Giving children of abuse a voice

There is no reason to have even one more child go through this, Barbara Blaine told Action 4 News.

For years---Barbara said she was one of those children---abused by the assistant pastor at her church in Toledo, Ohio.

" I believed it was all my fault. He made me go to confession and led me to believe it was all my fault. I didn't realize it was having a major impact on my life."

In the 80 TMs no one talked about sexual abuse, Barbara said she had to learn how to cope on her own.

She started SNAP (Survivors TM Network of those Abused by Priests) the organization has grown over the years and has helped thousands cope with abuse.

But Barbara said there is more that can be done|.like releasing the names of those clergy members accused of committing sexual acts on children.

"If officials would just do the right thing--children could be safe right now."

Walter Lukaszek is the victim assistance coordinator for the Diocese of Brownsville|.he said since 2002 the catholic church has gone to great lengths to make sure all children are protected.

"Since 2002...the catholic church is one of the churches that has had this program across the board. It was embarrassing but they did the right thing by providing a safety net to protect our kids."

He said, while he cannot speak for Bishop Flores on why he will not release the names of those accused priests, their ~Protect the Children TM campaign is making great strides to help and end the cycle of abuse.Statement from the Diocese of BrownsvilleProtecting God TMs ChildrenOctober 3, 2012We want the faithful of the Rio Grande Valley to know that we continue to do everything possible to ensure a safe environment, and that the Diocese of Brownsville is in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Also, the Protecting God TMs Children Program, which has been in place for 10 years in our diocese, provides special training that is required of all local church workers and volunteers, be they clergy or not. To date, since 2002, more than 12,000 people have participated in this training. It has raised awareness in our entire community about the vigilance that is required of all responsible adults for the protection of our children. The programs have helped to raise awareness of this societal problem. As we all know, the sexual abuse of minors is not a problem confined to a religion or to the clergy; on the contrary, it afflicts all segments of society.We continue to pray for each of the victims and the survivors. Victims and survivors are always encouraged to contact the diocese and Walter Lukaszek, coordinator of Protecting God TMs Children, who is readily available to serve as a liaison and facilitate a meeting and care. Background Information: Local Call to Action members have met with Bishop Daniel E. Flores twice since his arrival in the Diocese of Brownsville. After their request for another meeting, he suggested that members meet with Father Alfonso M. Guevara, the Vicar General in the diocese, who is the bishop TMs liaison for the Diocese of Brownsville Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is a comprehensive set of procedures established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in June 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse. If charges are made, they are turned over to authorities immediately, so that a thorough investigation can be made to establish the facts, so that justice can be done. Any member of the clergy or laity who has admitted to, or has been found guilty of the sexual abuse of a minor may no longer engage in ministry in the Church. The Diocese of Brownsville does not have any priests working in any ministry position in or out of the diocese who have been accused of sexual misconduct with minors or young people. It has been a standing policy of the diocese not to release the names of those who have been accused or the names of those who have made an allegation.