Resources for Identifying, Preventing and Responding to Abuse

Table of Contents

The following resources aim to help adults and parents better understand how to talk with children about abuse, and gain insights on sexual abuse (particularly child sexual abuse), grooming, and abuse within a church context.

Please note that the opinions expressed in these resources do not necessarily reflect those of our diocese. We encourage you to use discernment as you interact with them.

Talking to Your Children About Abuse

The resources below are taken from the organization Darkness to Light and their training curriculum Stewards of Children.

Online Training Option: Schedule an online Sexual Abuse Prevention workshop, “Stewards of Children,” led by trained professionals to learn about preventing, recognizing, and responding to child sexual abuse. Learn more here

Resources for Children: 

Recognizing Signs of Abuse in Children

  • If You Suspect a Child is Being Harmed: This article helps identify possible signs of a child that has been abused, and gives specific advice for how to talk with a child about possible abuse and instructions for what to do next.
  • How to Spot Sexual Abuse in Your Church: This article discusses the dynamics and nature of sexual abuse, and recognizing the signs of grooming or predatory behavior. Please note that this article includes non-detailed descriptions of abuse which may be disturbing to some readers.
  • How to Spot a Predator: One Church’s Story: This article includes a list of red-flag behaviors and why preventative training for church volunteers, parents, and leaders is essential.

Abuse and the Church 

  • GRACE: Resources: This web page hosts a variety of helpful resources with the mission “to empower Christian communities to recognize, prevent, and respond to abuse.” Resources include interviews, videos, and articles on topics such as the impacts of abuse, best reporting practices, and advice for Christian families.
  • Interview With Boz Tchividjan: Boz Tchividjan has a background as a prosecutor and victim protection advocate; in this interview, he share his thoughts on preventing and handling sexual abuse in evangelical churches and contexts.


Caring for Survivors

Chicago-area Trauma-informed Therapists:

  • Deb Nickerson & Associates: Dr. Nickerson’s practice focuses specifically on sexual abuse trauma and includes seven therapists trained in working with children and teenagers
  • Trudy Walk, LCPC, LMFT: 630-653-5540 (Wheaton)
  • Carol Schwerha, Psy.D.: 630-563-0044 (Hinsdale)
  • YWCA – Glen Ellyn: 630-790-6600 (Glen Ellyn)