Mk Safety Net Endorses the use of Independent Investigations
The importance of outside resources in the investigation of abuse allegations within the mission community can not be stressed enough. Mission communities may have competent investigators from other mission agencies; however every organization and community has inherent blind spots and vested interests that necessitate external investigations. Also it is difficult for many victims to trust what they experience as a closed mission system. Trust is a major issue in the healing process for victims; an issue which needs consideration as missions address the abuse allegations in their communities.
The Child Safety Protection Network (CSPN) is an organization whose member agencies are mission organizations and denominations. They investigate allegations of abuse made by employees of their member agencies by creating teams of investigators. These teams are comprised of employees of mission agencies and denominations who are members of CSPN. The investigators are not employed by the mission of the person being investigated; therefore they call the investigation “independent”. However, Mk Safety Net believes that there is an inherent conflict of interest because of the close relationship between many mission agencies, and therefore considers CSPN investigations to not be independent.
The following questions will assist in determining if the proposed Investigation Team or Recommendation Team are an independent agency or are members of CSPN:
1. Are the members of the Investigation Team or Recommendation Team missionaries or employees of a mission agency or denomination?
2. Will all the children in the care of the alleged perpetrator be contacted to inform them of the investigation? Will their parents be contacted regarding the investigation?
3. Will an original report and recommendations be made available to:
*Note - a “Yes” to question #1 and a “No” to questions #2 and #3 will indicate that the process probably does not involve an independent investigation.
Beverly Shellrude Thompson