Archdiocese shares tips for child abuse prevention

Parish bulletins around the Archdiocese of Louisville this month will include tips and reminders about protecting children from abuse. The archdiocese provided the bulletin announcements — in Spanish and English — for the month of April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

In a memo sent to parishes, Dr. Brian B. Reynolds, chancellor of the archdiocese, wrote, “Ensuring that our parishes and schools are safe environments for children and youth requires the commitment of all of us.”

The bulletin announcements note that on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3, “we celebrate the dignity of every human being as a child of God. This dignity is violated by the crime of sexual abuse, and that is why the church seeks to reach out to victims and survivors of sexual abuse with the healing mercy of God who enfolds all in his loving care.”

The announcements also note, “Every adult has a moral responsibility to report suspected child abuse. In Kentucky, state law requires that any person who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child is neglected or abused must immediately report the abuse. Sexual abuse of minors is a pervasive societal problem, and only concerted and sustained efforts by all adults in every segment of society can help to protect children and youth.”

Another bulletin announcement notes that the archdiocese has policies, procedures and codes of conduct for employees and volunteers designed to create a safe environment for children.

The announcements also note that the archdiocese offers outreach to victims of sexual abuse as one of its ministries.

“Martine Siegel, the archdiocesan victim assistance coordinator in the Family Ministries Office, provides victims with assistance towards healing,” the announcement said. “If now or at any time in the past someone representing the church has sexually abused you, please contact the police and Ms. Siegel.”

She can be reached at 636-1044 or victimassistance@archlou.org. To report suspected abuse, call the Kentucky Child Abuse Hotline at 877-KYSAFE1 (877-597-2331) or see www.archlou.org/report for a list of reporting contacts organized by county.

For more information, visit www.archlou.org/restoringtrust.

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