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Small Groups Can Be Safe Havens for Sexual Assault Victims

Three ways to encourage healthy sharing and listening in these settings.
Small Groups Can Be Safe Havens for Sexual Assault Victims
Image: Sean Gladwell / Getty

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), by the time you finish reading this article, two people will have been sexually assaulted in America. We live in a broken world, full of pain and sorrow. As the #MeToo movement has unveiled, there are likely people in our own congregations looking for healing from sexual abuse and a place to be heard. As pastors, we are called to provide safe havens for those who need restoration. Faithfully preaching God’s Word is a major part of that ministry, but it also requires us to create environments where people can be known on a more personal level.

Small groups are a great venue for these life-transforming relationships. It doesn’t matter what you call them—community groups, missional communities, tribes—they are often where people feel they can be most vulnerable and honest. That means we must ensure these spaces are safe environments in which God’s people can come alongside survivors of sexual ...

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