Trust your instincts, protection officer advises

The protection and prevention officer for a church committee on professional standards has appealed to people to "trust their instincts when they are suspicious" of the possibility of child abuse.

Legislation and other programs are not enough to protect the vulnerable, Brigidine Sr Angela Ryan told The Age.

The National Committee for Professional Standards is asking Catholics to learn more about the harm sexual abuse does, and how abusers groom their victims.

The Committee has produced a nine-page statement that says people rarely make false claims about sexual abuse. It says that in almost every case, there are people who sensed there was a problem but failed to act because they weren't sure or didn't know how to respond.

Sr Ryan said: "The more people know what went on in the past, the more they understand the effects of abuse, the more we can keep people safe."

Catholics urged to help stop sex abuse (The Age, 22/8/7)
Program urges every Catholic to commit to safety for all (ACBC, Media Release, 21/8/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Our Church, A Safe Community, A Shared Commitment (ACBC)
National Committee for Professional Standards (ACBC)
Towards Healing (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference)

Aussie victims less likely to sue, Church officials say (CathNews, 17/7/07)
US abuse crisis past peak (CathNews, 13/7/07)
LA archdiocese sells chancery to fund settlements (CathNews, 17/5/07)
LA Archdiocese settles abuse claims for $A75 million (CathNews, 4/12/07)
LA Cardinal calls sex abuse scandal a 'purification' (CathNews, 2/4/02)

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