Return to Home pageTo Schedule an EventMarriage MattersSeminars availableRelationship TestingHelpful articlesResource StoreHelpful Resource LinksContact us for additional information

Strong Kids Safe Kids

Keeping Kids Safe from Abuse

Has your child been abused?

You are not alone; there is hope for you.

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Luke 18:16, NIV

What is Abuse?

To abuse someone is to intentionally or unconsciously injure or damage him/her physically, psychologically/emotionally, or sexually with the purpose to intimidate, dominate, control and or exercise power. Abuse can be isolated or habitual, premeditated or spontaneous. The one who inflicts the abuse is typically called the abuser; the one who is abused is typically called the victim.

Types of Abuse:


actions which cause humiliation, physical pain or injury, such as kicking, pushing, or punching.


actions which cause loss of self-esteem, and/or loss of self-determination, such as name calling, isolation, or criticizing.


actions of sexual nature that are unwelcome, uncomfortable, or forced; this includes rape.

Child Abuse:

all of the above definitions, as well as neglect. This includes not providing for a childs basic needs such as food and clothing, and abandonment.

Abuse Is Wrong Because

It destroys the body

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Sprit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy: for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17

It robs children of their innocence

But whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6

It lowers self-esteem

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it might benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

It warps the perception about God

Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons [and daughters] of God. 1 John 3:1

It is not Gods plan for families

The Lord desires His people to give in the their homes a representation of the order and harmony that pervade the heavenly courts. -Counsels On Health,p.101

It is not Gods plan for our lives

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Safety Measure For Parents:

  • Network with your childrens friends and their parents.
  • Explain to children that people who want them to keep secrets from their parents are not safe to be with.
  • Encourage children to tell you if anything frightens or disturbs them.
  • Instruct them to always check with you before accepting any type of gift from anyone (including money and candy).
  • Inform children to always check with parents, or the person in charge at the time, before going anywhere, even if it is with someone they know. Have them state where they are going, who is going with them and when they will return. Ask for a contact phone number if necessary.
  • Teach children how to say No to anyone who tries to touch them in a way that make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Help them to understand that no one should expose or touch their private parts, ask them to do the same, or force them to handle body waste.
  • Instruct them never to open the door if they are home alone.
  • Show them how to phone emergency personnel. Supply them with a list of other phone numbers to call if they are in trouble (including trusted neighbors).
  • Teach children that there is safety in numbers.
  • Question the motives of adults and older children who constantly want to spend time alone with your children.
  • If children prefer to spend a lot of time at neighbors/friend/s home, find out why.
  • Screen baby-sitters (male and female) very carefully.
  • Teach your child the correct names of body parts so that if necessary they will be able to communicate clearly about an assault.

If Your Child Has Been Abused:

  • Stay calm.
  • Respect the childs privacy. Find a quiet and comfortable place and carefully listen to what he/she is saying.
  • Believe the child and take him/her seriously; children seldom lie about abuse.
  • Make a report to the authorities.
  • Do not confront the abuser yourself.
  • Take the child to the doctor for immediate medical attention.
  • Let the child know that the abuse was not his/her fault.
  • Enlist the support of your Womens, Childrens, and/or Family Ministries leaders.
  • Find a licensed therapist who specializes in child abuse.
  • Do not make promises you cannot keep.
  • Pray with the child and reassure them that Jesus loves them and does not want them to be hurt.
  • Create a safety net around the child which includes your pastor, family members, and trusted friends; people that will encourage him/her spiritually and emotionally. The child will know that he/she is protected within this safety net.

These Common Beliefs Are Not True:

  • Parents will be able to tell if their child has been sexually abused.
  • Children need to be beaten in order to learn to respect their elders.
  • Boys cannot be sexually abused.
  • Violently shaking a baby will not hurt or kill him/her.
  • Playing with a childs genitalia is harmless.
  • Children are not affected when one parent abuses the other.
  • Only strangers molest children.
  • Children will quickly outgrow effects of abuse.
  • If children walk around naked they are asking to be sexually abused.
  • Denying a child food or other basic needs is not considered abuse.
  • If a childs body reacts to fondling it is because he/she enjoys it.
  • Children lie about being abused in order to get adults in trouble.

Abuse Prevention Resources


Alsdurf, J., and Alsdurf, P. (1989). Battered into Submission. Downers grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 168pp.

Collinson, D. (2001). Encounters With Darkness. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishin. 125 pp.

Couden, B., ed. (1999). Understanding Intimate Violence. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association. 160 pp.

Dunbar, M. (2002). The Truth About Us: How To Discover The Potential God Has Given You. Lincoln, NE: AdventSource. 150 pp.

Morris, M. (1993). Sins of the Father. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association. 224 pp.

Vanderman, G. (1992). The Overcomers. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association. 96 pp.

White, E. (1996). Comfort. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association. 144pp.

White, E. (1980). The Adventist Home. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing. 583 pp.

Brochures and Booklets:

Abuse and Family Violence A Global Affliction. Available through GC Family Ministries

Family Violence: A Christian Response. Available through GC Family Ministries.

How To Believe When Hurt. Charles Scriven. Produced by Pacific Press Publishing Association.

Seventh-day Adventist Statement on Family Violence. Produced by the General Conference of SDA.

Understanding Sexual Abuse. Kit Watts, ed. Compiled by Review and Herald Publishing.

What Everyone Should Know About Family Violence. Available through GC Womens Ministries.

When Days Are Dark. Gerald Nash. Review and Herald Publishing.

Where is God When You hurt? Richard Coffen. Produced by Pacific Press Publishing Association.


Hear Their Cries: Religious Responses to Child Abuse. Produced by the Center for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence, 936 North 34th., Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98103, USA. (206) 634-1903. Color. Running time 48 minutes. (Also available in Spanish)

Broken Vows: Religious Perspectives on Domestic Violence. Produced by the Center For the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence, 936 North 34th., Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98103, USA. (206) 634-1903. Color. Running time 59 minutes. (Also available in Spanish)

Wings Like a Dove: Healing for the Abused Christian Woman. Produced by the Center For the Prevention of Sexual abuse and Domestic Violence, 936 North 34th., Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98103, USA. (206) 634-1903. Color. Running time 34 minutes.

Too Close to Home. Produced by Adventist Media center, South Pacific Division, 150 Fox Valley Road, Wahroonga, N>S>W> 2076, Australis, for the trans-Tasman Union Conference of SDA. Color. 34 minutes. (Available in PAL format)


Peace and Healing, Making Homes Abuse-free. Prepared by Karen & Ron Flowers with Audray Johnson, and Elaine and Willie Oliver, NAD Church Resources, AdventSource 5040 Prescott Avenue Lincoln, NW 68506 1800-328-0525, 1996. Video included. Available in PAL and NST format. (Also available in French and Spanish)

Phone Numbers:

Adventist Support Line
Australia: 1-800-220-468.
New Zealand: 0-800-442-458

Pollys Place
Michigan, USA (616) 687-9822

Nebraska, USA 1-800-328-0525

Domestic Violence Hotline
New York, USSA 1-800-621-4673


Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence:
2400 N 45th Street, Suite 10, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Phone: (206) 634-1903 Fax: (206) 634-0115 (24 hours)

Hope For Healing: information on abuse, links and steps to healing

Human Rights in Subsaharan Africa: offers information on human rights and abuse in all African countries

Safe Horizons: offers resources on domestic violence for South America, Mexico, Europe, South Asia, Canada, and the US

The Stalking Assistance Site


Love Takes Time Resource Page





Marriage Matters introduction