ADVERTISING
 
Thursday, April 26   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
State and Religion
Should religious symbols be displayed in buildings of the public administration?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Child abuse
 

“The Church cannot be unaware of a problem that also occurs among Christian families”

Family therapist and pastor Marcos Zapata analyzes othe effects of child abuse and the role of the churches in its prevention.

SOURCES Protestante Digital AUTHOR Evangelical Focus TRANSLATOR Belén Díaz LUGO 15 JANUARY 2015 22:45 h GMT+1

Child abuse is a taboo topic in our society, and in the evangelical churches too, but the church cannot be unaware of a problem that also takes place among Christian families.



That is what Marcos Zapata, evangelical pastor of Buenas Noticias church in Lugo, Spain, and a family therapist, with a large experience in dealing with child abuse cases, expressed in an interview with the Spanish online newspaper Protestante Digital.



“It is necessary to make visible what is invisible“, explained Zapata. There is a lot of silence around this issue because “it is a very difficult topic”, and we usually do no want to think about it,but it is something that many people suffer in their childhood.



“It is estimated, said Zapata, that only 2% of the cases are known, but child abuse can affect 20% of the population. It is a very important problem because, besides that little percentage of cases reported, only 15% of the victims denounce the abuse”.



This silence conditions victims´s lives: “it is a shameful situation for the families, so that they do not denounce, but they do no realize the psychological and relational problems that that could bring”, explained Zapata.



 



DIFFERENT KINDS OF ABUSE



According to the experts, there are different types of sexual abuse, apart from a physical action. “Exhibitionism, child sexual exploitation, or when the children are force to make sexual touchings, all that is considered sexual abuse”, detailed Zapata.



The online sexual abuse is growing so much nowadays. “There is a traumatic erotization when a child is exposed to an erotic situation before he can process it adequately”. Pornography and it easy access through the new technologies is another problem for this erotization.



Another kind of abuse takes place when adults seduce children to sexually interact with them. It is always a “relation of power” between the abuser and the minor.



Economic problems or social status are not conditions that favor the child sexual abuse.“There are less reports among rich people, but not less abuse”, affirmed Zapata. Being a believer does not prevent us from suffering abuse: “It happens in catholic, evangelical and atheist homes”, explained the pastor.



“As a pastor, I have intervened in cases of children abused within the evangelical community, and that is very sad. Some months ago, Billy Graham´s grandson said that the hiding of the sexual abuse in the churches is a great problem”, remembered Zapata.



One of the hardest realities that the abused minors have to face, it is the fact that most of the abusers are people they trust. “It is estimated that 75% of the cases occur in intimate, safe and trusting environments”, explained Zapata.



 



DETECTING THE ABUSE



Most of the children who suffer abuse, hide it ”for many different reasons”, so it is really hard for parents and others in the child environment, to detect it.



There is not a specific type of abuser, but “they are usually an authority figure for the children. They are caring, manipulative, and they usually count with the parent´s favor. They use seduction more than force. If they are parents who abused their children, they will abuse their grandchildren too”, added the pastor



The children´s behavior can help us to detect a possible abuse: ”children with a low self- steem, that look for affection everywhere; children with a lack of assertiveness an a passive attitude”, explained Zapata.



 



TRYING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM



According to Marcos Zapata,there are two ways to face the abuse: “When a family knows the abuse and decides to silence it, the home becomes an inferno filled of submissive people who suppress their emotions”.



The other option, emphasized Zapata, “it is the breakup and it requires to report the abuse. There is suffering,but, at the end, the children are healthier”.



The previous denunciation is critical for Zapata: ”I dealt with 3 cases this year, in the cases with a report, the children have normal lives right now”.



 



RESOURCES FOR THE CHURCH



The Family Commission of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, is working on a Pastoral Guide against sexual abuse that will be available for all the church very soon. Zapata hoped that this guide will help the church to take a step forward in the prevention of this big social problem.



“I want our churches to be able to prevent it, to talk and to teach our children about it. We need to learn how to work with those who have suffered abused”, said Zapata to Protestante Digital. He was the coordinator of the Pastoral Guide against gender violence in 2011.



Marcos Zapata remembered that “it is possible to work with people who have suffered abuse, but only if they report it”, and he warned: “It is a huge mistake no to denounce, because the report protects our children, it helps the child to understand that he is a victim”.



The faith plays an important role in these situations: “I have seen reconciliation inside the church, daughters who confronted their fathers and they started recovery programs”, because: “there is restoration at the foot of the cross, when there is a real repentance, when the abuser realized all the evil he has made and he loathes what God loathes”.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - “The Church cannot be unaware of a problem that also occurs among Christian families”
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Why are Christian leaders particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation? Why are Christian leaders particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation?

“The reasons why somebody might have sex with a prostitute are very different from the reasons why somebody might want to have an affair with a member of their congregation”. An analysis by John Stevens, National Director of FIEC (UK).

 
Be safe on social media Be safe on social media

A video about the way traffickers target teenage girls online, produced by anti-slavery gorup Abolishion.

 
In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.