Assistance for Victims/Survivors
We acknowledge that it takes great courage for a person who has experienced abuse by someone in the Church to reach out to that same Church, either to report the abuse or to ask for assistance of any kind. Bishop Robert W. McElroy recently stated, “We deeply apologize to each victim for the harm inflicted on him or her, and we offer our help now and in the future.”
In accord with the directives called for in the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” first published in 2002, the Diocese of San Diego has responded to victims of clergy sexual abuse, providing counseling and support, immediate reporting to police authorities, and prompt action in following up on allegations of such abuse.
In addition to helping victims/survivors make a formal report of abuse to the diocese, the Victim Assistance Coordinator works with survivors and their families to provide ongoing therapy and other programs that promote emotional and spiritual healing. The Victim Assistance Coordinator ensures that allegations are brought both to the appropriate law enforcement jurisdiction and, as necessary, to investigation by the diocesan Independent Review Board.
The Victim Assistance Coordinator also works to educate parishes about the problem of child abuse and child sexual abuse in particular, and provides information and educational opportunities to communities on the preventive measures that the Church has in place.
It is the diocese’s hope that our increased efforts and commitment to those harmed by abuse will help them move toward healing and reconciliation.
If you or someone you know has been sexually abused by Church personnel, please reach out to:
Victim Assistance Coordinator