Providing a safe environment for children, youth, and vulnerable adults
Safeguard the Children is a comprehensive program designed to promote a safe environment for children, youth and vulnerable adults and prevent child sexual abuse. The program was initiated in all dioceses in the United States at the direction of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
There is a Safeguard the Children (STC) Committee in each parish which helps to implement the objectives of the USCCB “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has produced an informative brochure entitled "Working Together" that provides resources on how to prevent abuse and provides information on reporting child abuse. You can find it along with more information about the policies and activities of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in “Protecting Our Children" at www.lacatholics.org/departments-ministries/protecting-children/ .
You can also read the monthly bulletin put out by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at: www.lacatholics.org/did-you-know/
For a schedule of VIRTUS sessions and fingerprinting at St. Monica, please check latest announcements or the calendar. You can also call the Parish Office at (310) 566-1500 for dates as well.
In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, April 2021, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles invites you to join us in transforming awareness into action by participating in a special nine-day Novena for Protecting and Healing from Abuse, April 22-30.
The Office of Safeguard the Children is dedicated to “protecting all of God’s children” by fully implementing Article 12 of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002. The office provides ongoing support, education, training and resources to help prevent child sexual abuse and to address children’s safety in our parishes, schools, homes and communities.
To this end, St. Monica Safeguard the Children (STC) Committee continues to assess and implement the objectives of the charter and to protect vulnerable populations in our midst. Our community regularly hosts VIRTUS training and fingerprinting opportunities to ensure that our volunteers, clergy, and staff have been trained on what a safe environment should look like. It is important that everyone is aware of what abuse can look like, and that we report suspected child or elder abuse. We are all responsible for the care and safety of children and vulnerable adults.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles also continues helping survivors of sexual abuse and their families during National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and on behalf of Archbishop José H. Gomez, we affirm our continued commitment to report allegations of sexual misconduct to law enforcement, support victim-survivors in their healing journey, and protect children and the vulnerable.
As a community, we hold victims and survivors in our hearts and pray for healing throughout our nation. We will light our candle on Apr. 25 and in a special way pray for protection and healing from abuse. May we all find comfort in the love and support of our community, gathered together to protect the most vulnerable.
Together for the next nine days, let us pray that the vulnerable are protected from abuse, and that survivors of abuse may be accompanied ont heir paths to healing.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be, Prayer for Healing
God of endless love,
ever caring, ever strong,
always present, always just:
You gave your only Son
to save us by his blood and cross.
Gently Jesus, shepherd of peace,
join to your own suffering
the pain of all who have been hurt
in body, mind, and spirit
by those who betrayed the trust places in them.
Hear the cries of our brothers and sisters
who have been gravely harmed,
and the cries of those who love them.
Soothe their restless hearts with hope,
steady their shaken spirits with faith.
Grant them justice for their cause,
enlightened by your truth.
Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts,
heal your people's wounds
and transform brokeness into wholeness.
Grant us the courage and wisdom,
humility and grace, to act with justice.
Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labors.
Grant that all hamred by abuse may find peace in justice.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
It is important that everyone report suspected child or elder abuse. If you ever come across suspected abuse, we urge you to call the Los Angeles County Child Protection Hotline at (800) 540-4000. The hotline is operated twenty-four hours, around the clock, seven days a week. You don’t need to know that child abuse or neglect is taking place, you are welcome to report your suspicions and consult with a social worker if you are not clear whether what you are witnessing or have learned of is abuse. Depending on your profession, you might even be legally obligated to report suspected child abuse and neglect, a so-called “mandated reporter.” But if you are not a mandated reporter, you can even make your report anonymously.
Priests, deacons, school faculty and administrators and other staff members in our parish and schools have been designated as mandated reporters under California law. When one of these persons receives information leading to a “reasonable suspicion” that a child is being abused or neglected, he or she must make a report to the appropriate child protection or law enforcement agency. For more information on Responding to an Allegation of Suspected Child Abuse: www.lacatholics.org/departments-ministries/protecting-children/ .
If you are being abused, have been abused, or know someone who is being abused and you need assistance making a report, call Victims Assistance Ministry at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at (800) 355.2545,
You may also seek help directly by contacting one of the Child Protective Services or one of the Law Enforcement Agencies listed below. In an emergency, call 911.
The Safeguard the Children committee welcomes inquiries from parishioners with backgrounds in social services, law enforcement, education, child health or legal issues who are interested in joining the committee. Contact Felipe Sanchez at or (310) 566-1502.