Whenever a person authorized to respond learns facts which indicate that innocent parties have been harmed by the misconduct of a person in a position of trust or authority, action shall be taken to cause the church to respond appropriately. An appropriate response will seek to prevent any additional harm to victims of the misconduct, seek to respond to the needs of the victims, the accused, and others who suffer as a result of the misconduct. Particular concern should be shown for the needs of the spouse and family of the accused. The response will also seek to address the needs of the local church, the district and the general church concerning public relations, protection from liability and protection of the integrity of the church.
Those who respond for the church must understand that what they say and do may have consequences under civil law. The duty of the church to respond is based on Christian concern. No one has the authority to accept financial responsibility for a local church without action by the church board, or for a district without action by the District Advisory Board. One who is uncertain about what action is appropriate should consider seeking counsel from an appropriate professional.