I lived in SoCal for 16 years, and now live in a much nicer climate - imho - western Washington! But we are a little far from the action here!
George, you and I are well aware of the concept of “mandated reporters”. But only in about 30 states are pastors considered “mandated reporters”, when it comes to juveniles, much like teachers and healthcare workers. California is one of those 30.
On one hand, there is no “handling” of sexual abuse by the brethren. On the other hand, at least in CA, clergy’s responsibility to report is a bit more murky compared to school officials or healthcare workers.
I would guess that a good many pastors (of any faith) may be unaware of their duty to report (where mandated) the abuse of a minor. I’d even guess that a very few may even think that “man’s law” does not apply to ministers. Both would be in for a very rude awakening. County lockup is not a place you’d want to be if charged with somehow contributing to the abuse of a child.
Editors: I can’t remember if posting a hyperlink on this forum is permitted. I seem to think it is not permitted. If it is OK, I’ll edit this post to include a link to a CA sponsored 2-hour training module for clergy regarding the reporting of abuse of a minor.
Last year as head elder I presented a video from EndItNow in our local church with discussion afterwards. It was well received by some but others thought this topic of domestic abuse had no place in the church. Our local conference leadership does not appear to have an effective way to deal with this important matter. I do not think our church generally speaking is proactive and thus when it comes to abuse it is a mostly a talking point for some. The masses in our churches would rather this elephant in the room be ignored and don’t care if many of our churches are unsafe places to be. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
"See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."
Sadly enough…even with this “strategy”…the horrible evil exists. Many people in churches would rather sit in pews, give tithes and offerings, do social events and potlucks, then have to deal with sensitive issues such as abuse. It easier to turn a blind eye.