WINGS has been created by victims/survivors who have suffered Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) within the fellowship of friends and workers, together with individuals who have been both directly and indirectly impacted by CSA, because we care about CSA and care about the fellowship.
Our objective is to provide information, support and guidance on every aspect of CSA and to support victims of CSA. Our ultimate hope is to encourage change within the fellowship in order to protect others from the devastation that occurs through CSA, especially when its impact is trivialized or ignored.
Through networking with other victims/survivors, we can be more effective agents for change. Through learning that our stories are not isolated, we can become less isolated emotionally which will have an exponential impact on our individual healing processes.
Abuse is made possible by secrecy and shame; healing can be made possible by the honesty, courage, pain and anger, which we can channel toward reaching the following goals:
- To support victims/survivors who were sexually abused within the fellowship.
- To encourage and support the establishment of “church” policies that effectively address the problem of CSA within the fellowship, the healing processes of members as well as victims/survivors and the proper handling of its perpetrators.
- Make it difficult for child sexual abuse perpetrators to operate within the Friends and Workers fellowship by educating members about prevention and protection.
WINGS is focused on the “Truth” fellowship for several reasons:
- CSA has occurred within the fellowship. We care about CSA and we care about the fellowship.
- The fellowship holds in common some unique doctrines and beliefs, often striving to be “different” and set apart.
- The fellowship has isolated itself from the larger community of Christianity which has resulted in a prevailing belief that the Friends and Workers fellowship is not susceptible to abuses plaguing other denominations.
- A typical response is that God will cleanse “His fellowship” in His own time and way and that secular law does not apply.
- The lack of effective administrative procedures for helping primary and secondary victims/survivors heal from abuse within the group.
- The silencing of victims/survivors who are too intimidated and traumatized to speak out publicly about the injustices that they have suffered at the hands of workers, elders and friends.
Ten Child-Saving Questions We Must Ask
- Have we considered what would happen if a child is abused in the fellowship?
- Are we fulfilling our responsibility before God to protect the children of our fellowship from harm?
- Do we understand the legal grounds for reporting abuse?
- Do we understand the benefits of educating ourselves on all matters of child abuse, so as to help prevent it and know how to respond appropriately?
- How should we identify and report incidents of sexual abuse?
- How should we respond to incidents of sexual abuse?
- Are we acting like our fellowship is immune to child sexual abuse?
- How many times must a perpetrator hurt a child before he/she is reported to authorities?
- Should child abusers be allowed to freely remain on convention grounds and sleep in the same dormitories?
- How many more children have to be hurt before an action plan is put in place and followed to deal with the abusers legally and morally?