Make Kansas Clergy Mandate Reporters regarding Child Sex Crime and Abuse!!!
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We are putting this petition together to have a law made making ALL Kansas clergy mandate reporters of Sexual abuse and abuse in general of a child. It's time to stop silencing a child's voice. It's time for churches to understand and realize they are not above the law.
Here is our story and our petition to help stop this from Happening again.
How many of you are aware that Clergy are NOT mandated reporters in the state of Kansas?
We are sharing Sheldons story to help raise awareness and help stop this from happening to any other family.
Unfortunately, we found out through a very difficult situation that ministers in the State of Kansas are not mandated reports. In December of 2017 our 10-year-old son came forward and told my husband and I that he was sexually abused in our church during an overnight stay in October inclusive of a few other incidences in our home. The incidences included various forms of rape and sodomy of my 10-year-old son by older boys.
After falling apart and talking with my husband during this gut-wrenching vulnerable time, the plan was to report it to our church leaders to give them a warning first and then to the police next. We felt if we went to our church leaders first then they would go with us as support to the police especially after hearing the horrors of my son’s story.
However, this is not what happened… The church leaders asked us to wait 24 hours, so they could pray and come up with a plan on how to handle the situation asking us to speak to no one regarding this matter. Not knowing how to handle this situation while feeling lost and uncertain during this time we agreed. After 24 hours instead of being met with a plan of action on how to move forward regarding my son’s molestation, a text was sent to us telling us we were to meet with the leadership and the families that Sunday after church. By this time, we realized that the leadership instead of supporting us within the legal avenues they were wanting control of the situation. Therefore, we felt the need and were compelled to go to the police ourselves and take care of the situation in a legal fashion.
We went to the leadership on a Thursday night and ended up calling the police by Friday night. My son ended up going to Children’s Mercy for a rape kit and blood tests on Saturday as advised by the police and hospital. Later on we found out that if we had waited much later to report this and to do the rape kit that after midnight of that Saturday the results would not have been admissible in court. That evidence was hours away from not being able to be used in court if we had waited until we met on Sunday to meet with the families and listened to the leadership. Consequently. time is of the essence in these types of situations on when things need to be reported not only so they can be used in court but in order to stop these crimes from reoccurring.
Therefore, it is very pertinent that ministers are mandated reporters. While my husband and I were talking to the detective after our son gave his statement the detective shared his own frustrations with clergy not being mandated reporters. The detective commented that the police get so frustrated during these situations because the churches want to handle molestations in-house which have prevented getting justice for the children such as in the case of the Catholic churches. A lot of times the perpetrators and victim do not get the help they need, and the crimes carry on damaging countless lives. Right now, about half the states have laws stating clergy are mandated reporters, therefore we need to get more effective laws passed to protect our children beginning with Kansas.
Therefore, Larry and I are asking for your help which the first step is to sign the petition yourselves which is shown on the link on the bottom.
The second step is to create an awareness of the need for mandated reporting by everyone. Please let your pastor know about the petition and have them sign it as well. In addition, We would appreciate the opportunity to talk about this before congregations or groups to make our son’s story known to help propel a clergy mandated reporting law into existence. The goal is to have at least 5,000 signatures by December before we go present the law to state legislation of January 14, 2019. Please help make an impact on children’s lives!
How many times have children gone unheard simply because the church keeps it hidden or tries to handle things "internally"?
We are telling Sheldons story not to gain attention or fame but to raise awareness about how close to home the threat can be. How often abuse in the church goes undealt with and the trauma and longterm damage that results from it.
Sheldon coming forward sadly doesn't happen in most cases. A staggering 60% of kids who are sexualy molested don't ever come forward.
We could have just fallen apart completely and lost our faith and blamed God, but we didn't. Instead we are starting Kids Voice Ministries and Kids Voice Kansas To empower children to speak up and to believe that someone does indeed care and will believe them and most importantly STOP the abuse. Even in the church.
Our other mission and focus is educating churches and the religious sec on children's rights and how devastating it is when you cover up or down grade what has been done to a child.
Pray that God will work through us to help stop the suffering and free children from the chains of sexual abuse and that their voice WILL be heard!!!
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