Pamphlets list ways to detect, respond to abuse

Two pamphlets, "Preventing and Responding to Spouse Abuse" and "Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse," have been published by the Church and are available to bishops and branch presidents through the Church Distribution Center.

Members who need the pamphlets can obtain them through their bishops or branch presidents.A letter to Church leaders accompanying the pamphlets states: "We continue to be concerned about the destructive effects of abuse. We again urge priesthood leaders to work closely with persons and families who are affected by this evil."

The pamphlet on child abuse explains: "Child abuse is wrongly or improperly treating a child in a way that causes injury or serious offense. It is an evil alluded to by the Savior when He warned: `But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.' (Matt. 18:6.)

"Child abuse can take many forms. Some abuse may be inadvertent or unknowing. Some is intentional, vicious and predatory. Even older children can be victims. All child abuse is wrong. It harms families. In any form it is tragic and in opposition to the teachings of the Savior."

The pamphlet on spouse abuse explains that "spouse abuse is wrongfully or improperly treating a wife or husband in a way that causes injury or serious offense. It is a term used to describe the failure of husbands and wives to love one another `even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it' (Eph. 5:25). Spouse abuse can take many forms. . . ."

Both pamphlets note that "to keep the abuse a secret often allows it to continue. Most repeat offenders have difficulty changing until they experience the full consequences of their actions. When family members or others are aware of abuse in the family, they should contact their bishop for counsel and assistance."

The pamphlet lists ways to detect abuse, to prevent abuse, help children protect themselves, and respond when abuse has been reported.

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed