Resources for Identifying, Preventing and Responding to Abuse

Table of Contents

The following resources aim to help adults and parents better understand how to talk with children about abuse, and gain insights on sexual abuse (particularly child sexual abuse), grooming, and abuse within a church context.

Please note that the opinions expressed in these resources do not necessarily reflect those of our Diocese. We encourage you to use discernment as you interact with them.

Talking to Your Children About Abuse

The resources below are taken from the organization Darkness to Light and their training curriculum Stewards of Children.

Online Training: 

Last fall Advocate Aurora Health offered two training workshops for any and all adults in our church to help prevent child sexual abuse. This free virtual training provided adults with: 

  • Knowledge to recognize the signs of child sexual abuse
  • Guidance to know how to react if someone discloses they are abused
  • Empowerment to take actions that will help prevent child sexual abuse

We are exploring offering more training workshops in the future.

Resources for Children: 

Recognizing Signs of Abuse in Children

  • If You Suspect a Child is Being Harmed: This article helps identify possible signs of a child that has been abused, and gives specific advice for how to talk with a child about possible abuse and instructions for what to do next.
  • How to Spot Sexual Abuse in Your Church: This article discusses the dynamics and nature of sexual abuse, and recognizing the signs of grooming or predatory behavior. Please note that this article includes non-detailed descriptions of abuse which may be disturbing to some readers.
  • How to Spot a Predator: One Church’s Story: This article includes a list of red-flag behaviors and why preventative training for church volunteers, parents, and leaders is essential. 

Abuse and the Church

  • GRACE: Resources: This web page hosts a variety of helpful resources with the mission “to empower Christian communities to recognize, prevent, and respond to abuse.” Resources include interviews, videos, and articles on topics such as the impacts of abuse, best reporting practices, and advice for Christian families.
  • Interview With Boz Tchividjan: Boz Tchividjan has a background as a prosecutor and victim protection advocate; in this interview, he share his thoughts on preventing and handling sexual abuse in evangelical churches and contexts.


Caring for Survivors

Local Trauma-informed Therapists:

  • Deb Nickerson & Associates: Dr. Nickerson’s practice focuses specifically on sexual abuse trauma and includes seven therapists trained in working with children and teenagers
  • Trudy Walk, LCPC, LMFT: 630-653-5540 (Wheaton)
  • Carol Schwerha, Psy.D.: 630-563-0044 (Hinsdale)
  • YWCA – Glen Ellyn: 630-790-6600 (Glen Ellyn)

Are you a victim of sexual abuse? 

  • If you are in immediate danger, please consider calling the police or enacting a safety plan.
  • We also encourage you to contact RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. 
  • If you feel comfortable talking to one of our pastors, we would be glad to walk with you.
  • You can contact our Pastoral Care Pastor Meghan Robins at
  • We also partner with FOCUS Ministries, a local support organization for women and families struggling with various forms of abuse.