Protection of Minors: understanding survivors and perpetrators

UISG Workshop 2018

Protection of Minors: understanding  survivors and  perpetrators (download the programme)

September 11 – 12, 2018 – 9.30am – 4.00pm

Registration online: click here

Day 1
Developing a culture of safeguarding in education and formation
Day 2
Frameworks for understanding survivors and perpetrators

Members of religious orders, societies of apostolic life, and institutes of consecrated life, since their inception and with their unique charism, have responded to the mission of bringing the light of the Gospel to all persons in all human realities of each societal period after the time of Christ. While the good news of great joy is always the same yet very much alive, and faith is always a gift of grace, the human dimension of the faith response has involved a development of different methods of delivery of the Gospel message according to what effectively engages the human capacities to receive, internalize, and live the Good News. These human capacities have continued to evolve throughout human history with the continual development of human technologies for understanding and engaging life and reality, and each period of history after the early Church has emphasized different human needs, capacities, and ways of engaging reality. Accordingly, each period after Christ has seen the Holy Spirit’s inspiration of new charisms and initiatives, and the modification, discarding, or retention of existing formation and ministry structures according to their ability to help people of each period receive and live by the same, living Gospel of Christ amid the different human needs that were emphasized and different ways that life and reality were engaged in each period.

In the 21st century, the human person is presented with a new environment of rapidly developing digital communication and computing technologies that is facilitating societal changes in how we understand the ourselves and live life in its various dimensions: bio-psycho-socio-anthro-affective-sexual-political-economic-occupational-ecological-intellectual-moral-spiritual. The technological changes of today have already yielded many benefits to humanity but have also presented serious challenges to integral human development. Indeed, one may discern a tension between these changes and our attempts to engage the basic sources of human happiness which remain unchanged, such as love, work, freedom, responsibility, service, hope, faith. It is within this new environment and tension that consecrated women and men are being called to embrace freely and fully the mission of proactively safeguarding the dignity of all persons and their vocation to union with God by utilizing best practices offered by the human arts and sciences and the Church’s spiritual traditions for understanding, intervening, and preventing abuse and violence. The safeguarding mission is proactive because all efforts of understanding, intervening in, and preventing abuse are located within an overarching perspective of a relationally safe self, lived-out in a relationally safe community, missioned in a relationally safe ministry, based on the humanity of Christ as the model for self-identity and relational safety.

The following two-day workshop offers participants an opportunity to understand better and reflect on how to improve or strengthen their personal, community, formation, or ministry perspectives and practices in light of a safeguarding perspective of contemporary challenges to formation and ministry.

Day 1: Developing a culture of safeguarding in education and formation

On Day 1, participants will engage several among the major contemporary realities that challenge the integral human development and formation of today’s youth and young adults. The methods for engagement include a combination of didactic input, expressive arts exercises, personal and small group reflection and discussion, and large group sharing of insights and questions. Using these methods, participants will have the opportunity to understand and analyze how present realities affect adolescents, young adults, and religious women and men in various action ministries, and begin to reflect on practical steps to be taken regarding customs, practices, and structures of education, formation, and community life that need to be created, modified, discarded, or retained in order provide victims first, transparent, zero-tolerance safe formation and ministry environments in which all persons may trust and draw close to God.

What are the contemporary challenges to the formation of a relationally safe self, safe community, and safe ministry? What are the implications of these challenges for how we receive and listen to victims/survivors of abuse, to our youth or formandi? How can these challenges be engaged fruitfully from the perspectives of safeguarding in formation and safeguarding in ministry?

Day 2: Frameworks for understanding victims/survivors and perpetrators

On Day 2, basic frameworks for understanding and responding to survivors and perpetrators of abuse of minors and adults will be presented, particularly sexual abuse. Participants will be invited to use these basic frameworks to reflect on and discuss their personal, communal, and institutional responses to survivors, those accused, and perpetrators of abuse. Participants will also be invited to reflect on and discuss how they may begin or continue to improve and strengthen their personal, communal, and institutional responses to survivors, accused, and perpetrators of abuse.

Register here


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