When a person comes forward with an allegation of being sexually abused by a friar, the Victim Assistance Coordinator or a Representative of the Province will explain the procedure and provide a guide explaining the procedure the Province follows in responding to allegations. The Representative of the Province will offer to meet in person with the alleged victim if he or she so desires. The Representative will maintain a compassionate and pastoral manner regardless of the demeanor of the alleged victim, recognizing that the experience of sexual abuse and difficulty of coming forward may bring out strong emotions during the disclosure process.
It is recognized that some individuals who have experienced being sexually abused by friars may first approach the Province through legal proceedings. While this situation presents difficulties for assisting in the healing of the individual, Representatives of the Province will offer, through the legal counsel of the individual who alleges being sexually abused by a friar, to meet with him or her, as may be appropriate for the situation.
While it is the sincere desire of the Province to meet and assist all who claim to be victims of sexual abuse by a friar, the Province understands that when a victim of sexual abuse is represented by legal counsel, these direct opportunities become limited. However, the Province will, through a victim’s lawyer, extend an offer to meet or assist the victim with healing.
It is understood that some individuals who have alleged being sexually abused by a friar may choose to not accept a meeting with Representatives of the Province. It is recognized that some unusual circumstances may cause a meeting or even an offer of a meeting with an individual who has alleged being sexually abused by a friar to be impossible. The Province will document these circumstances and any alternative form of pastoral assistance that has been offered.