The first obligation of the Church with regard to survivors of childhood sexual abuse 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 survivor 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 the toll-free Pennsylvania ChildLine number at 800-932-0313, a local child protection agency, a private attorney, a support group, or a mental health professional.
- Contact a diocesan or eparchial victim/survivor 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 services for the needs of the individual and families.
VICTIM/SURVIVOR ASSISTANCE IN PENNSYLVANIA