Up at AC: We’ve Got a Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy, Now What?


More belaboring of points.  Or perhaps my accountant-training beginning to show.  Between a love of procedures, and hammered-into-head lessons about keeping lawyers at bay, yes, these are the things I have learned to think about.  It’s not good enough to have the policy.  You have to teach people what it says, and make sure they know how to apply it.  And then actually follow the steps.

Otherwise you get this.  Which nobody wants.

6 thoughts on “Up at AC: We’ve Got a Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy, Now What?

  1. Yup. Follow the steps. Predators count on silence. And it’s not just in the Catholic clergy; employees of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, face charges today after they spent a week on an internal investigation of a child’s rape – which violated their written policy of reporting incidents to the state’s Department of Human Services and to internal directors within an hour.

  2. Definitely not a Catholic problem only. My goodness I can’t imagine delaying reporting of a rape. That’s just horrible.

    I don’t get this impulse towards internal pre-investigations. If you really have doubts, just tell the police it’s an allegation but you don’t know how credible it is yet, and you’ll keep them updated as more evidence rolls in.

  3. Better yet, just report it and let the police investigate. That’s what they do. You are a catechist, not trained to investigate. But that does not mean to report, then step back and say you’ve done your part. We are still obligated to make sure the issue doesn’t slip through the cracks. Further, as Catholics, we are then called to work toward healing and the reconciliation of all parties to Christ.

  4. Absolutely, Leslie. And I think an internal investigation is important both because it may turn up evidence that is helpful for the police, and also because it is useful in figuring out if there is anything that can be done to prevent a similar incident in the future. But like you say, the internal investigation is done in addition to, not instead of, the police work.

  5. You will definitely benefit from reading one of my schoolbooks…
    “What every BODY is saying” by Joe Navarro. I remember a passage or example he used in his book where he picked up on signs of child abuse in an autistic child at his daughter’s swimming pool. His suspicion led to others coming forward about having suspicions but didn’t want or feel comfortable to saying anything. Others just complacently assumed the bruises were because the child was clumsy because of her handicap…eventually it led to a police investigation.

    At that moment though he was a Dad, not an FBI agent, but his particular way of looking at the non-verbals we all use to see something that wasn’t right. And that’s what I like about the book. It is a wonderful read not just to spot child abuse but for everyday use…like job interviews (both sides as the interviewer and the interviewee) or daily interaction with people in general.

    Anyways, I got the book and Im almost done with the class so you can borrow it! For those can’t borrow it from me here it is at Amazon.


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