Child sexual abuse is a worldwide public health issue. Child abuse, particularly child sexual abuse, is reprehensible—especially when the wrongdoer is affiliated with the Church. The VIRTUS programs assist the Church in being a safe haven for children and a messenger for preventing child sexual abuse within the Church and society in general. VIRTUS seeks to achieve this lofty goal through its child sexual abuse prevention program: Protecting God’s Children.
A Protecting God’s Children for Adults Session will be held at the St. Augustine Catholic Church’s Church Hall on Tuesday, March 15 at 6 pm.
The Protecting God’s Children Program
Most organizations that work with children have some sort of child safety program. Through the Protecting God’s Children program, VIRTUS maximizes those efforts by helping churches and religious organizations refine their roles as child-safe environments and empowering caring adults to protect children.
Why Does It Work?
Child abusers seek to operate and abuse their power within nurturing, child-friendly environments where it is assumed that nobody would want to harm a child. Religious organizations of all faiths are an easy target. The Protecting God’s Children program implements safety mechanisms that send a message to all abusers and potential abusers:
Child abuse is not tolerated,
Children are vigilantly protected,
Victims are listened to, heard, and shielded from further abuse, and
Offenders are identified and punished.
By utilizing best practices for training and loss prevention, the Protecting God’s Children program helps make churches safe for all people—especially children.
The session lasts approximately 2½ hours. Children are not allowed because of the adult content of the videos and discussions. Every adult who works/volunteers with minors in the Diocese of Alexandria’s churches/schools is required to attend a VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children for Adults sexual abuse awareness training.