Reporting Child Sexual Abuse

For victims/survivors:

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse by a priest, deacon, or individual representing the Catholic Church in a diocese or eparchy in the United States, no matter how long ago the abuse took place, you can report it.

Reporting to civil authorities

To file a report with the police, call 911. You may also call a non-emergency number of the jurisdiction in which the abuse occurred.

Reporting to the Church

It is particularly important, for help, healing, and response from the diocese/eparchy that you contact the appropriate victim assistance coordinator. Contact the coordinator in the diocese/eparchy that your abuse took place.

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You can also report the abuse to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The number for the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection is 202-541-5413.

For Mandatory Reporters

Mandatory reporters are those who have regular contact with vulnerable people such as children, disabled persons, and senior citizens, and are therefore legally required to ensure a report is made when abuse is observed or suspected. Specific details vary across jurisdictions. Go here to look up mandatory reporting laws in your state.

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If you have a suspicion that a child is being abused, or if a child has disclosed abuse, you are responsible for reporting it to the authorities. Multiple options are available to report incidences of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult.

Reporting to civil authorities

To file a report with the police, call 911. You may also call a non-emergency number of the jurisdiction in which the abuse occurred.

Reporting to the Church

To report ongoing abuse by clergy, report the abuse first to civil authorities. To report the abuse to the Church, contact the coordinator in the diocese/eparchy in which the abuse is taking place.

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These individuals are available to assist you in making a formal complaint of abuse to the diocese/eparchy, in arranging a personal meeting with the bishop or his representative, and for obtaining support for your specific needs. The Church is required to report all abuse to civil authorities.

You can also report the abuse to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The number for the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection is 202-541-5413.

Other Resources

State Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Numbers

State toll-free numbers and websites for specific agencies designated to receive and investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect.

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State Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Numbers

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

National reporting hotline for internet safety. CyberTipline 1-800-843-5678

National Children’s Alliance

If you’re unsure about whether to make an official report or just need support, contact a child advocacy center.

Call: 1-800-239-9950 or visit there website.

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Darkness to Light Helpline

Call: 1-866-FOR-LIGHT

ChildHelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline

Call: 1-800-4-A-CHILD

National Sexual Assault Hotline

Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area or visit there website.

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