Church Sex Abuse Reporting Policies and Procedures


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Churches and religious organizations have a duty to take reasonable precautions to protect members of their congregations from criminal activities of church employees and other church members. This includes protecting children and adults from known or reasonably suspected sexual abusers. To protect a congregation from sexual abuse, church employees must be trained on how to handle allegations of sex abuse. However, many church organizations fail to have such policies in place.

Depending on the size of the church, there may be dozens of employees. However, it is incumbent on the organization to train each of its employees. From janitorial staff to priests and pastors and administrative staff, employees must be trained on what to do when they learn of the sexual abuse of a member of the congregation. There must be a clear policy on how any report of sexual abuse by a church member is to be handled. Once a policy is adopted, church employees must be trained on that policy. It is always a good idea to conduct annual refresher training and to train any new employees.

If reported, church administrators often try to sweep the situation under rug. Many cases may be  ignored. A victim or person who reported the abuse may be told that without actual evidence, like an eyewitness, there is nothing that can be done. Law enforcement is never notified. This kind of behavior is evidence that the church is protecting itself and its interests over those of the victim. This kind of behavior may result in civil liability. It is the kind of behavior which was alleged against Monsignor Lynn in the Philadelphia Catholic Church sex abuse case.

Related article: School Policies re: Sex Abuse of Students – The Importance of Training and Education

Related Church Sex Abuse Legal Articles:

Priest & Church Member Sex Abuse Lawyer

Former sex crimes unit prosecutor, Brian Kent, has devoted his entire career to helping victims of sex abuse find justice. For a free, confidential consultation about a priest/clergy sex abuse case, call Click To Call.

Mr. Kent’s law firm has the resources and experience to handle matters outside the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area, and the firm’s sex abuse lawyers can be admitted on a special basis in other states such as New York.

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