Reporting Abuse of Children, Young People & Vulnerable Adults
The first obligation of the Church with regard to victims is for healing and reconciliation. The Office of Safe Environment is charged with creating a safe and compassionate environment for victims to come forward while ensuring that civil authorities are notified and victims and their families are provided with counseling and other assistance in the healing process. If you observe or have reason to believe that a child, young person or vulnerable adult has been subjected to abuse by a priest, deacon, employee or volunteer of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, you must report the alleged abuse to local law enforcement and state agencies, and you must notify the Diocesan Office of Safe Environment at 801-328-8641, x344. For law enforcement and agency contact information, please select Resources from the list on the right side of the screen.
Children and Youth
In response to the clergy sexual abuse of minors, in 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Office of Safe Environment of the Diocese of Salt Lake City was created that same year to help ensure that children and youth in the care of the Church are protected from sexual abuse. Please review the diocesan policy on Instructions for Reporting Alleged Abuse in Schools and Parishes.
What is the definition of a Vulnerable Adult?
A vulnerable adult is any person 18 years of age or older whose ability to perform normal activities of daily living is impaired due to a mental, emotional, long-term physical, developmental disability or dysfunction, brain damage, or the infirmities of aging.
Statistics tell us that the abuse of vulnerable adults is more emotional, physical, and financial as opposed to sexual abuse that has been reported to be one percent of the cases of abuse. In the United States, approximately 500,000 allegations of abuse of vulnerable adults are reported to Adult Protective Services each year, but it is thought that a very small percentage of cases are ever reported. Studies indicate that as many as 10 percent of the vulnerable adult population is subject to abuse and that only one in six will ever be reported.