“We cannot undo the actions of the past, but we shall remain vigilant to ensure that not one child will ever be abused on our watch.”
New Jersey’s Catholic dioceses have conducted some 380,000 criminal back-ground checks of all diocesan and parish personnel who have regular contact with minors. In addition, all Catholic dioceses have integrated a comprehensive program of reporting abuse to civil authorities, compensating and counseling victims, implementing rigorous protocols, and training for more than 2.3 million clergy, employees, volunteers, and children.
We thank law enforcement agencies, child protection advocates, and victims themselves who have helped us move beyond compliance to creating the safest environments for learning and worship. We are deeply thankful for those who have joined our efforts to extend both healing and hope to every victim and their family.
We renew our commitment to foster healing and seek forgiveness.
The Archdiocese of Newark takes very seriously any and all complaints of sexual misconduct by members of the clergy, Religious and lay staff of the Archdiocese We encourage anyone with knowledge of an act of sexual misconduct to inform the Archdiocese immediately so that we may take appropriate action to protect others and provide support to victims of sexual abuse.
Although we will report all allegations of abuse immediately to the appropriate County Prosecutor, we encourage anyone with an allegation of abuse also to reach out to the prosecutor.
Individuals who report an allegation of sexual misconduct may do so by calling the Victim’s Assistance Coordinator of the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection at (201) 407-3256.
The phone numbers for the County Prosecutors within the Archdiocese are:
Bergen – (201) 226-5689
Essex – (973) 753-1121
Hudson – (201) 795-6400
Union – (908) 965-3879
For more information on the Archdiocese’s Policies dealing with sexual misconduct by clergy, Religious and lay staff and volunteers, and for information on sexual abuse awareness training for both adults and children/youth, click here.
What You Can Do to Protect Children
Schools and parents are on the front lines when it comes to protecting children from sexual abuse. There are steps you can take to protect your own children and others too:
Get educated about child sex abuse:
Look at statistics and learn more about the problem- Darkness to Light, a non-profit committed to empowering adults to prevent child sexual abuse, has compiled statistics and facts on child sexual abuse and it can be viewed by clicking here.
Minimize opportunities for abuse:
Find out how sexual predators groom potential victims. Think carefully about any settings/situations your children will be in- To learn more on how to minimize these opportunities from Darkness to Light, click here.
Teaching Children to recognize sexual abuse and report it:
Emotional and behavioral signs are more common than physical signs- For tips on how to talk to talk about it from Darkness to Light, click here.
- Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese offer Protecting God’s Children, Touching Safety Program for Children™, a school-based curriculum designed by VIRTUS®. The Touching Safety program is a vehicle through which parents, teachers, catechists, and youth ministers (educators) give children and young people the tools they need to protect themselves from those who might harm them. To learn more about the Archdiocesan offerings of this program, click here.
Learn to recognize the signs that a child is being abused:
Don’t expect obvious signs when a child is being abused. Signs are often there, but you have to know what to look for. To learn more on how to recognize the signs from Darkness to Light, click here.
- Protecting God’s Children® for Adults is training conducted by VIRTUS® certified facilitators on the prevention of child sexual abuse. The training makes participants aware of the signs of child sexual abuse, the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse, and five easy steps one can use to prevent child sexual abuse. To learn more about the Archdiocesan offerings of this program, click here.
Make sure all places are safe for your children:
Churches, schools, and youth organizations must ensure that children and youth who worship, study, or participate in activities sponsored can do so in the safest and most secure setting possible. The Archdiocese of Newark has a Safe Environment Coordinator is Karen Clark to (973-497-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org) ensure:
- A code of conduct for clergy and for any other paid personnel and volunteers in positions of trust who have regular contact with children and young people.
- Training for all adults who work with children that consists of:
- Signs an adult may see in a child who is abused
- Signs an adult may see in a person who abuses children
- What actions an adult should take when they believe child abuse of any kind may be occurring
- A training program for children that includes age-appropriate materials pertaining to personal safety that conforms to Catholic teachings
Do not be afraid to speak up, even to Church Leaders:
Under church law, you have the right and responsibility to bring concerns about these matters to the attention of the clergy. Canon Law 208-223 can be viewed here
Mental Health Resources:
- Mental Health Cares – www.njmentalhealthcares.org/
- State of NJ – Human Resources – www.nj.gov/humanservices/dmhas/home/hotlines/
- State of NJ – Human Resources – Hot Line Numbers – www.nj.gov/humanservices/dmhas/home/hotlines/#4
- Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark – Psychological Services – www.ccannj.com/phychological.php
Pamphlet: Sex Abuse: What Parents, Teachers, and Principals Can Do and How to Talk with Children by Catholic Schools Office Archdiocese of Newark, click here.
United States Catholic Conference of Bishops – Child and Youth Protection– For more information on the USCCB’s Audits, Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, FAQs, Parent Information, Reports and Research, Resources, Safe Environment, Victim Assistance, Podcasts, and Videos, click here.
Rosary for Healing by USCCB Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/resources/upload/rosary-for-healing-booklet.pdf
Five things you need to know about sexual abuse in the church. Trying to make sense of the Pennsylvania grand jury report? Here are five things to keep in mind. By Nicholas Cafardi, US CATHOLIC: https://www.uscatholic.org/articles/201808/five-things-you-need-know-about-sexual-abuse-church-31473
The Darkness of Scandal and the Light of Christ by Leah Murphy, Life Teen Blog: https://lifeteen.com/blog/darkness-scandal-light-christ/
Youth Ministry… Addressing the Sad Reality of Sexual Abuse by the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding: https://cpyu.org/2018/02/09/youth-ministry-addressing-the-sad-reality-of-sexual-abuse/
- I Said No! A Kid-to-kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private by Kimberly King (Author), Zack King (Author), Sue Rama (Illustrator), Boulden Publishing
- Some Parts are not for Sharing by Julie K. Federico, Tate Publishing
- My Private Parts are Private!: A Guide for Teaching Children about Safe Touching by Robert D. Edelman, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Do You Have a Secret? (Let’s Talk About It!) by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos (Author), Marta Fabrega (Illustrator), Barron’s Educational Series
- Bobby and Mandee’s Good Touch/Bad Touch: Children’s Safety Book by Robert Kahn (Author), Chris Hardie (Illustrator), Future Horizons
Bishop Barron’s Q&A about the Sexual Abuse Crisis