April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and is a reminder to all Catholics that the ultimate responsibility of any adult is to ensure that abuse does not occur. Therefore, we should always be vigilant and aware. In an effort to promote education and to help parishes and families to make child safety and prevention of abuse a priority, the Diocese of St. Petersburg offers several resources below.
Child Abuse Prevention Resources www.dosp.org/safe-environment/child-safety
Diocese of St. Petersburg Safe Environment Training: www.dosp.org/safe-environment/about
Faith and Digital Safety Information: www.faithandsafety.org
Anti-Pornography Information: www.dosp.org/life/freedom-from-pornography
Also, if you ever become aware of sexual abuse, you should always call law enforcement or the Florida Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873.
If someone should need assistance because of sexual abuse by Church personnel (clergy, a church employee or volunteer) or a contractor/vendor, they should call the Victim Assistance Minister, John Lambert, LCSW. He can be reached by phone at 1-866-407-4505 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn about resources available from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and their Promise to Protect, Pledge to Heal, click on these resources:
To learn about how the Church is working to protect children and to learn how you can help prevent child sexual abuse, watch this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6cW4YUsTlA.