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 Bishop Knestout presided at three Masses for Atonement and continues outreach through Masses of Hope and Healing and also recites the Rosary for the protection of children and their families in April during Child Abuse Prevention Month. For more information visit Diocesan Healing Outreach
As a further commitment of outreach to those who have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of clergy or church personnel, the diocese is holds Victim Survivor Support Groups each month. Spouses and affected community members are also welcome to attend. These sessions provide a safe and healing environment for sharing experiences, as well as offering support, affirmation, and hope. For more information, please contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator at VAC@richmonddiocese.,org or (877) 887-9603.
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.
Resources for Victim Survivors: