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Send Relief Offers $4 Million to Fund EC Sexual Abuse Response, Survivor Care Fund

Send Relief
Photo courtesy of Baptist Press.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) – Send Relief announced its intent June 8 to give $3 million to fund the proposed Sexual Abuse Task Force (SATF) recommendations for sexual abuse reform, and an additional $1 million to establish a survivor care fund to provide trauma care for survivors and trauma training for pastors.

The $1 million would be allocated from Send Relief funds designated for its ongoing mission to protect children and families, according to a joint statement from Send Relief President Bryant Wright, North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell and International Mission Board President Paul Chitwood. Send Relief is a joint compassion ministry of NAMB and IMB.

“Send Relief commits the $3 million in one-time funds the SBC Executive Committee estimates it needs to carry out reforms being recommended to the SBC messengers at the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting. This $3 million would come from Send Relief undesignated funds, not from Cooperative Program donations or gifts to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering,” Chitwood, Ezell and Wright said in the joint statement.

“Send Relief’s contribution will allow Southern Baptists’ generous Cooperative Program giving to continue to serve and support SBC missionaries, church planters, and seminary students.

“In addition, consistent with its mission to protect children and families, Send Relief will provide seed funding of $1 million for a survivor care fund, providing trauma counseling for survivors of sexual abuse in the SBC, as well as for trauma-informed training for SBC pastors, churches, local associations and state conventions.”

In coordination with Send Relief’s announcement, the SATF has amended a June 1 funding request of $3 million to fund its recommended sexual abuse reforms over the next year. Those funds would have come in part from Cooperative Program overages and a portion of the Vision 2025 budget.

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“We request that Send Relief contribute a minimum of $3 million to the sexual abuse reforms allocation for the first year,” the SATF said June 8 in amended recommendations. “We request the Executive Committee be the stewards of the allocation, in consultation with the ARITF (the SATF- recommended Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force), to fund the sexual abuse recommendations adopted by the Convention.”

In announcing the amended recommendation, SATF Chairman Bruce Frank noted several key changes.

“Some of the recommendations you will find in here are a new funding mechanism through Send Relief that will fund the reform entirely the first year without the use of Cooperative Program dollars,” Frank said in a video statement at sataskforce.net, “a more bottoms-up approach to the third-party investigation of alleged abusers, and give greater definition to Credential Committee standards on sexual abuse.”

Frank also released a new set of FAQs.