Child sexual abuse is a worldwide public health issue. 虐待儿童, 尤其是儿童性侵, is reprehensible—especially when the wrongdoer is affiliated with the Church. The VIRTUS® programs assist the Church in being a safe haven for children and a messenger for preventing child sexual abuse within the Church and society in general. We seek to achieve this lofty goal through our child sexual abuse prevention program: 保护上帝的孩子®.
The Protecting God’s Children Program
Most organizations that work with children have some sort of child safety program. Through the Protecting God’s Children program, we maximize those efforts by helping churches and 宗教 organizations refine their roles as child-safe environments and empowering caring adults to protect children.
虐待儿童rs seek to operate and abuse their power within nurturing, child-friendly environments where it is assumed that nobody would want to harm a child. Religious organizations of all faiths are an easy target. The Protecting God’s Children program implements safety mechanisms that send a message to all abusers and potential abusers:
- Victims are listened to, heard, and shielded from further abuse, and
- Offenders are identified and punished.
By utilizing best practices for training and loss prevention, the Protecting God’s Children program helps make churches safe for all people—especially children.
Maximizing a church’s role as a child-safe environment begins with making adults more aware of the ways children and adults interact with each other. The Protecting God’s Children program educates and trains adults (clergy, 宗教, 老师, 工作人员, 志愿者, and parents) about the dangers of abuse, 虐待的警告信号, 防止虐待的方法, the methods of properly reporting suspicions of abuse, and responding to allegations of abuse. 所有的美德培训项目, including the PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN programs, are comprehensive and multi-dimensional—incorporating proven best practice standards for the prevention of child sexual abuse by clergy, 工作人员, 志愿者, and others who interact with children within the church environment. Our training programs incorporate instructor-led training, train-the-facilitator教育, 意识的视频, and ongoing web-based training through online training bulletins and training modules via our VIRTUS Online system.
对于任何组织, the best practice to prevent wrongdoing, 包括儿童性虐待, is to have an organization use its own people to facilitate awareness of the issue. The Protecting God’s Children program begins with the training of internal facilitators—individuals selected by the arch教区, 教区, or 宗教 organization to train other adults and parents on how to best protect children. We use facilitator-led awareness sessions and continuous online training so that participants learn the best methods for delivering their message, including the training for the Protecting God’s Children program.
We begin by making adults of the Church that interact with children aware of how to protect children. Our Protecting God’s Children program for adults is a three-hour live awareness session instructing adults of the Church that to protect children you must have continuous awareness and vigilance. This awareness session makes trainees understand the signs of child sexual abuse, the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse, and five empowerment steps one can use to prevent child sexual abuse. Continuing online training is a valuable component of the Protecting God’s Children program for the continued awareness of child abuse.
Please use the following link to access the Official Charter document from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
You can support the Arch教区’s Keeping Kids Safe Campaign
The Arch教区 works to prevent abuse through our Safeguard the Children Programs on prevention and reporting, 指纹和背景调查, 还有神职人员组建计划. For National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Office of Safeguard the Children has created the 2019 Child Abuse Prevention Resource Packet. The packet includes pinwheel stickers, decorations and children’s activities as well as informative articles to help parents and other caring adults learn about how to protect our children and youth. This campaign provides another opportunity to transform awareness into action as we affirm every child’s right for a life filled with hope, 健康和幸福.