May 26, 2015
This fall the UUA will be training a new team of volunteers to be advocates for individuals considering filing or having already filed a complaint of professional misconduct against a UU religious professional.
Complaints of misconduct can involve sexual misconduct or another ethical violation. Just as the UU Ministers Association, Liberal Religious Educators Association, and the UU Musicians Network provide “Good Officers” for their members who can accompany them through such a process, the UUA is committed to providing trained advocates who can help guide people through the process of filing a complaint against a UU religious professional, provide a compassionate presence, and help ensure that such individuals are treated with respect and dignity.
The UUA has partnered with Safety Net in obtaining a grant to support a training of advocates. We are especially gratified to announce that the Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune (founder of the FaithTrust Institute and, in Safety Net’s estimation, the leading expert internationally in this field) has agreed to lead the training, along with her associate, Danielle Hill.
The Rev. Sarah Lammert, the UUA’s Director of Ministries and Faith Development, is leading this effort.
This is a new undertaking for the UUA. While they have for some time provided ad hoc advocates when an individual wants that kind of support, having a cohort of trained advocates who have support from each other and from the UUA has been a dream of long-standing. This is a very important step forward for the UUA as they strive to provide just, compassionate treatment to victim/survivors of misconduct.
Safety Net is deeply grateful both to Rev. Lammert and to all who join the Advocates Team.