In 2008 Erin Merryn began a journey to get a law mandating child be taught personal body safety in schools. She successfully passed Erin's Law in her home state of Illinois in 2013. She has made it her mission to get Erin's Law passed in all 50 states. Currently, Erin's Law has been passed in 35 states and counting. Her message describes a journey of resilience, inspiration, forgiveness, and determination.
Thank you, Erin, what an incredible mission you are on that is keeping children safer today and in the future too. I must say that when I questioned myself as to whether or not I really want to continue on this quest you inspired me to continue.
Gundersen Nation Child Protection Training Center (Gundersen NCPTC) and its programs, Center for Effective Discipline and Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, work to end all forms of child maltreatment through education, training and prevention, while advocating for and serving children, adult survivors and communities. Gundersen NCPTC prepares current and future child protection professionals to recognize and report the abuse of children. As leaders in the field since 2003, more than 100,000 child protection professionals have been trained in all 50 states and 17 countries on topics pertaining to child abuse investigations, prosecutions and prevention.
Thank you, Victor, for your life's work to raise awareness, education, and abuse prevention advocating for children.
Jeff has pioneered the use of civil litigation to seek justice for survivors of child sexual abuse and is recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms to represent survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
I have long admired Jeff's work to seek justice for survivors (I've never contacted him). Unfortunately almost all organizations will only be moved to protect children from sexual abuse because of lawsuits, payouts and bad media publisty. This is one reason Pilgrim is so special - Pilgrim is protecting children from sexual abuse but did so without being sued.
Pastor Ben Sadler, WELS - This one Pastor provided courage and leadership and everyone followed in keeping WELS children safe from sexual abuse.
The chairman of Freedom for the Captives. We are a part of WELS special ministries. We are hoping to equip churches and schools to prevent child abuse and we want to empower survivors.
This WELS awareness and prevention program is being lead by Pastor Ben Sadler (Link). Pastor Sadler heard a sexual abuse talk by Victor Vieth. From Pastor Sadler “1) One of every four women and one of every six men have been or will be abused. At first, I couldn’t wrap my head around those numbers. That meant that about a quarter of my congregation were probably survivors, as well a quarter of my friends and neighbors, and a quarter of my community. And probably a quarter of you reading this.If those numbers are accurate (and they are probably low), then why is nobody talking about this? Because almost 100 percent of survivors are suffering in silence.”
The WELS are rolling out, in April, “Stand up for Children”.
Pilgrim's Pastor Scott Malme and Principal John Schultz teamed up to provide leadership in implementing, sustaining and later promoting the first LCMS Sexual Abuse Prevention Program and the first LCMS Internet based background checking system. Also mandatory reporting training, Active Shooter Training, CPR, Door Window Policies and others that keep children safe at Pilgrim and are a beacon of light for other LCMS Schools and Churches to follow.
I can not imagine the amount of stress Pastor Malme went thru handling the sexual abuse crisis at Pilgrim. If Pastor Malme was at a Catholic school he would have the resources of the Green Bay Diocese Safe Environment office's and it's director that is a sexual abuse expert to guide him thru this crisis. Almost all institutions sweep sexual abuse under the rug and move on without addressing why a molester was able to abuse at there facility and make the necessary changes to prevent or stop future sexual abuses.
Principal John Schultz had 37 years of service as a LCMS Teacher and/or Principal when he started Pilgrim. I was simply amazed with the energy to implement a Sexual Abuse Prevention Program and all of the other safety implementations at Pilgrim. One gift that John is blessed with is crafting policies. I can see many of John's policies should be reviewed to become standardized resources for LCMS schools.
Northern Wisconsin District's (NWD) DJ Schult who took a chance on me and allowed me the opportunity to advocate for keeping LCMS children safe at a NWD Principal's seminar and again at a neighboring District seminar with National LCMS administration present too. Thank You DJ, LCMS children are safer in you District because of your work addressing child safety - you are Amazing! DJ, the end results will be worth the messy work. We work not for the man but for the Lord. - Derek
Rev. Dr. Donald G. Miles
Pastor Miles thank you so much for your support and continued support to this victim and now survivor. You have courageously made your story public in an effort shine the light on this problem that is unfortunately in every religion. I believe your story illustrates the need for the National LCMS to hire an inhouse Sexual Abuse Expert. Our District Presidents, our school administrator, our church administrators, our paid staff, our volunteers, our families, but most importantly our children need this! You are Amazing!
Victoria Moore, My sister - Vicky works for the Department of Child and Family Services. To go into a dangerous situation with no backup and a plastic badge and check on or remove children from a dangerous situation takes some sort of courage that I can not imagine. You are Amazing, little sis!
Work in Progress