Child sexual abuse is a chronic, under-reported tragedy in the United States. Studies cited by Prevent Child Abuse America estimate that at least 20% of American women and 5-16% of American men experienced some form of sexual abuse as children. Sexual abuse can occur in all populations, at all socioeconomic and educational levels and across all racial and cultural groups. The hopeful news is that child sexual abuse is preventable — if children, parents, and schools are armed with the knowledge and tools that help them prevent abuse.
Each year, the Diocese of St. Augustine provides age-appropriate lessons for children and youth in parish religious education classes, youth ministry programs, and Catholic schools.
The VIRTUS Teaching Safety – Empowering God’s Children program is a vehicle through which parents, teachers, catechists, and youth ministers give children and young people the tools they need to protect themselves from those who might do them harm. It is of vital importance that every child and youth in our Catholic Schools, Parish Religious Education Program, and Parish Youth Programs be given the opportunity to take part in this critical element of our Safe Environment Program. Here again, there can be no compromise.
For information about the lesson plans and education for our children, contact one of the following directors:
- Catholic Schools – Deacon Scott Conway (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Parish Religious Education Programs – Erin McGeever (email@example.com)
- Youth Ministry – Robin Shipley (firstname.lastname@example.org)