The Diocese of Richmond Victim Assistance Coordinator is available for outreach to help anyone who has been abused or victimized by someone representing the Catholic Church.
The Diocese is genuinely concerned for all victims of abuse and their families. If now or at any time in the past a priest, deacon or other person representing the Church has abused you, you are urged to first contact the civil authorities. Please find applicable reporting information on our Reporting Page.
Pre-dating the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People the Diocese of Richmond has made an effort to provide financial support for counseling or provide for other therapeutic interventions for individuals who have experienced child sexual abuse by clergy or other representatives of the diocese. In some instances, the Diocese has provided financial support to individuals in areas other than counseling or therapeutic support.
The Victim Assistance Coordinator strives to compassionately and respectfully work with survivors through the disclosure process and act as a supportive presence and advocate throughout various Diocesan processes. Coordinators have helped to arrange meetings for victims with Review Board members or other Diocesan officials, including the Bishop.
The Victim Assistance Coordinator also works to provide referrals for counseling or other support services to individuals who have approached the office looking for help, regardless of the type of abuse inflicted or who perpetrated it.
In 2018-2019 the Diocese expanded its healing ministry. In the Fall of 2018 Bishop Knestout presided at three Masses for Atonement and also offered a Rosary for Healing in April 2019 during Child Abuse Prevention Month. The videos of these outreaches are below:
Bishop Knestout and the Office of Safe Environment, through its Victim Assistance Coordinator, are committed to continuing these practices and strengthening the services and opportunities offered for healing.
Additional information on Victim Assistance policies and procedures are outlined in the brochure below.
The Way: A Healing Retreat for Survivors of Abuse
As the Church continues to minister to all survivors of abuse, the Archdiocese of Washington is sponsoring retreats for survivors. The Archdiocese will offer a men’s retreat on October 11-13, 2019, and a women’s retreat on November 15-17, 2019 and April 3-5,2020 for survivors. These retreats are an occasion for survivors to reflect on God’s plan for their lives and for healing through prayer and the sacraments. For more information and to register go to https://adw.org/the-way-retreat/ or call Deborah McDonald at 301-853-4466.
Resources for Victim Survivors: