The Office of Safe Environment and the Office of Victim Assistance are two distinct but closely related offices under the Diocese of Syracuse. These offices are accountable for integrating the approved standards of the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People (Charter) with our Catholic values and teachings, canon laws, and policies.
The Charter is a comprehensive set of procedures established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in June 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Charter includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of further acts of abuse. It directs action in all the following matters:
- Creating a safe environment for children and young people;
- Healing and reconciliation of victims and survivors;
- Making prompt and effective responses to allegations;
- Cooperating with civil authorities;
- Disciplining offenders; and
- Providing for means of accountability to ensure the problem continues to be effectively dealt with in the future through the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and the National Review Board.
A copy of the Charter can be found here.