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Keeping Our Promise to Protect

Child and Youth Protection

Dos & Don'ts When Receiving Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

In all cases it is the receiver’s responsibility to report the allegation to the Diocese in accord with #1 of the “Procedure for Handling Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors.”

Do

Do be certain that all concerned know that allegations are reported to civil authorities.

If a minor is reporting sexual abuse to a Church employee or volunteer:

  • Listen to reach an initial understanding of the situation being described.
  • Remember that your role is not to determine the truthfulness of the allegation, so avoid interrogation.
  • Advise the minor that his/her parents or guardian will be called.
  • Before dismissing the minor, call the parent/guardian and the pastor/administrator. A minor should be released to the custody of his/her parent/guardian after making such a report unless the sexual abuser is the parent/guardian then the civil authorities should be consulted.

If an adult is reporting the sexual abuse:

  • Advise him/her of the need to call the parents or guardian, and to call the civil authorities.
  • Remember that your role is not to determine the truthfulness of the allegation, so avoid interrogation.

If the minor’s parents or guardian are reporting the sexual abuse,

  • Advise them that this is their responsibility to report the matter to civil authorities.
  • Advise them that you will be reporting the matter to the Diocese.
  • Remember that your role is not to determine the truthfulness of the allegation.
  • Advise them that the Diocese will follow up with them to determine that they have reported the matter to civil authorities.

Do Not

  • Do not cross-examine or ask for details from the child; civil authorities will interview.
  • Do not contact the abused; diocesan officials have that responsibility.
  • Do not discuss the matter with anyone except your superior.

Safe Environment Director

Joan B. Altmeyer
912-201-4074
Toll-Free Hotline: 888-357-5330

Victim Assistance Coordinator

Rosemary Downing
912-201-4073


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