What Missionaries Ought to know about Sexual Abuse

  • Approximate Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Partner: MissionaryCare.com

What Missionaries Ought to know… does not mean that the author sat down and decided what missionaries ought to know, but that missionaries themselves asked about these topics. During the author’s 35 years of college teaching he learned that if one person asks a question, others probably want to know the same thing—and if two people ask, it was certainly a topic that others need to know about. These are things missionaries need to know because several missionaries have asked about each of them at one time or another.

To read more from the What Missionaries Ought to Know series

Partner: MissionaryCare.com

Resource Description


We all wish it did not occur, and we avoid talking about it as if it never happens. However the fact is that, like other children, missionary kids (MKs) are sometimes sexually abused. In some cases MKs may be in even more danger of sexual abuse (such as being touched or touching inappropriately, being shown pornography, having intercourse, etc.). If parents are frequently absent, leaving their children with other missionaries, and telling their children to respect and obey the other adults as they would their own parents, those children are put under the authority of a greater spectrum of adults, increasing their opportunity to run into an abuser. If the parents have not had an open attitude about the discussion of sexuality, their MKs may believe a perpetrator whom they know well when that abuser tells them some activity is all right. Let’s consider where sexual abuse can occur, what are some signs of sexual abuse, and what we can do to prevent it. (Note that we are talking about sexual abuse involving an older person, not curiosity about sexual differences between children of about the same age.)


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