ADVERTISING
 
Monday, February 18   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
Bible literacy
How often do you read the Bible?







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
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
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’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
VIDEO Video
 
In the workshop of cartoonist Alain Auderset In the workshop of cartoonist Alain Auderset

The Swiss-Spanish artist and Evangelical Focus author speaks about how he relates work and faith.

 
Can science explain everything? Can science explain everything?

A debate about science and faith between Oxford Emeritus Professor of Mathematics John Lennox and Oxford Emeritus Professor in Chemistry Peter Atkins. Moderated by journalist Justin Brierley.

 
The gospel in East Ukraine's prisons The gospel in East Ukraine's prisons

Many are coming to Christ in some of the toughest prisons in this troubled part of the country.

 
 
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.