April is Child Abuse Prevention Month & APril 18-24th is Safe Environment Awareness Week
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has declared April 18th - 24th as Safe Environment Awareness Week. You can read the official Proclamation here. Each year in the month of April, which is recognized around the country as child abuse prevention month, we dedicate a week to elevating the general awareness of the Church’s efforts to keep our children safe. We want people to know that we are committed to maintaining safe environments in our parishes and schools through adult child abuse prevention training; criminal background checks for all clergy, volunteers working with minors, and employees; safety training for children in each grade level; and adhering to all mandatory reporting requirement laws.
We remind everyone that it is our duty as children of God to recognize and protect all, especially the vulnerable, from abuse. Please take time to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of those being abused, as well as those who may be abusers. Though it is often difficult subject matter, talking about and being aware of abuse in all its forms helps with prevention and bringing justice to those who have been victimized. Please continue to hold all affected by abuse in your prayers. We also encourage you to pray a Novena for the Protection of Children. Join us in our Promise to Protect and Pledge to Heal.
To learn more or register for Safe Environment Education, visit the Archdiocese of Milwaukee web page.
*Due to COVID-19, all safe environment education training sessions are conducted virtually in accordance with the guidelines laid out in the Catholic Comeback matrix. Participants will register for a session using the same process as an in-person session, and will be emailed the session log-in information 48 hours prior to the session.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has partnered with Convercent, a third-party company, to administer an online service to report misconduct.
If you or someone you know is being abused or you suspect abuse is occurring, contact your local law enforcement department immediately. Any instance of abuse involving a person currently under 18 years of age (minor) should immediately be reported to the civil authorities. Locate the civil authorities in the 10 counties of the archdiocese.
If you or someone you know was abused as a minor by clergy or church personnel, call your local police, sheriff or district attorney’s office to file a criminal report.
Reports can also be made to the Victim Assistance Coordinator who is available to support abuse survivors. A formal complaint of abuse can be made to the archdiocese by calling the Victim Assistance Coordinator at 414-758-2232.
An alternative way to make a formal report regarding sexual abuse for those not wanting to contact the archdiocese is available to you 24 hours a day/7 days a week through the Healing Center website or by calling 414-219-5555.