In the Vineyard :: April 1, 2016 :: Volume 16, Issue 7

Doing Your Part to Protect Children
Make these steps routine in your parish and your community.

Know and Control and Monitor
Child abuse perpetrators often exploit their power within nurturing, child-friendly environments where it is assumed that nobody would want to harm a child. Insist that your parish community is a place where:

  • Child abuse is not tolerated.

  • Children and youth are vigilantly protected.

  • Victims are listened to, heard, and shielded from further abuse.

  • Offenders are identified and removed.

Be Aware
An outlook of “healthy suspicion” about something in your surroundings is an indispensable starting point. An attitude of concern and keen observation helps adults protect all children, youth, and vulnerable adults from being abused.

If you observe something that concerns you, communicate your concerns to the youth director, pastoral associate, religious education director, or other person in charge. They will help determine whether your “healthy suspicion” should be reported to civil authorities. To report abuse in your state, check out the resource provided under our Child Protection web page.

Steps You Can Take During April
Be aware; foster a “healthy suspicion”; and become an empowered adult to better protect children and youth.

Wear a Blue Ribbon! During this Child Abuse Prevention month, let’s all find a way to increase our awareness of child abuse prevention and the awareness of others. You are encouraged to wear a symbolic blue ribbon to signal awareness and dedication to prevent child sexual abuse.

(You can find various sources for blue pins and ribbons by searching online using the term “blue ribbons for child abuse prevention month” – usually they come in bulk orders.)


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