IMB Statement on Child Abuse and Sexual Harassment
The IMB is committed to protect its personnel and their families and those who interact with its personnel and their families, and to effectively and appropriately respond when there is an allegation of child abuse or sexual harassment (including sexual assault).
Expectations for Our Personnel
IMB encourages anyone who has been a victim of abuse by its personnel to report it to authorities. We also regularly ask that anyone in the IMB who (a) believes he or she has personally experienced child abuse or sexual harassment, or (b) observes it happen to someone else, bring this conduct into the light by means of a secure report to IMB leadership. In other words, if anyone suspects or sees something, they need to say something. IMB policies provide multiple avenues to make a report, including a confidential hotline designated for this purpose at (855) 420-0003 and a designated email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anytime we receive a report of suspected child abuse or sexual harassment, we investigate those situations immediately and, if warranted, take the appropriate action to report it to local authorities and remove individuals from IMB employment. In the case of child sexual abuse, if we conclude that one of our personnel has committed child sexual abuse, that individual is terminated immediately. If IMB believes that any personnel has committed child abuse, our practice is to make a report to Child Protection Services in the state where the incident occurred or to the alleged offender’s home state. Moreover, IMB is committed to complying with mandatory reporting requirements and cooperating with any criminal investigations of abuse by our personnel. Further, we are committed to providing compassionate care to anyone who has experienced child abuse or sexual harassment.
Cooperation With Our Partners
All volunteers who serve with the IMB must undergo a 3-part background screening (criminal background check, references, and an interview) to ensure there is no history of activity that would pose a danger to children or others. All volunteers must also undergo training concerning child protection (IMB provides a training video that covers this). Specific resources and guidance for churches and volunteer trip team leaders is available here on our website: https://www.imb.org/for-churches/mission-trip-prep/.
Whenever a church, SBC entity, or other ministry sees “IMB” on the resume of someone looking to serve with them, we urge them to contact us. IMB’s practice is to terminate individuals who have engaged in child sexual abuse or other forms of misconduct. However, in some cases, an individual has resigned before IMB can terminate the individual, or the IMB does not find out about the misconduct until after the individual has left service with IMB.
Therefore, IMB strongly encourages any church, entity, or other employer who is considering working or partnering with a former IMB personnel to contact IMB to obtain a reference on that individual. Reference requests can be submitted to IMB’s HR department at email@example.com. IMB quickly responds to all reference requests by providing a release for that former personnel to sign authorizing IMB to share information from its HR file. In most all cases, IMB will have positive information to share. However, in the rarer cases where IMB has information to share concerning child abuse or sexual misconduct by that former personnel, or the former personnel refuses to sign the release, then the church, entity, or employer will be in a better position to evaluate a future relationship with that former IMB personnel.
The above statements reflect IMB’s present policies and practices. IMB encourages anyone who has been a victim of abuse by its personnel to report it to authorities. In addition, victims can contact IMB on a confidential hotline at (855) 420-0003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org so that IMB can provide compassionate care to that victim and take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of others. It is our policy to investigate cases regardless of when they occurred.