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.
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. Read more about us here.
Another website Breaking the Silence provides a message forum for:
- People who have been sexually abused as children
- People supporting those who have been abused
- People seeking to rid the church of abuse
Private sections of the forum are restricted to those who have suffered sexual abuse as children.
WINGS is also on Facebook
Although the Wings web site is focused on prevention and treatment of Child Sexual Abuse, we also recognise that physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect are also wrong and incredibly damaging to children. We support every effort to stop all child abuse.
If you have been abused, or if you know someone else who has been abused, then you are empowered by the law, attitudes of society and by members of the fellowship to ‘break the silence.’ Speak out for your own healing and so other victims can be supported, perpetrators can be held accountable, and potential future cases prevented.
Your first steps can include confiding in a trusted friend or family member, contacting police, and lodging a confidential report on the Confidential Submission page.
This site provides some resources to help your journey of healing, but it is recognized that professional support and counselling may be required in many cases.
More than 20 stories from survivors have been posted on the Breaking the Silence forum.
A court case in Michigan USA illustrates the importance of complying with legal requirements and notifying the authorities of any instances of suspected abuse. The Michigan Child Protection Law was amended in 2002, effective 2003, to require mandatory reporting by clergy but this was not widely known. In 2011, the overseer for the area, Jerome Frandle, was arrested and charged that he “did knowingly fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect.”
Jerome’s attorney filed a ”motion to dismiss.” During that hearing the Court found that “Mr Frandle is a member of the clergy as defined by the statute.” The State of Michigan initially dropped the substantive case but during a further hearing on May 2013 Mr Frandle pleaded no contest to a charge of failing to report abuse and was sentenced to 4 days jail, a fine of $733 and 100 hours of community service. Court documents are available here and the final newspaper report here.
Read the CSA Code of Conduct and discuss it with your fellow workers. It has been developed with the support of workers and members of the fellowship to
- Reduce the potential for child sexual abuse (CSA);
- Establish accepted processes to follow when there are allegations of child sexual abuse;
- Reduce the potential for false CSA allegations against workers; and
- Promote cooperative relationships with, and attitudes toward, law enforcement agencies, including the criminal justice and child protection systems.
It was not known if this Code has been approved or adopted by any overseer, when WINGS published the Code. We understand that guidelines have been issued in South Australia / Northern Territory and by Dale Schulz and Alan Richardson in their fields. In the absence of any statement from other overseers, this Code exists as a guide to good practice for all friends and workers.
You should consider undertaking the Ministry Safe training course which has been implemented by several overseers.
This site may help you understand the terrible personal damage caused by CSA and what needs to be done to rid the fellowship of this curse. Read the CSA Code of Conduct and discuss it with your local workers. Voice your commitment to ridding the ministry and fellowship of CSA and to helping victims on the path to healing. Teach your children to say NO to inappropriate behavior and to report it to you. Learn how to respond to CSA disclosures from a child or adult.
Use links on the Resources page to ensure your children are educated to say NO and to talk to you if they are exposed to a potentially harmful situation.
We urge you to read through this website so YOU may have the knowledge to do the right thing