The document is a response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church and is their “Promise to Protect, Pledge to Heal.”
In order to protect the faithful in the future, Article 12 of the Charter states:
Dioceses/eparchies will establish ‘Safe Environment’ programs. They will cooperate with parents, civil authorities, educators, and community organizations to provide education and training for children, youth, parents, ministers, educators, and others about ways to make and maintain a safe environment for children.
Dioceses/eparchies will make clear to clergy and all members of the community the standards of conduct for clergy and other persons in positions of trust with regard to sexual abuse.”
This guideline, which mandates that all dioceses create a safe environment for children and young people who pray, study and worship in our schools and churches, is the basis for our diocesan safe environment programs.
The Diocese of Savannah is committed to providing safe environments and fostering continuous improvement in every organization that sponsors activities and/or provides services to children and youth.
Through a series of workshops, educational materials, classroom instruction and background checks, the Diocese is:
As an adult you play a vital role in creating safe environments for children. To ensure the safety of everyone, especially those at-risk:
Knowledge and vigilance are crucial to creating safe environments. Be attentive to any radical changes in behavior in a child which might indicate abuse of some kind. Some of the indicators are:
One or more signs of abuse may mean that the child is experiencing some kind of problem. A trusted adult should talk with the child about her/his feelings and concerns. Now is the time to start talking to your children. You want them to know they can share anything with you and you will still love them.
Be aware of warning signs and inappropriate behaviors on the part of adults, who:
To report that a child is being harmed or at risk of being harmed, contact your county Department of Family and Children Services or Sheriff’s Department.
To report an allegation about someone in Church ministry within the Diocese of Savannah follow these three steps:1. Notify the appropriate supervisor.
Pray for us.