“I want our Archdiocese to lead the way in the care of victims.”Archbishop Joseph Naumann
We use a Model of Accompaniment grounded in restorative theory in caring for survivors of church sexual abuse. This is more than simply helping and serving others; it is a model that recognizes the harm caused by abuse in the church and actively works toward healing through atonement. We strive to walk actively with survivors, sharing in their sorrows and their joy, walking side by side as they work toward healing. It is first and foremost about our responsibility and solidarity with survivors of church abuse. The basis for this accompaniment is found in the Christ-centered relationship in which God accompanies us in Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit to restore and reconcile human relationships. It is saying “Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay” (Ruth 1: 16-17)
Survivor Support Group
The church’s first response as a community of believers toward victims/survivors of abuse is for healing and reconciliation. A new Survivors Support Group is a way to assist victims of abuse by any church worker — priest, deacon, religious, employee or volunteer — whether the abuse was recent or occurred many years ago.
- The Survivors Support Group meets twice monthly
- Meetings are held at a location in the Johnson County, KS area
- This is a safe, supportive environment to talk about the impact to your lives and your feelings, to know you are not alone, and to promote healing
- To protect the privacy of potential participants, please contact the Victim Care Advocate for information on days, times and location of the meeting by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 913-298-9244
- Must be at least 18 years of age to participate
Finding a Therapist
As part of our accompaniment of survivors, we can help identify and coordinate trauma-specific services provided by therapists trained in clinical interventions that are designed to address trauma-related symptoms, including PTSD. Trauma-informed counseling is evidence-based and promising prevention, intervention, or treatment services that address traumatic stress as well as any co-occurring disorders (including substance use and mental disorders) that developed during or after the trauma.
For additional information please contact our Victim Care Advocate at 913-298-9244 or via email.
What is Restorative Practice theory?
Restorative practices is a social science that studies how to improve and repair relationships among people and communities when there has been harm. The purpose is to build healthy communities, to repair harm, and to restore relationships as much as possible. The Office for Protection and Care is enhancing our program using Restorative Practices when facilitating services for survivors.
What does this approach look like?
We are shifting our approach to be:
- Inclusive and
To support survivor needs, first and foremost, but also the needs of the community harmed by the abuse, Restorative Practices recognizes the survivor is central to the process and places the focus on the needs of the survivor. Secondary survivors — someone who knows someone close to them whom experienced sexual violence — can also experience harm. A survivor’s experience of sexual violence impacts parents, siblings, spouses, children and other loved ones. Therefore, it is important to consider the needs of the survivor as well as their community.
How does this theory consider the needs of the survivor and their community?
Restorative practices look at:
- Who has been hurt?
- What are their needs?
- Whose obligations are these?
- Who has a stake in this situation?
- What is the appropriate process to involve stakeholders in an effort to put things right?
Restorative Practices involves active engagement, participation and accountability to respond to the harm and to make things as right as possible. It allows the survivor to share their experience and to be heard through active listening and compassionate, caring responses. The archdiocese believes restorative practices may help bring healing and peace to survivors wounded by sexual abuse.