How we respond to a report
What happens when a person makes a report of sexual abuse to the diocese?
Anyone who believes they were the victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, church or school staff may contact the diocese’s Victim Assistance Coordinator, who will promptly respond. A report may be made regardless of when the abuse occurred. Reports may be made in English or Spanish. The Victim Assistance Coordinator can be reached at (858) 490-8353 or by email.
The Victim Assistance Coordinator seeks to compassionately listen and respond to all callers, assuring them of our deep concern for their well-being, and accompany the victims/survivors throughout the process. For those alleging sexual abuse by a clergy member, this process is followed:
- Interviews the person making the report and gathers the pertinent information.
- Reports all suspected abuse to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
- Advises the person to contact the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction in the locale where the alleged abuse occurred.
- May connect the caller to resources — such as counseling, therapy or pastoral care – if it’s determined that the person could benefit from them.
- Gives the initial information to the proper diocesan officials.
After a report is received:
- The Victim Assistance Coordinator helps the victim/survivor receive therapy, resources, and support they need.
- Accused priests and other ministers active in ministry are temporarily suspended pending an investigation.
- When necessary, the Bishop engages the diocesan Independent Review Board for determining if the accused priest can remain in ministry.