On the heels of a Pennsylvania grand jury report investigating decades of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, three organizations are responding with resources in support of sexual assault survivors and Catholic parishes.
The Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office for Child and Youth Protection said in a statement issued Aug. 14, the day the grand jury’s report was released, that they are working together to offer “free and confidential resources” for the more than 1,000 victims identified in the report, for parishioners reading it and for anyone “who may need guidance in talking through the emotional toll,” the statement read.
The resources include: Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, 888-772-7227, for those seeking counseling regarding rape and sexual assault; Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Office for Child and Youth Protection, 888-800-8780, for resources within the archdiocese and for information on resources in other Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania; and Keystone Crisis Intervention Team, 855-767-5248, for those seeking crisis response assistance.
The agencies urged anyone who suspects child abuse to call ChildLine, the 24-hour statewide system operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, toll free at 800-932-0313.
Personal information revealed to the agencies will not be shared among them to ensure participants’ confidentiality, they pledged.
In their statement the agencies said they “recognize that news coverage about sexual abuse, transcripts of victim testimony and the resultant conversations among friends, neighbors and family can often be traumatic and bring about feelings of helplessness, anger or despair for victims, parishes and the community. This report and its scope may deeply impact victims and our community at large.
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