Safeguarding is a fundamental aspect of any ministry, especially a Women’s Theology Group. So many stories about women in the Bible explicitly refer to rape, abuse and murder. Women may disclose a safeguarding issue in the context of these groups and so it is essential that you know who your safeguarding officer is and always report whatever is disclosed.
Please take any safeguarding training offered by your church, and remember some very important points:
• Be alert to anything which sounds like a disclosure. Even if you think it has been reported before, report it anyway
• Never promise you can keep a disclosure secret
• If someone is in immediate danger, whether an adult or a child, call 999 without delay
• Always write down what you have been told as soon as possible
• Always refer it up to your safeguarding officer or minister. If the report is about them, contact your diocesan/circuit safeguarding officer
The Church of England website contains more advice and links.
We all share in responsibility for safeguarding and must work together to make the church safe.