All forms of sexual abuse are intrinsically evil, especially those that occur within the Catholic Church. It is the commitment of the Diocese to provide an environment which is safe and nurturing.

The mission of the Safe Environment Program is:

  • To provide required education for all employees (clergy, religious and laity), those volunteers and others regularly involved with minors, and parents, as to the issue of abuse of children including the detection, prevention and reporting of child abuse.
  • To provide required training programs for children and young people in our Catholic schools and religious education programs. This includes age appropriate materials pertaining to personal safety and information about improper touching and relationships. Children are not expected to be fully knowledgeable about child abuse or of the laws governing care of children but they need to know when they should seek assistance from a trusted adult.
  • To thoroughly screen and evaluate the background of all employees at the parishes, Catholic schools, and other diocesan entities – clergy, religious and laity – and those volunteers who work with children, young people, and vulnerable adults.
  • To hold those who minister in the Diocese of Venice – all employees (clergy, religious and laity) at the parishes, Catholic schools, and other diocesan entities and those volunteers who work with children, young people, and vulnerable adults – to Christ-centered and professional codes of conduct.

An allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by anyone should be reported immediately to any Law Enforcement Agency and/or:

  • Florida Department of Children and Families Child Abuse Hotline – 1-800-96abuse (1-800-962-2873) or visit https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us
  • If the alleged abuser is a diocesan employee or volunteer, including clergy, also notify Victim Assistance Coordinator at 941-416-6114.

It is the duty of all persons to report abuse. The following are the mandatory steps regarding reporting:

  1. An allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by anyone should be reported immediately to the Florida Department of Children and Families Child Abuse Hotline (800-96Abuse) and/or any Law enforcement agency.
  2. An allegation of elder abuse by anyone should be reported immediately to the Elder Abuse Hotline (800-96Elder) and/or any Law enforcement agency.
  3. An allegation of labor or sex trafficking abuse by anyone should be reported immediately to the National Human Trafficking Hotline (888-373-7888) and/or any Law enforcement agency.
  4. If the alleged abuser is a Diocesan employee or volunteer, including clergy, also notify Victim Assistance Coordinator at 941-416-6114.

To view Safe Environment letter from Bishop Dewane, and for additional information on the Diocese of Venice website please go to the following links:

Join us at Our Lady of Lourdes as We Pray for the Victims of Grave Sins of Abuse in the Church and in the World. We also ask for Healing, Forgiveness and Protection from Evil. All this we ask through intercession of St. Michael the Archangel:

 

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou,
O Prince of the Heavenly Host
by the Power of God,
cast into hell,
satan and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the World
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.