Sad child at window

Sharing – Similar patterns of behavior emerge in sex abuse scandals

The article below points out a few reasons why we see similar patterns play out in cases of institutional abuse. Things like staff not being educated about it, or the people tasked with investigating claims being long-time friends and peers with the people they are investigating, but this is the one that, for me, is sometimes overlooked.

“Many youth-serving organizations are blessed to be staffed by people with an almost religious faith in the organization’s work. As well-founded as that faith might be, it can also be blinding.”

Look, if you work at a non-profit, you do so for a reason, and that reason is usually tied to the work that the organization does. It’s something you believe in, feel passionate about, and in most cases agree to work for a lower salary to be part of. It’s a massive part of your identity.

Double all of that when the organization works on behalf of kids.

So imagine, if you will, a scenario where you have so much of your own identity tied into the good work done by you and your coworkers, and someone comes along and claims that actually, there are kids being harmed in that environment, not helped at all.

Are we all so sure we wouldn’t at least hesitate and consider for just a moment, that we’d be better off ignoring that and continuing the “good work” on behalf of kids?

I can believe that happens. I can understand how it happens. I can understand how crushing it would be to have something you believed in that strongly, and have part of your team be accused of something so heinous.

But we have to fight that, and make sure that the work we think we are doing on behalf of children, is the whole truth of what is going on in the organization. We cannot afford to lose ourselves, and our better judgment, to our passion for the work. We have to stay level-headed and aware.

Those kids deserve that, and the good work you want your organization to continue doing, requires it.

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