Providing assistance for victims of sexual abuse and their families
Let there now be no doubt or confusion on anyone’s part: For us, your Bishops, our obligation to protect children and young people and to prevent sexual abuse flows from the mission and example given to us by Jesus Christ himself, in whose name we serve. We continue to have a special care for and a commitment to reaching our to the victims of sexual abuse and their families.
— From the Preamble to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
The Diocese of Harrisburg provides assistance to anyone who as a minor was sexually abused by a priest, deacon, employee or volunteers of the diocese. Parents, guardians, children and survivors of sexual abuse are invited and encouraged to call our private and confidential Youth Protection Hotline at 1-800-626-1608.
The Diocese of Harrisburg is committed to assisting you in your pursuit of emotional and spiritual well-being.
Dr. Mark A Totaro MBA PhD
Victim Assistance Coordinator
- A parent or guardian who has reason to believe his or her child has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, employee or volunteer of the Diocese of Harrisburg.
- Any person, who as a child, experienced sexual abuse by a priest, deacon, employee or volunteer of the Diocese of Harrisburg
- An individual who has reported allegations of sexual abuse as a minor and is having difficulty coping with feelings of anger and depression, or experiencing other signs of emotional distress as a result of sexual abuse by a priest, deacon, employee or volunteer of the Diocese of Harrisburg.
- You can expect a respectful, confidential consultation and interview with our Victim Assistance Coordinator.
- If your allegation involves a diocesan priest or deacon, the Victim Assistance Coordinator will facilitate a meeting with a representative from the diocesan Clergy Office.
- The Diocese will notify law enforcement authorities of the allegations in accordance with the requirements of the law.
- Assist you when deemed appropriate by the Diocese, and help you to obtain outpatient counseling from diocesan-recommended, licensed and qualified providers.
- Explore with you, as a pastoral outreach, financial resources for counseling costs.
- Arrange pastoral visits or meetings to aid in the healing process, which may include spiritual direction.
- Maintain contact with you to ensure that the counseling you receive is helpful.
- Provide other assistance as may be deemed appropriate by the Diocese.