The Child Protection/Safe Environment Program
The Catholic Diocese of Richmond is committed to ensuring that diocesan institutions and ministries provide a safe and nurturing environment for children, young people, and vulnerable individuals. The mission of the Child Protection/Safe Environment Program is to create a safe environment consistently incorporating the standards as outlined in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
Reporting Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment
The Diocese of Richmond encourages individuals who have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the Diocese to report abuse directly to law enforcement, including Child Protective Services (CPS) at 1-800-552-7096, and by calling the Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Hotline at 1-833-454-9064. In addition, we place no deadlines or time limits on those who contact the diocese to report the sexual abuse of minors by priests, deacons, and or other personnel.
After first contacting the civil authorities, in a commitment to support and facilitate healing, individuals who have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee, or volunteer of the Diocese of Richmond are then encouraged to contact the confidential Victim Assistance Reporting 24 Hour Number 1-877-887-9603 or Director of Safe Environment 804-622-5203 or by email at email@example.com.
Diocesan Response to the Sexual Abuse Crisis
“I am firmly committed, as Bishop of the Richmond Diocese, to addressing accusations of abuse quickly and transparently. Be assured, we will continue to make protection of the most vulnerable a priority in our parishes, schools and throughout our diocese. We will pray for all victims of abuse, express sorrow for the failure of Church leaders, seek forgiveness for our sins, and ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the ongoing healing of the People of God.” – Bishop Barry Knestout
Our Commitments: To addressing allegations of sexual abuse and protecting
God’s children in the Diocese of Richmond
- Every allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is reported to civil authorities and all adult survivors of sexual abuse or harassment are encouraged to file a report with civil authorities.
- To ensure that no priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer in ministry has been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult.
- To ensure that no priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer in ministry has been credibly accused of sexual harassment of another person.
- Since 2002, the Diocesan Review Board, consisting mostly of volunteer lay professionals, reviews all allegations of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy in conjunction with civil authorities.
- All priests, deacons, religious, lay employees, and volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults are background screened every five years.
- All priests, deacons, religious, lay employees, and volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults are trained to identify inappropriate behavior, grooming techniques used by abusers, and how to report suspicious behavior or abuse.
- All priests, deacons, religious, lay employees, and volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults are required to read monthly bulletins to maintain an awareness of child sexual abuse.