childrens hands big reversed and cropped

This year marks the beginning of an important movement to protect children from abuse and neglect that is enabled by ideology. And the most important players are faith communities that are ready to be role models in child protection.

The Child-Friendly Faith Project has just launched the pilot phase of its hallmark program: the Child-Friendly Faith Communities Designation Program. It’s one of the ways we are carrying out our mission to partner with faith communities to protect children from maltreatment that occurs in certain religious and cultural settings.

What is the Child-Friendly Faith Communities Designation Program? This unique educational program provides religious organizations the tools they need to ensure that:

  • they are providing a safe environment for children;
  • that they are meeting children’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs;
  • that they have in place effective child abuse prevention policies;
  • and that they are well prepared to respond to cases of abuse and neglect should they arise.

Who benefits? Ultimately, it’s children who reap the rewards when their faith communities participate in the Designation Program. But grownups benefit too. Staff receive valuable training that covers such topics as child development, maltreatment, and protection. Also, participating organizations have a chance to grow their memberships. Once a church, synagogue, mosque or any faith-based organization completes the program, it is designated as a Child-Friendly Faith Community. This designation offers opportunities for it to be widely promoted as a role model in child protection, something that will appeal to many people looking to join a faith community!

Experts of high-control groups: Steven Hassan, David Clark, and Stephen Kent, and Janet Heimlich

I first spoke about this idea earlier in the summer at the International Cultic Studies Association conference in Stockholm, Sweden whose theme was “children in high-control groups.” There, speaking to experts and survivors of religious child maltreatment, I laid out this idea of partnering with faith communities toward ending harmful childrearing practices in authoritarian communities. To show how this approach has worked before, I described how Christian missionaries from the UK helped to bring about an end the abusive practice of binding girls’ feet in China.

Where do we see all of this going? Quite simply, we are setting in motion a Child-Friendly Faith movement in which faith communities pledge to learn how to meet children’s needs in a holistic way and lend their assistance in teaching other faith communities these tools. Eventually, we envision a cultural landscape in which all religious organizations and places of worship are Child-Friendly Faith Communities.

I’m pleased to say that my talk in Stockholm went over extraordinarily well! Audience members were excited about an opportunity that promised longterm change. Some saw this as a great chance for faith communities to improve their public image, as well as a way for them to become “beacons” for parents and others who are looking to join a place of worship that truly understands children’s needs.

How can your faith community get involved? We’re excited to announce that a pilot version of the Designation Program is underway! And we’e looking for more sites that would like to participate. If you would like to receive more information, please click here or send us an email.

How else can I help? For starters, join the discussion by leaving a comment below or clicking on our social media links. Also, we would be grateful for a donation so that we can complete development of the program and make it available to all faith communities interested at no charge. By clicking here, you can direct your financial contribution specifically to the Child-Friendly Faith Communities Designation Program.

Thank you for being a part of the Child-Friendly Faith movement, and we look forward to you getting in touch.

The Child-Friendly Faith Project

Janet Heimlich is the founder of the Child-Friendly Faith Project, a national, nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity that raises awareness of religious child maltreatment. Ms. Heimlich is also an award-winning journalist and the author of "Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment" (Prometheus Books), the first book to take an in-depth look at child abuse and neglect that is enabled by religious belief. For eight years, Janet freelanced as a reporter for National Public Radio. She also writes non-fiction articles for such publications as Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, and the Texas Observer. Janet has won nine journalism awards, including the Dallas Press Club’s Katie, the Houston Press Club’s “Radio Journalist of the Year,” and the Texas Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Janet received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in English from Stanford University in 1984.


  1. michelle dwarika
    October 3, 2015

    I know that once there is a need to protect children it a God given gift

  2. ree
    November 29, 2015

    protest! against Halo company selling oranges
    Child abuse in their tv Ad !

    just fyi there is a company airing a tv commercial
    that shows a Baby Duct taped by arms n legs
    to a Door. how is this ad allowed by
    censors ?!

    the baby kicks its feet
    in distess trying to get free of Tape !

    Halo tv ad is Not funny ! its
    wrong & also sends dignal to
    pedophiles & psychopaths that its ok
    duct tape a baby to a door !

    very bad.

    this is an -orange –company named ” halo”
    my friends & i will Boycott HALO oranges

    this tv ad video can be viewed
    on the halo
    website . they must b “proud” of it

  3. February 3, 2016

    i dislike child abuse and thats why i am doing an essay about ways to stop child abuse and should parent get punished for child abuse.

    • February 10, 2016

      Thank you for your advocacy, Piper!

    • leannna
      March 14, 2016

      what do you think a good argument would be on child abuse?

  4. Rachael
    February 11, 2016

    What breaks my heart is that children have no way of defending themselves against a much stronger adult. They are helpless, scared and desperate for anyone to intervene. Most children just want to be loved and protected.

    • Paul Marvin McLaughlin says

      Education of ways to educate others of what a person should do in a positive ways if survived from childhood abuse. Here is an example:
      “I Was Loved In The Midst Of Suffering”

      Time Capsule in 2047 in Eugene, Oregon for a handicapped and survivor at:

      Newspaper at:

      Stop Child Abuse NOW! 1975 – 2013 from Donora, (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania to Portland & Eugene, Oregon by a survivor and handicapped – Paul Marvin McLaughlin:
      Learn what Paul been doing in his community of bringing peace to children lives from childhood abuse. Radio, television commercial, non-profit fund raising for abused children, over 10 talk radio program, 2 magazine articles, and “The Child Abuse Man” true life story in the “Register-Guard” newspaper by Eric Mortenson in Eugene, Oregon.
      See this web page on computer for over 25 years. In the year of 2047, “Time Capsule” will be open in Eugene, Oregon and Paul’s story will continue. See all of this at:

      Paul Marvin McLaughlin
      Stop Child Abuse NOW!
      3220 Crescent Ave. #28
      Eugene, Oregon 97408

  5. Stop Child Abuse NOW! 1975 – 2013 from Donora, (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania to Portland & Eugene, Oregon by a survivor and handicapped – Paul Marvin McLaughlin:

    Handicapped and Survivor from over 18 years of severe childhood abuse. At a few months old at birth and again at the age of 5 years old, Paul almost lost his life from childhood abuse and made Paul into a slow learner. Paul graduated from Donora, Pennsylvania Ringgold School District in 1970 and drafted into the army at Fort Dix, New Jersey to Fort Lewis, Washington and moved to Portland, Oregon. Began his One Man Campaign on Stop Child Abuse NOW!, in 1974. Paul’s twin sister, Paula McLaughlin graduated in 1967 and moved away from the abusive mother. Paula moved to McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Paula, passed away on August 27, 2007 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania at the age of 59 from Kidney Stones. Paul and Paula born on October 13, 1948 in Donora, Pennsylvania. Paula have 2 sons and one daughter and did NOT abuse her children. Paul is a handicapped and can not make children. Paul and Paula severely abused and the older brother and sister was not abused at all and they did not seek help for Paul and Paula.

    Learn what Paul been doing in his community of bringing peace to children lives from childhood abuse. Radio, television commercial, non-profit fund raising for abused children, over 10 talk radio program, 2 magazine articles, and “The Child Abuse Man” true life story in the “Register-Guard” newspaper by Eric Mortenson in Eugene, Oregon.
    See this web page on computer for over 25 years. In the year of 2047, “Time Capsule” will be open in Eugene, Oregon and Paul’s story will continue. See all of this at:

    Paul Marvin McLaughlin
    Stop Child Abuse NOW!
    3220 Crescent Ave. #28
    Eugene, Oregon 97408

    Stop Child Abuse Now!
    He’s the one who delivers hope. Others have benefited from funds he has raised for child abuse programs.
    S.C.A.N. is a voice on behalf of Pennsylvania, Washington, and Oregon’s children. An advocate for children and families in the legislature, the media, and in local communities.
    Stop Child Abuse Now is a nonprofit organization dedicated to stopping child abuse of all forms, and improving the lives of survivors of all types of abuse and loss.

    By speaking out about abuse, we increase the public’s awareness of the prevalence of abuse. Our voices break the silence which causes so much pain. When we speak out, we help save the lives abused children, and we also help many adult survivors name the source of chaos in their lives. Through awareness and education, survivors can regain control over their lives, learn healthy assertiveness, learn to develop boundaries and prevent re-victimization.

    Our goal is to join with other organizations and individuals who wish to ultimately put a stop to child abuse! We are speaking out for for the children who have no voice, who have no choice and who have no way of stopping the violence! We are stepping stones to help, and we are trying to wake up the world! .

    “Our Children are OUR Future, but their well-being in our society continues to decline. The Health and Safety of our children is EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY.
    PLEASE HELP ENSURE HEALTHY, SAFE CHILDREN IN OUR COMMUNITY BY TAKING positive ACTION AS AN INDIVIDUAL, GROUP OR BUSINESS.” (c) 1985 by Paul Marvin McLaughlin and his public speeches at “Franklin High School” in Portland, Oregon.

  6. Harrison Ray
    May 30, 2016

    I hate child abuse!! – So I’m finding ways to defend child abuse!!!!!

  7. Petunia halo oranges
    June 13, 2016

    I don’t like this

  8. sonya
    August 23, 2016

    i sow a lady with bond hair and blue eyes hit my friends 6 year old daughter across the cheek and on the head it left a huge search on her head and cheek

    • August 23, 2016

      Sonya, it is very important that anyone who witnesses or suspects abuse or neglect reports it! The national child abuse hotline is 1-800-422-4453. Also, please visit this page:
      Thank you for caring,
      Jan Heimlich

  9. September 1, 2016

    “I Was Loved In The Midst Of Suffering”. True life story of an abused child who became a hero for many abused children. God had used Paul Marvin McLaughlin as a tool for many christian. Paul says: Why can’t we put God’s Words into action to help and to heal those who are suffering? Words of the bible is good. However, we all must learn to put those words into action just as Jesus did to heal, help, work, to help people and children.
    Miracles happen when putting words into positive works True Life Christian testimony. One of many short testimony about Paul and helping people and children. You will not see this in your community.
    Paul Marvin McLaughlin

    If you know any children who is being abused. Report it to the police department of children services in your community. Speak up on that horrible topic. Children will be saved. I know, I been doing this on my own. I believe God has put me on this earth to suffer and than to help those in need of help if abused. My true life story been told since 1975. Please see this history page on computer since 1980’s and see the photos of this One Man Campaign on Stop Child Abuse NOW!. See the ‘christian web page of testimony of how GOD has used me to help children. I’m a handicapped from over 20 years of childhood abuse and I was so afraid to speak up because of fear of being abused again. God taught me to learn to heal myself from suffering and to forgive those who has done wrong in their life.
    I got drafted into the army (Donora, Pennsylvania — Pittsburgh) and I cheated to get into the army by cheating on a written test. I wanted my freedom, but the suffering continues when I went into the military. The large deep scars on my face, scalp, memory, mind has done a lot of damage and I wanted to get revenge. Revenge came to be A POSITIVE REVENGE. I’m a handicapped and I did something in my life to help correct the horrible life that children are suffering from their abuser. I was taught at young age that the parents who abuse their children were abuse also. THAT IS NOT TRUE. I learned by asking questions and parents have a good childhood life until something bad goes wrong in their life. They take their anger out onto little children because of the freedom of behaving in a bad matter.
    I pray and I pray. I’m not an expert. But the work that GOD had given to me has help me to heal myself. I wish that I can continue to tell my life story , but that will be impossible and that is one reason for my web page. I was told my story will be told again in the year 2047 in Eugene, Oregon. The horrible life I had and the works of a GOD of helping children to not to do anything bad to other children. God had used me and even today, I continue to speak out. I just don’t understand of why?? There has to be a GOD (Jesus) or I would not be doing what I been doing. See and read: “I Was Loved In The Midst Of Suffering” and other Christian magazine of my life story. I give thanks for anyone who uses my story in your community.
    I am now at the age of 68 and my health is in danger. I now have epilepsy since 1980’s and in the year of 2010, taken ill with Parkinson, MS, Going Blind with Gloat Comma, and other ugly illness. I pray to Jesus to not only help me also to help other people.
    S.C.A.N. –Stop Child Abuse NOW! 1975 — 2017 — Donora, (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania to Portland and Eugene, Oregon by Paul Marvin McLaughlin. Handicapped and Survivor, God Has His Works In Paul To Heal Children Lives.
    Paul Marvin McLaughlin
    Liz Ann SEVEN McLaughlin
    Save Our Children
    3220 Crescent Ave. #28
    Eugene, Oregon 97408

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