AME Church leaders take sexual harassment prevention course

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Members and leaders within the 7th district of the African Methodist Episcopalian church are signing on to stop abuse and sexual harassment.

"We've seen a plethora of activity involving religious organizations and non-profit organizations especially as they deal with children that we deal with in the class," said Reverend Eduardo Curry of Adams AME church.

Curry said the media is full of images of the abuse of power, like accused child molester Jerry Sandusky at Penn State University and admitted child predator Louise Skip Reville. Curry said abuse in the church unacceptable.

"My mother always said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So what we are trying to do is make people more aware. We are trying to decrease the shadows of this illegal offensive and harmful activity," said Curry.

In the AME church that means bringing in their lawyer, to speak to everyone in a leadership role from the pastor down to the Sunday school teacher. So the church understands what sexual harassment is and how to recognize and report it.

"The church tends to care for the people who are the weakest and most unable to protect themselves. So we are being proactive to make sure we have a sanctuary of sorts for folks to come in to the church," said Renardo Hicks is the lawyer for the 7th district AME church. He said church members should leave the workshop trusting their church leaders are there to protect them.

"They are dealing children they are dealing with minors their dealing with people and you've got to have the trust of the people, the people of God," said Bishop Preston Williams II.

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