Sexual abuse of children is a human rights issue.
- Statute of limitation reform “know-how” is needed to promote changes in the face of institutional resistance to survivors’ claims for redress. A resource and strategy guide will help VOTF members or affiliates partner with others to advance justice for victims and protection for children.
Sexual abuse of children is endemic in society.
- Public awareness campaigns involving local affiliates will help overcome the anxiety of talking about the topic of child sexual abuse in our communities and open the doors of silence that have been closed by denial, shame and disregard. Children most often keep abuse a secret. Research suggests that as many as one in four girls and one in seven boys will be sexually abused before the age of eighteen.
- Effective educational programs are needed to help adults members of our parish and local communities prevent, recognize and act responsibly to child sexual abuse. Critical review of community programs and evidence-based curriculum will offer affiliates ways to empower adults to take responsible actions to protect children.
Sexual abuse survivors remain trapped in silence and shame.
- Survivors of childhood sexual abuse often find affirmation and healing when they share their stories in supportive, safe and healthy environments. A website will be created to facilitate opportunities so that adult members of the survivor community can bring their truth to light. The website will provide resources for support and victim awareness. Affiliates will be encouraged to reach out in support of survivors of child sexual abuse within our faith communities.