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New Family Policy: Excommunicate Child Abuse Reporters

Posted by on March 15, 2003 at 21:30:14

There is an interesting article on containing the Family's response to some questions asked regarding their policies on child abuse. I am not going to repost the article here but here is an interesting excerpt:

"Concerning the issue of reporting alleged offenses to the authorities, we do not consider it within the jurisdiction of The Family as a religious entity (aka “church”) to undertake the prosecution of members nor is undertaken by any church we know of... We trust that if the parents feel compelled to report the incident to authorities they will do so, and they are completely free to do so providing they step out of Family membership until the matter is resolved. There is an amendment to the charter in regards to this matter that is presently in the works, and a GN in the future, DV. will address this issue.  "

Incredibly, it seems they are stating that their policy is to at least temporarily excommunicate members who decide to report child abuse to the authorities. Thus, in the numerous jurisdictions that have some type of mandatory reporter laws, their policy is to excommunicate members who refuse to commit a crime by not reporting child abuse when the law requires them to do so.

I think it is a reasonable assumption that there are numerous mandatory reporters in the Family and that this group covers not only parents but teachers, child care providers, leaders who provide counselling and advice, etc.

I am not that familiar with mandatory reporter laws in other countries but in the U.S. all 50 states have some type of mandatory reporter laws which are required to receive certain types of federal grants. The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information has a good summary of state mandatory reporter laws at