The first obligation of the Church with regard to victims is for healing and reconciliation. Dioceses and eparchies continue to reach out to every person who has been a victim of sexual abuse as a minor by anyone in church service, whether that abuse is recent or occurred in the past.
If you suffered abuse, it was not your fault. If you are a victim of sexual abuse by a priest, deacon, or individual representing the Catholic Church, there are several things you can do:
- Contact the appropriate law enforcement agency, which can help determine options for making a criminal complaint.
- Contact a local child protection agency, a private attorney, a support group, an abuse hotline, or a mental health professional.
- Contact a diocesan or eparchial victim assistance coordinator who is available to help victims/survivors make a formal complaint of abuse to the diocese or eparchy. The Victim Assistance Coordinator is also available to arrange a personal meeting with the bishop or his representative and to obtain support for the needs of the individual and families.