Safe Environment

What to do if you suspect sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric or church worker or volunteer:  FIRST, call the LA Child Abuse Hotline, 855-4LA-KIDS (855-452-5437) and/or your local law enforcement agency -- THEN, call the diocesan Victims Assistance Coordinator, Dr. Lee Kneipp, Clinical Psychologist, (318) 542-9805.

 

We will listen to your needs and support you. We will help you make a formal complaint and arrange a personal meeting with the bishop or his delegate. We encourage you to come forward and speak out.

When you call to make a report, please remember:

  • Your report is a request for an investigation, not an accusation.
  • You should report EACH incident of suspected abuse so it may be investigated.

Once the report is made to the proper authorities, it is recommended the immediate supervisor/Pastor be informed by the person making the report. If support is needed, the immediate supervisor/Pastor may be notified.

Please follow all applicable civil laws for reporting instances of suspected child abuse.
Click here to see a summary of these laws for Louisiana.

The initial report may be verbal, and should contain the following information, if known:

  • Name, address, age, sex and race of the child
  • Nature, extent and cause of child’s injuries or endangered condition, including any previous known or suspected abuse to the child or child’s siblings
  • Name and address of parent(s) or caretaker
  • Names and ages of all other members of child’s household
  • Name and address of the reporter
  • Account of how child came to reporter’s attention
  • Explanation of the cause of child’s injury or condition offered by child, the caretaker or any other person
  • Any other information which the reporter believes might be important or relevant.

Suicide prevention, human trafficking, domestic assault, and sexual abuse hotlines can be found in the:
“Healing Voices Newsletter” -- a website created by dedicated survivors of clergy sexual abuse and it has many resources including a compilation of “Emergency Numbers” such as hotlines for suicide prevention, human trafficking, domestic assault, and sexual abuse.

Upcoming VIRTUS Training Sessions:

The Diocese requires mandatory participation in the VIRTUS® sexual abuse awareness program for clergy, employees and commissioned volunteers.

The following are sessions currently scheduled throughout the diocese. Click on a date below and complete the registration process:

Thursday, November 29, 6:00 p.m., St. Joseph School (Religion Classroom), PLAUCHEVILLE

Saturday, December 1, 10:00 a.m., Our Lady of Lourdes Church, VIDALIA

Tuesday, December 18, 6:00 p.m., St. Joseph Catholic Center, 4400 Coliseum Blvd., ALEXANDRIA

Monday, January 14, 6:00 p.m., Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Church Hall), NATCHITOCHES

If you have an interest in being trained as a VIRTUS facilitator, please contact Pam Delrie, (318) 445-6424, ext. 213 or email pdelrie@diocesealex.org.The Office of Safe Environment oversees the implementation of the diocesan program, “A Safe Environment for the Protection of Children and Young People.”  The office provides education resources for children, clergy, religious, and laity (employees and volunteers) in the prevention of and recognition of child abuse. This office is also responsible for processing criminal history checks on all clergy, religious, and laity who have contact with minors.