If you are concerned about the welfare of a child or adult at risk, do not delay in contacting the police, using 999 if a child or adult is believed to be in immediate danger.
It is the policy of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to report all allegations of abuse to statutory authorities, regardless of whether the abuse occurred recently or in the past, or whether the accused person is living or deceased.
If you are in any role within the Catholic Church in England and Wales, you must refer allegations directly to the safeguarding office for your diocese or religious congregation, or directly to the Police.
If you are a member of the public, please refer allegations directly to the police and also to the safeguarding office in your diocese; (the relevant Diocesan safeguarding office can be located using the ‘Locate a Diocese’ tab on the CSSA website www.catholicsafeguarding.org.uk– contact details will be shown when you click on the relevant area of the map). You can also contact CSSA by telephoning 0207 901 1920 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For anyone who has been hurt in some way by abuse there are certain steps that will be followed by the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy:
Respond – It takes great courage to be able to speak out about abuse at any time, but even more so when many years have passed. In the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy we listen carefully to anyone speaking about their experience of abuse.
Listen – Key elements of a good listener would include:
- Giving one’s time freely
- Looking at the person revealing the abuse
- Acknowledging the pain, fear and anger of the person sharing information
- Not offering solutions
- Not interrupting the speaker
- Showing compassion always
Those disclosing their abuse are not to blame in any way. Many of those abused are fearful about whether they will be believed. Our priority is to help them feel at ease about sharing their experiences. It shall be explained to them that confidentiality cannot be promised as information has to be passed on to the appropriate authorities. However, they should be assured that the information will be kept secure.
Support – The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy is committed to supporting anyone who has suffered from abuse. Our Safeguarding Lead will give both time and space for the person to share their experiences. They will explain if information must be passed onto others and why. Those abused will be supported during any investigation and they will be directed to any other organisations that can offer support and services to them.
Safeguarding Lead – Catherine Marcroft
Telephone: 07498 931163
Institute of Our Lady of Mercy Trustees Sub-Committee for Safeguarding
Trustees Sub-Committee for Safeguarding Chair: John Donnelly