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Child and Youth Protection
Protecting Our Children, What We’re Doing
“The Church in the United States is experiencing a crisis without precedent in our times. The sexual abuse of children and young people by some priests and bishops, and the ways in which we bishops addressed these crimes and sins, have caused enormous pain, anger, and confusion. Innocent victims and their families have suffered terribly. . . . From the depths of our hearts, we bishops express great sorrow and profound regret for what the Catholic people are enduring.” (Preamble, U.S.C.C.B. Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People)
The Diocese of Stockton has had a policy to address issues of sexual abuse of minors since 1987. This policy has undergone periodic revision, most recently in 2003.
To ensure that our children and young people are able to grow “in age and grace and wisdom” in Christ, the Diocese has hired a Training Coordinator to oversee the Safe Environment program in our parishes, schools, and other institutions. For information on the various training components and protocols established to protect our children and young people, contact the Training Coordinator.
How To Report Complaints or Allegations of Sexual Abuse in the Diocese of Stockton:
The Diocese of Stockton treats all complaints of sexual abuse seriously and deals with such allegations in a confidential, prompt, and thorough manner with compassion and consideration for all those involved. The first obligation of the Church with regard to victims is for healing and reconciliation. Dioceses and eparchies continue to reach out to every person who has been a victim of sexual abuse as a minor by anyone in church service, whether that abuse is recent or occurred in the past.
If you suffered abuse, it was not your fault.
If you are a victim of sexual abuse by a priest, deacon, or individual representing the Catholic Church, there are several things you can do:
1. Contact the appropriate law enforcement agency, which can help determine options for making a criminal complaint.
2. Contact a local child protection agency, a private attorney, a support group, an abuse hotline, or a mental health professional.
3. You may contact the Diocese Victim Assistance Coordinator to make a complaint of sexual abuse against anyone acting in the name of the Catholic Church and you may do so in writing or by telephone. Whether the abuse was recent or occurred many years in the past, contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator at (209) 466-0636 ext. 604, or in writing to 1105 N. Lincoln St. Stockton, CA. 95203, marked “Confidential” and directed to the attention of the Victim Assistance Coordinator.