Sharing knowledge about religious child maltreatment.
Building community with those who care about RCM.
Advocating for those whose lives are impacted by it.
Since it was founded in 2012, the Child-Friendly Faith Project has been raising awareness of an issue that many people have had a hard time talking about—religious child maltreatment or RCM. Our vision is that no child suffers abuse or neglect as a result of religious belief, doctrine, or practice.
A religious upbringing can be healthy for children, but, sadly, RCM is far too common in the United States and throughout the world. It occurs in many religious households and communities and can take different forms. Children suffer “biblical” beatings, so-called “conversion therapy,” sexual abuse perpetrated by religious authorities, indoctrination and other forms of emotional abuse, and “faith healing” medical neglect.
But there is an answer to ending RCM.
As Janet Heimlich writes in Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment, “With a renewed, realistic, and balanced understanding of faith’s capabilities, we can begin a discussion on how to raise children in a safe and healthy religious environment.”
At the Child-Friendly Faith Project, we helped start that discussion. Today, we remain committed to fulfilling our mission in the following ways:
- Advocating for and empowering adult survivors and child victims
- Raising awareness of key issues that impact children
- Providing resources to professionals, academics, and child advocates
- Partnering with faith communities that prioritize child protection
As a nonprofit public charity, we need your help to implement our groundbreaking programs for 2019. Here’s just a sampling: We will organize a referral program to connect survivors and families of harmed children to qualified attorneys and mental health professionals; we will fight to get “conversion therapy” banned in every state; and we will offer a webinar series for professionals who work in child protection, such as attorneys, social workers, and pediatricians.
We are asking for any financial contribution you can give. All donations are tax-deductible. Together, we can make sure that a religious upbringing is a healthy experience for every child.