Every April, Catholic parishes and schools across the United States participate in National Child Abuse Prevention Month. We observe Child Abuse Prevention Month to highlight the importance of protecting minors from abuse.
The Catholic Church understands that it is critical to build safety barriers around children and young people to keep them from harm. These barriers come in the form of codes of conduct, background evaluations, policies and procedures, and safety training programs. According to the USCCB, in the U.S., the Catholic Church has provided age appropriate safe environment abuse prevention training to more than 4 million children in Catholic Schools and in parish religious education programs. Over 2.5 million adults have undergone background checks and received safe environment training in the Church.
In the Diocese of San Jose, we are all part of a larger culture of protection and healing within the Church. Each one of us can play an important role in strengthening this culture. For example, we can better prevent abuse by ensuring that the signs of abuse are identified and reported when first noticed. We can also play a role in victim outreach by offering support, compassion, and prayers to those close to us who have been abused. The importance we place on carrying out these acts of charity will go a long way in creating a culture within our Church where children are safe and victims/survivors find healing.
Report Abuse: If You See Something, Say Something
If you have reason to believe or suspect that a child has been or is being abuse, it must be reported. Parish and school personnel, including clergy, are “Mandated Reporters” and are required by state law to report abuse, even a reasonable suspicion of abuse, to civil authorities (Law Enforcement or CPS). Volunteers are “Ethical Reporters” and should report abuse to authorities, and must report to diocesan Mandated Reporters. After making a report to the local authorities, the diocese request a follow up report to the Office for the Protection of Children & Vulnerable Adults at (408) 983-0113.
If an adult victim/survivor needs to report a case of Clergy Abuse, we encourage them to fist contact their local civil authorities (Law enforcement). Once a report is filed with the local civil authorities, individuals are encouraged to contact: The Office for the Protection of Children & Vulnerable Adults at (408) 983-0113.
Reports to the Diocese are accepted by either online submission or by phone. All reports are confidential to protect the rights of the victim.
For online submissions, please use the following URL to access our secure third-party reporting server designated for this purpose: https://opcva.ethicspoint.com.