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 vulnerable 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 offences. Congregations that meet a minimum of three-quarters of the best practice criteria can receive the Best Practice Seal.
In 2014-2015, the Religious Institute developed the Sexually Safer Best Practice Initiative. A national colloquium of experts in safety policies and religious institutions was held in November 2014. At the colloquium, the experts developed consensus about the most important policies and practices that every congregation — regardless of size, denomination, theology, location, or demographic composition — should have in place.
A congregational commitment to sexual safety involves the religious leaders, the board, the religious educators, the parents, volunteers, and indeed every member of the congregation.
Watch this short video to learn how your congregation can become a Sexually Safer Best Practice Congregation.
- Review the 18 Sexually Safer Best Practices
- Submit your Congregational Self-Assessment Form for review and to apply for the “Sexually Safer Best Practice Congregation” seal.
- Find contextual tools in Denomination Policies and Programs.
- See a List of Sexually Safer Best Practice Congregations
- Access More Information and Resources