How we respond to a report

Report Abuse

(858) 490-8353

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:

This Coordinator:

  • 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:

  1. The Victim Assistance Coordinator helps the victim/survivor receive therapy, resources, and support they need.
  2. Accused priests and other ministers active in ministry are temporarily suspended pending an investigation.
  3. When necessary, the Bishop engages the diocesan Independent Review Board for determining if the accused priest can remain in ministry.