It’s about time we begin to turn the world around
It’s about time we start to make it the dream we’ve always known
It’s about time we start to live the family of man
It’s about time, it’s about changes and it’s about time
It’s about peace and it’s about plenty and it’s about time
It’s about you and me together and it’s about time

 

As we look forward to 2018 and our continued efforts to fulfill our mission, these lyrics from a 1983 John Denver song ring true today. It’s about time to not only name abuses that happen when people misuse religious authority, but to gather our voices, our vision, and our shared strengths to transform the practices of maltreatment of vulnerable individuals, particularly children.

The Child-Friendly Faith Project began with a clear vision to educate and raise awareness of religious child maltreatment or RCM. Over the years, we have organized conferences, developed educational resources, and have been called on to support survivors. As we have grown, we have lent support to change legislation in Idaho that protected child medical neglect under the guise of “religious freedom.” And we have had the privilege of supporting those who grew up in, and were abused at, Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.

As we begin this year, we celebrate our transformation and growth that has led us to become more direct in naming all forms of RCM, including genital mutilation and corporal punishment. We will continue to add our voices to those who wish to transform the practices of child maltreatment, including sexual abuse, that is supported by religious beliefs throughout our land. And we will further expand our social media presence and ways of reaching others who need support, as well as those who share the spirit of advocacy to protect others from RCM.

We recognize that changes in practices require changes in social customs and religious beliefs, especially when there is evidence that children are being harmed physically, emotionally and spiritually. We recognize that change is difficult. We are also convinced that change in harmful beliefs and practices must be realized by people of all faiths, philosophies, and worldviews. As Denver sang, “It’s about you and me together and it’s about time.”

We invite you—no, we implore you—to join in our shared effort to bring about a society that promotes child safety, follows traditions and beliefs for healing, and rejects child abuse and neglect, particularly when perpetrated under religious auspices. Thank you for supporting us with your time, talent, and resources so that we may turn our vision and knowledge into beneficial policies and practices that protect the health and lives of society’s youngest members.

We look forward to this year of growth, collaboration, and change for our shared good. Thank you for your support. Happy new year!

Jaime Romo

President, the Child-Friendly Faith Project

Please consider making a donation to the CFFP, so we can continue to raise awareness of religious child maltreatment, educate faith communities, and support survivors.



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.

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