We pledge to:
1. Speak up
The silence around issues of abuse can be deafening, often leaving those that have been abused to be the sole voices speaking out. We will use our voice and our influence to publicly and privately speak up about the injustice of abuse and the need for change.
2. Put survivors first
Too often we see cases where victims and survivors have not been believed, have been silenced or have been further abused by the response they have received. We will listen to victims and survivors and ensure we put their needs at the heart of any response.
3. Conceal nothing
When abuse is discovered it is important that it is fully brought into the light so that justice can be served and those that have been affected can receive the help they need. We will not cover-up or collude but be open, transparent, and truly repentant about what has happened.
4. Take responsibility
Rather than apportion blame or point the finger at others, we must acknowledge that abuse happens in any culture that allows or creates the circumstances for it to occur. We will take responsibility for the ways we have personally and corporately failed and will take the necessary steps to shoulder that responsibility and the reparations that must come as a result.
5. Make change happen
Apologies and learning lessons are important steps in the process of responding to abuse, but too often that is where we stop. We will not just take responsibility, and learn lessons, but will make active, tangible, timely steps towards change and encourage others to do the same.
6. Hold each other accountable
It’s important to acknowledge that issues of abuse are not confined to one particular denomination or tradition, but are issues experienced across all expressions of the Church. We will commit to holding ourselves mutually accountable by accepting the challenge of others about our own practice and challenging poor practice wherever we see it.