If we keep up the old idea that it is “youth protection”, we fail to realize the depth of the challenge.

Protecting youth from sexual and other abuse is a critical mission for those who serve youth. The harms done go far beyond the moment. Trust and hope are destroyed. Spiritual harm is a seldom recognized consequence. We have an obligation to follow practices that prevent the opportunity for abuse before it happens.

It is also adult protection. When we prevent situations where abuse could happen, we also avoid the impression that something could have happened. Adults need protection from accusations. But there is only one way to do that. Do not be in situations where abuse could happen to start with. We trust victims and should. So stay away from the possibility.

Those who serve in organizations carry the standard of the organization with or without a specific position. Abuse reflects on the organization rather the organization was able to stop it or not. All organizations will be eventually held to the standard of protection.

Historical service is being held to today’s standard. Think about the long future as you act. It will impact the youth, adults, and organizations.

It is time to start recognizing a simple truth.

It is Youth, Adult, and Organization Protection.

Published by Steven Scheid

Dir. Center for Scouting Ministries

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