To contact someone related to sexual misconduct, reach out to the APOC team using information on their page.
Approved May 17, 2021
1. Working Principles and Rationale
The purpose of this procedure is to provide a framework and standards for the leaders of North Wake Church from which they, the leaders, can respond appropriately to allegations of sexual misconduct within the church body.
North Wake Church and its leadership acknowledge the dignity and worth of all persons, male and female, as created in the image of God, including our employees, members, volunteers, and visitors (Gen. 1:26-27). Our mission as this church is to reach the lost and equip them to join with us in the process of becoming mature and ministering worshippers of Christ. To accomplish this, we strive to create a safe, orderly, caring, and inviting place where every person can grow in a deep, personal, and abiding relationship with Jesus Christ.
We believe that sexual harassment and abuse (as defined herein) is sin against God and neighbor and, clear examples of how thoroughly sin has corrupted God’s good creation (Gal. 5:14; 1 Peter 3:8).
We believe the first duty of a Christian is to love God, and the love of a neighbor is like that first duty (Matthew 22:39), such that the visible sign of belonging to Jesus is how we love one another (1 Cor. 13:4-7; John 13:35). We believe church leadership has a special mandate to be above reproach in these matters (Titus 1:7-9).
We believe the protection of vulnerable people is essential to the work of leaders (James 1:27, Ezekiel 34:2-6) because it is the work of God (Psalm 14:7).
We recognize that the risk of prejudice and partiality does exist in the way we handle accusations against leaders (1 Timothy 5:21-22).
We do not believe that this policy and these admonitions should in any way constrict God-honoring and courteous, mutually respectful, pleasant, non-coercive interactions between church leaders and members, including men and women, that are appropriate in the congregation and acceptable to and welcomed by both parties.
1.3. Relationship to Church Discipline & Law Enforcement
Just as membership is not mandated by the Bible, but is not prohibited by Scripture, and is a reasonable way to implement the principles of the Bible: this procedure is not the same as the biblical process of church discipline but interacts with it.
Sexual misconduct may be physical, verbal, or emotional/mental. There is both a danger to the original victim, and a potential for danger to others. A harm caused even to one person reveals a risk of harm to others.
The church, and in particular the Elders, have a responsibility to provide a covenant community that is physically safe, and, to the extent possible a place that is safe from sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and every other kind of mental or emotional abuse. If the church had reason to believe a person would commit a physical crime or psychological attack, the church would be responsible to protect all other members of the church from that attack.
God protects the vulnerable and the weak.
The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. (English Standard Version Bible, Psalm 146:9)
God calls his worshipers to protect the afflicted. The task of visiting orphans and widows is, at least, to check to see that they are safe and to provide for their needs.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27)
God calls the capable to share the strain of those without capability.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
God calls his shepherds to protect the weak and the injured.
I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice. (Ezekiel 34:15,16)
Yet, in the need to protect the vulnerable, there may be biblical reasons for privacy and discretion. The key principle is found in Jesus’s instructions, which we apply to Church Discipline. Jesus begins with a confrontation with most private communication about the sin, and broadens quickly to the church.
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church… (Matthew 18:15-17a)
However, there are limits to privacy. Knowledge of a criminal act may lead to a report to law enforcement. Failure to report a serious crime and comply with law enforcement may be resisting God.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1-2)
The Bible teaches that if you know of a risk of harm, and you do not act to prevent it, then you are responsible for causing the harm. This principle is shown in the Mosaic law in explanations of protection from falling from structures and protecting others from animals.
When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring the guilt of blood upon your house, if anyone should fall from it. (Deuteronomy 22:8)
When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:28-29)
Further, in Ezekiel 33:1-9, God uses the well-established principle that a watchman is responsible to sound an alarm when he perceives danger. A watchman is, at least, a trusted person granted extraordinary access to information by his position in the watchtower. Based on that principle of responsibility, God showed his prophet, Ezekiel, that he was obligated to speak warnings.
If a leader knew of a church attender who had in their possession an explosive device, would the privacy in Matthew 18 prevent the leader from warning others? Certainly not! That leader would warn others of the risk of harm because allowing harm is worse than exposing a private problem. The leader would be guilty of any harm caused by the device about which he did not warn the people.
So, if a leader was aware of someone who had committed some physical harm, and the leader had some reason to believe recurrence was a significant probability, but out of a sense for the privacy of Matthew 18 did not act to investigate, to warn, and to protect the people of the church, would this please God, and honor his intention? God’s interest in protecting the weak is stated strongly, so we believe the balance should be in favor of protection over privacy.
So, the purpose of this procedure is to facilitate forgiveness, restoration, and protection for others against harm. Even in the presence of forgiveness, protection must be ensured.
- This document and the policies and procedures herein shall apply to Leaders (as defined below). When the complaint is sexual in nature, the issue should ultimately be reported to the APOC team.
- This document and the policies and procedures herein shall apply to the behavior of the Leaders at any time or place when that individual is acting in his/her capacity as a leader. This could be at any location, and would include, but are not limited to: on-campus church services, small group meetings, in vehicles, recreation events, retreat centers, restaurants, or other church-sponsored or church-organized activities on or off of the church property.
- Nothing in this document is intended to replace, modify, augment, or amend existing policies, procedures, the constitution of North Wake, the statutes and laws of the State of North Carolina, or the laws of the federal government.
1.5. Relation to Other Policies
- In the case of any conflict between this policy and the North Wake Church Employment Handbook, the Employment Handbook shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.
- In the case of any conflict between this policy and the North Wake Church Child Protection Policy, the Child Protection Policy shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.
2. Terms & Definitions
2.1. Sexual Misconduct
“Sexual Misconduct” includes activities such as the following, but is not limited to:
- Innuendoes; suggestive comments; jokes of a sexual nature; sexual propositions; lewd remarks and threats; requests for, or pressure to provide, any type of sexual favor; or verbal abuse or “kidding” that is oriented toward a prohibitive form of harassment, including that which is sexual in nature and unwelcome. Also included, but not limited to, is continued or repeated offensive sexual flirtations, advances, propositions, continued or repeated verbal remarks about an individual’s body, and sexually degrading words.
- Nonverbal harassment includes, but is not limited to, the distribution, display, or discussion of any written or graphic material, including calendars, posters, or cartoons that are sexually suggestive or show hostility toward an individual or group because of sex; suggestive or insulting sounds; obscene gestures; inappropriate content sent to members of the church, or made accessible to members of the church contained in letters, notes, facsimiles, e-mails, photos, text messages, tweets, or other internet/social media postings; finally, any other form of communication that is sexual and/or offensive in nature, including the display of sexually suggestive drawings, objects, pictures, or written materials.
- Unwanted sexual advances, including physical contact, touching, tickling, pinching, patting, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing, fondling, forced sexual interaction in any form, or sexual assault.
- Contacts or interactions between a leader and another person when the person is being used as an object of sexual gratification by the offending leader.
- The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any person to engage in or assist any other person to engage in any sexually explicit conduct or any simulation of any sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of visual depiction, including photographing, videotaping, computer depicting, or filming of any sexually explicit conduct or the rape, sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, molestation, incest, indecent exposure, prostitution, statutory sexual assault, or other form of sexual exploitation of children or any disabled person.
- The possession or use of any child pornography and/or violation of any federal and/or state laws pertaining to child pornography.
- Sexual assault where there is actual or attempted unwanted sexual contact by force, threat, intimidation, including criminal sexual behaviors as set out in N.C. Gen. Stat. Article 7B
An allegation is any accusation of a possible act of Sexual Misconduct.
The “Complainant” is that person making an allegation of Sexual Misconduct and bringing it to the attention of an appropriate member of North Wake leadership as defined herein.
The “Victim” is that person who is the object of Sexual Misconduct. The Complainant may be, but is not necessarily, the same person as the Victim.
The “Accused” is the person against whom an allegation of Sexual Misconduct, as defined above, is being made.
- Retaliation is an act of reprisal, revenge, or retribution in any form (verbal, non-verbal, physical, or electronic/cyber) against any person or persons (including the Victim or Complainant, if separate) for reporting or intending to make an Allegation, or for appearing as a witness, or otherwise assisting in the processes described in this policy. Retaliation includes hindering any investigation in any way, including committing purposeful breaches of confidentiality.
- Leaders must never tolerate or condone retaliation.
2.8. Leader or Leadership
A Leader or the Leadership includes every North Wake leader, pastor, Elder, deacon, staff (employee), intern, small group leader, children’s ministry leader, youth leader and teacher, Adult Education or Life Change Fellowship teacher or host, counselor or HOPE Counselor, and every volunteer having care, supervision, or oversight over one or more individuals.
2.9. Qualified Investigator
- The “Qualified Investigator” is the individual or group designated by North Wake leadership to assist with and/or investigate any allegation of Sexual Misconduct.
- The Qualifications will be determined by consensus of the APOC Team and the Elders.
- The APOC may choose to consult with outside resources or hire an investigator as the “Qualified Investigator”.
- Considering the role of the Accused and the severity of the Allegation, the APOC Team could itself function to perform the investigation internally to the APOC. In this case, the APOC Team itself, or some group of its members, would be functioning as the Qualified Investigator.
- Church will pay fees and expenses of the Qualified Investigator, subject to approval by the APOC Team and the Elders.
- To prevent a conflict of interest or appearance thereof, the Qualified Investigator shall not be affiliated with or selected by an Insurance Company or one of its affiliates.
- The Qualified Investigator will commit to maintain confidentiality on all matters pertaining to any investigation and will not disclose any information related to any investigation or relationship with North Wake Church, except with written permission from the Elders.
2.10. Consulting Counselor
- The “Consulting Counselor” is a counselor who will provide emotional and spiritual support for the victim.
- Consulting Counselor may be a licensed counselor, and may not be a member of North Wake Church.
2.11. Abuse Point of Contact (APOC) Team
The Abuse Point of Contact (APOC) Team, called “APOC” or “APOC Team” herein, is a special group made up of at least four North Wake leaders, composed according to the following requirements:
- APOC should normally include at least two male leadership representatives such as deacons, and two female leadership representatives, such as deaconesses or other women recognized by the congregation in female leadership.
- At least one of the APOC members must be an Elder who is not a paid member of staff serving in the role of the team coordinator.
- All representatives must be properly trained in the subject of Sexual Misconduct, using the SBC training material at https://churchcares.com (or its subsequent replacement location), or additional authorized training programs approved by the APOC.
- When an Allegation is reported that has not yet been resolved to the satisfaction of the Victim as specified in Section 4.18, the Team Coordinator will form an Incident Committee composed of the Team Coordinator, the APOC team member who received the complaint (the “Responsible Leader”), and at least one other APOC team member. The Incident Committee will make the decisions related to that case for the APOC, such as determining whether to refer the case to a Qualified Investigator as discussed in this document.
- The APOC Team will keep private and confidential records of all Allegations reported and convey these records to the APOC Team Coordinator and, as necessary, other members of the APOC Team. The purpose is to ensure that a subset of the APOC Team members is aware of the allegations related to an individual, including allegations reported before each APOC Team member joined the APOC Team.
- Each APOC Team Member shall serve a 2-year term and are subject to periodic evaluations by the APOC Team Coordinator. These terms may be extended provided that the person serving on the APOC Team (1) still meets the needed qualifications, (2) still desires to serve and (3) if the elders deem that there is still a need. There is no limit placed on the number of consecutive terms deacons may serve.
2.12. Responsible Leader
The North Wake leader, or member of the Abuse Point of Contact (APOC) Team, who receives an allegation is called the “Responsible Leader”.
3. Working Principles
3.1. Members have a Duty to Report Certain Incidents Directly To Law Enforcement.
- Any church member who has cause to suspect Sexual Misconduct has occurred should encourage the victim to report the situation to a member of the Abuse Point of Contact (APOC) team of North Wake leadership, as defined herein, and possibly to law enforcement if required by the laws of North Carolina.
- Any person 18 years of age or older who knows or should have reasonably known that a juvenile has been or is the victim of a violent offense, sexual offense, or misdemeanor child abuse under N.C. G.S. 14-318.2 shall immediately report the case of that juvenile to the appropriate local law enforcement agency in the county where the juvenile resides or is found, regardless of any other processes required by this procedure.
3.2. The Elder with Responsibility to Make Reports of Misconduct.
- In addition to mandatory legal reporting obligations, any individual leader who has information of a potential criminal act of Sexual Misconduct involving an adult victim may report the offense to law enforcement, usually with agreement from the adult victim.
- All reports to Law Enforcement will be made to the Wake Forest Police Department, except when directed by Wake Forest Police or an attorney to make a report directly to another jurisdiction, or other county, state, or national officials.
- Regardless of any normal duties of the Leadership or APOC team, any person 18 years of age or older who knows or should have reasonably known that a juvenile has been or is the victim of a violent offense, sexual offense, or misdemeanor child abuse under N.C. G.S. 14-318.2 shall immediately report the case of that juvenile to the appropriate local law enforcement agency in the county where the juvenile resides or is found.
- In addition, reports must be made to Child Protective Services as required by law requiring mandated reporting of child abuse by parent, caretaker, or person responsible for care of a child.
3.3. All Records will be Confidential & Kept to the Minimum Parties
- The Secretary of the Corporation at North Wake Church shall maintain confidential records of complaints and reports of Sexual Misconduct, including all detailed information about Complainant, the Victim, and the Accused.
- Any North Wake officer (deacon or elder), staff, or APOC team member who has cause to suspect any form of abuse against a minor must immediately adhere to the mandatory reporting requirements under North Carolina law and report to law enforcement or Child Protective Services as required by law.
- In certain circumstances, certain information related to an allegation will be shared with the church body, as outlined in this procedure.
- Every person who sends any email related to allegations or investigation MUST include a subject line that includes the text: “PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL”. Any document including information related to allegations or investigation MUST clearly include the text “PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL” on every page.
3.4. The Accused Is Removed from the Process, and Victim’s Responsibilities Modified
- Any person accused, or any relative of any person accused, will be removed from their role for purposes of the investigation; specifically
- In any case where the Accused is a member of the Elders or the APOC team, the Accused will be removed from their duties within the Elders or APOC team until the completion of any investigation.
- As explained in Section 4.6, any person for whom an investigation is underway will not worship or be otherwise involved at the church.
- Any person who is a Victim, or an immediate relative of a Victim who is also a member of the Elders or the APOC team will be removed from their duties within the Elders or the APOC team that are directly related to the investigation until the completion of the investigation.
3.5. Church Members & Leaders Cooperate to Support Investigation
- No person in the church shall attempt to conduct a detailed investigation either through examination or through interrogation of the complainant, the accused person, or a witness, unless that person is designated as the Qualified Investigator.
- It is the responsibility of the APOC team to collect the initial complaint, facts, and evidence to provide to law enforcement or a Qualified Investigator. Therefore, the APOC team will obtain a reasonable amount of information to understand and report the complaint. The APOC team may collect information including the complainant, the identity of the accused person, a general summary of the offense, the general time frames, to understand the complaint.
- Any investigation will be performed by the Qualified Investigator.
- All employees and members of the church shall cooperate with the official investigation performed by the police and/or the outside party.
3.6. Modifications & Publication
- To the extent allowed by law and wisdom, this policy may be modified by the Elders after (1) such modifications are documented, and (2) the documentation is sent to a Qualified Investigator, and (3) their advice is considered.
- This policy will be posted on North Wake’s website in a way that is accessible from the pages of the site and accessible from a Google search.
- The policy may be amended permanently by the Elders. Notice of any modifications will be posted to North Wake’s web site within 7 days of approval of the change.
- Nothing in this provision will be construed to permit failure to disclose a possible crime to law enforcement or to allow any violation of the law.
4. Allegation Processing Procedure
4.1. Collection of Allegation & Basic Facts.
- Every Allegation of sexual misconduct should be reported to a member of the APOC team.
- Any Leader who has cause to suspect that sexual misconduct has occurred becomes the “Responsible Leader” and must report the Allegation to the APOC team.
- To understand the Allegation and to prepare to report it further, the APOC team should collect information including the Complainant, the Victim, the identity of the accused person, a general summary of the offense, and the general time frames.
- In the case of a third party (i.e. not the Victim) making an Accusation, the Responsible Leader must document all information and provide it to all other members of the APOC. The APOC team must then determine whether or not to report the accusation to the Elder Board, and whether to retain a Qualified Investigator for investigation. The Responsible Leader within the Abuse Point of Contact group, however, must encourage the third party to encourage and support the Victim, or an eye witness to the abuse, to bring the Accusation directly to the APOC team.
- Every case of misconduct of a sexual nature, including those that have been resolved completely without an investigation, should be reported confidentially to the APOC for documentation.
4.2. APOC Duty-To-Report Consideration & Law Enforcement Report
- The APOC will evaluate the Allegation to determine if they have a duty to report to Law Enforcement or Child Protective Services.
- This initial evaluation should be completed within 24 hours of receiving the Allegation.
- If the APOC determines that a report to Law Enforcement is required, the APOC will contact the Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD), or other law enforcement if recommended by legal counsel.
- If the APOC determines that a report to Child Protective Services is required, the APOC will contact the Wake County Child Protective Services.
- Without exceeding the 24-hour requirement, the Responsible Leader may contact appropriate support for advice, such as (1) Another elder, (2) An attorney representing the Responsible Leader personally, or representing North Wake Church, (3) Wake County InterAct, or (4) Wake County Child Protective Services. The Responsible Leader may use this consultation to anonymously request assistance or advice.
4.3. APOC Report to Elders
- If the Accused is not a member of the Elders, APOC will document the allegation and report it via email to the individual email addresses of all the Elders.
- If the Accused is a member of the Elders, APOC will report the allegation to the Elders by making a report via email to the longest-serving Elder who is not Accused in the allegation.
- The report to Elders should occur within 48 hours of the receipt of the Allegation by the APOC.
4.4. APOC Referral to Consulting Counselor
- If the victim wishes to see a counselor, the APOC team will make arrangements for the Victim to receive counseling.
- Payment for counseling services will be arranged by the APOC team for North Wake Church.
4.5. Suspension of Access to Records and Technology, If Cause To Suspect Exists
- If the APOC team has cause to suspect sexual misconduct has occurred, and the Accused has access to any technology owned by the church, or an email account provided by the church, or access to a database or communication tool such as “Realm,” then the use of that technology and that access will be suspended to prevent modification of any records by the Accused.
- Normally this suspension will require both (1) the physical removal from the Accused of any computers or devices owned by the church, and (2) changing of passwords in Google GSuite, and Dropbox, or other services provided by the church.
4.6. Request for Accused to Worship Elsewhere If Cause to Suspect Exists
- If the APOC has cause to suspect sexual misconduct has occurred, the Accused may be instructed by an Elder within the APOC team to participate in alternative fellowship methods to protect the victim from repeated contact and trauma and to attempt not to put a stumbling block of temptation before the Accused.
- Alternatively, the APOC team may assign an escort to accompany the Accused on church grounds and at church events. In this case the Accused MUST be escorted continuously to provide protection for others and to serve as a witness for all other interactions.
- If the Accused insists on attending the church against the recommendations of North Wake, then the church may issue a trespass warning against the Accused by making a complaint to the Wake Forest Police Department.
4.7. APOC Reports to Qualified Investigator, If Cause to Suspect Misconduct Exists
- If the APOC team has cause to suspect sexual misconduct, the APOC team will report the allegation to the Qualified Investigator for initial evaluation.
- To prevent the appearance of delay, the Qualified Investigator must be selected and retained within 14 days of receipt of the accusation by any member of the APOC team.
4.8. Qualified Investigator Performs Preliminary Assessment to Make Initial Recommendations
- After receiving the information from the APOC team, the Qualified Investigator will perform an initial assessment to make the requested recommendations.
- The Preliminary Assessment should be completed within 7 days to provide the Elders and APOC Team with information rapidly and minimize the duration during which an Accused individual may be suspended from their work.
- The Qualified Investigator will make recommendations in the following areas:
- Should an Investigation be performed?
- Should the Allegation be reported to Law Enforcement?
- Should the Accused be Suspended from Serving?
- Should the Allegation be reported to the congregation?
- The Recommendations from the Qualified Investigator will be provided to the Elders and APOC Team for implementation.
- In the case that the Accused is either an Elder or a staff member, then the APOC Team will lead the interaction with the Qualified Investigator making reports to Elders.
4.9. Qualified Investigator Conducts Investigation, If Requested By Elders
- If, in the Preliminary Assessment, the Qualified Investigator recommends a complete Investigation, then the Elders should ask for a full investigation to be conducted by the Qualified Investigator or an outside investigator upon recommendation of the Qualified Investigator.
- The members of North Wake Church will be involved in the investigation only in the ways requested by the Qualified Investigator or Law Enforcement.
- The Investigation will produce recommendations to determine whether the Accused should continue to serve at the church at the conclusion of the investigation.
4.10. Elders Report To Law Enforcement, If Recommended
If, in the Preliminary Assessment, the Qualified Investigator recommends that the allegation be reported to Law Enforcement, or any time there is a need to report, the Elders will make the police report.
4.11. Elders Suspend Accused from Serving, If Recommended
- If, in the Preliminary Assessment, the Qualified Investigator recommends that the accused be removed from serving, then the Elders should remove the Accused from serving at North Wake Church.
- If the Accused is normally paid, then the church will continue to pay all salaries and provide benefits.
- Any action taken related to paid staff would be done in compliance with rules of the NC Department of Labor.
4.12. Elders Report Allegation to Congregation, If Recommended
- If, after the Preliminary Assessment, and considering the recommendation from the Qualified Investigator and APOC Team, the Elders should make a report, then the information would be provided to the church using special congregational meetings or other communication means selected by the Elders.
- The Report will be made to the Congregation by the Elders or another delegated party.
- All proceedings will be proprietary and confidential, open only to Members and others as deemed necessary by the Elders and APOC Team.
- The Elders and APOC Team will develop and present a pastoral care plan appropriate for all North Wake Church attenders.
- The report MAY include:
- Appropriate details of the incident(s) with or without names of those involved, depending on the advice of legal counsel. The report will show sensitivity for the victim’s privacy in that no victim names will be shared without his/her permission and names of minors will not be revealed.
- Actions taken which may include dismissal of staff, police reports.
- Ministry/healing care plan for the victim(s) and the church body.
4.13. Investigation by Qualified Investigator
- If an Investigation is requested by the Elders with consent of the APOC Team, then the Qualified Investigator will perform the investigation.
- If an investigation is to be conducted by the Qualified Investigator, then the church, including staff and leaders, will fully support and assist the church in the investigation.
4.14. Report to Elders and APOC Team of Investigation Outcome, If Investigation Conducted
- If an investigation is conducted by the Qualified Investigator, at the conclusion of that investigation, the Qualified Investigators will report to the Elders and the APOC Team.
- The Elders may provide the report to other parties as deemed necessary.
4.15. Report to Congregations, If Investigation Conducted
- The Elders will consider the recommendations of the Qualified Investigator and the APOC Team, and may present the findings to the church in a format selected as appropriate by the Elders.
- This report should be presented if a notification of the Allegations was made to the Congregation earlier.
- Apart from a person authorized to do so by the Elders, no other party will be authorized to disclose findings or recommendations to the church or to any other party.
4.16. Implementation of Actions If Investigation Conducted
- If an Investigation is Conducted, then following the report to the Elders and any report to the congregation, the Elders will implement action as required by scripture and wisdom.
- If the Accused is found to be guilty, unless outside considerations impact the decision, the Accused should be immediately placed under church discipline, removed from membership, and would not be welcomed into North Wake’s worship services or activities until genuine and public repentance is demonstrated over a period designated by the Elders in order to verify that no further instances occur. The Elders must exercise vigilance to protect the congregation. Care for the current victim is key. Elders have the freedom to develop an individualized plan of discipline and restoration for readmission to North Wake membership and North Wake activities. The hope and goal are for demonstration of true repentance over a designated period of time. The victim should be considered and made aware of what is happening in this process. However, the accused who was found guilty and has demonstrated repentance will be strongly advised and encouraged to attend another local church out of respect and care for the victim.
4.17. Cause To Suspect Required To Investigate
- If at any point the Elders, or the APOC team, or the Qualified Investigator determines that there is cause to suspect that an offense was committed, then normally the investigation and actions would proceed with the consensus of the APOC and Elders.
- If ultimately the Elders with advice from the APOC and Qualified Investigator believe that no offense was committed, then all rights, duties, responsibilities will be restored to the Accused, and every possible step will be taken to restore the good name of the accused.
4.18. Victim Reports that Matter is Resolved
- Every issue of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the APOC Team.
- If the Issue has been resolved at the time of the report to the satisfaction of the Victim, or if the Victim does not wish to pursue the matter, then no preliminary assessment or investigation is required, but the matter may be assessed or investigated further at the discretion of the APOC Team and Elders.
- The APOC Team will record the information about the Allegation confidentially.
— END —
Diagram Depictions of Policy
In the Diagrams below, the normal flow of events is shown with a solid line, and conditional actions are shown with dashed lines. This diagram is for explanatory purposes only, and in any conflict between the diagram and the written text, the written text takes precedence over the diagram, and is considered normative.