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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published a new website today aimed at providing help, healing, and protection for victims of abuse and those who want to help prevent abuse.

The release of is timely: October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and worldwide statistics like the following from the World Health Organization are sobering:

  • Twelve percent of children were sexually abused this past year.
  • An estimated one in three women experience physical and/or sexual abuse at some point in their life.
  • Youth violence is the fourth-leading cause of death in young people worldwide.
  • One in four adults were physically abused as children.
  • Sixteen percent of people aged 60 years and older were abused in 2017.

According to the handbook for Church leaders, “The Church’s position is that abuse cannot be tolerated in any form” (Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops [2010], 17.3.2).

The Church’s Newsroom states that not only is the first priority to help the victim and stop the abuse, but the Church also cooperates with law enforcement to report and investigate abuse. “We must do everything we can to protect and love [victims of abuse]. We urge our local leaders and members to reach out to victims, comfort and strengthen them, and help them understand that what happened was wrong, the experience was not their fault, and that it should never happen ever again” (“How the Church Approaches Abuse”).

According to Travis Baer, a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and program manager for LDS Family Services, extends the reach of resources LDS Family Services has provided for decades, which include counseling services to members and families as well as consultation and helpline services to leaders for abuse-related issues.

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