational commitment to sexual safety involves an ongoing commitment from religious leaders and all members of the congregation. Learn more about national organizations that provide congregations with resources to continue this ongoing work.
Sexually Safer Best Practice Congregations
These congregations have completed a self-assessment of their sexual safety policies and procedures and meet at least three-quarters of the best practice criteria for a congregation of their size and composition.