In our ministries, the heartbreaking reality is, we will have students that have been or are being abused. That is why it is crucial that we as youth workers know what to do when a situation involving abuse rises. On this episode, join ministry leaders for a conversation with licensed professional counselor Dr. Chinwe Williams. A conversation about how we can best care for students in our ministries who have been abused.


  • Childhood abuse often leads to an adult mental health diagnosis. (6:30)
  • Child abuse is defined as actions or inactions on the part of an adult in a child’s life that significantly cause harm or risk of harm.(8:00)
  • Attachment is the sense of security and belonging that a child has with their primary caregiver. (14:00)
  • What are some of the physical and behavioral indicators of abuse? (21:00)
  • Multiple indicators over time could mean a student is being abused. (24:00)
  • Self-harm and depression can be linked to abuse. (25:00)
  • It’s impossible for you to see signs of abuse in your students if you are programmatic and not relational. (27:00)
  • Neglect is one of the most harmful types of abuse that there is. (28:30)
  • Attention, affection, and acknowledgement are critical in the life of every student. (30:00)
  • What should our focus be when we find out a student is being abused? Say: “I am a trusted adult and you are important to me.” (33:00)
  • It’s not always the event that leaves a scar, it’s how someone responds to the event. (37:30)
  • Your ministry is only as safe as the stories that your students are brave enough to share. (54:00)
  • As youth pastors, we have to remember we are not trained professional counselors, and we must move our students out to professionals. (58:00)


Resource: The 3 Hurts Crises Conversation Guides

Resource: National Abuse Hotline – 1 (800) 422-4453

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