APAV says investigation of sexual abuse should be expanded | Catholic church

The Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) argues that independent investigation of sexual abuse should continue and be extended to other sectors of society, in addition to the Catholic Church, writes the Renaissance this friday.

On the radio, Carla Ferreira, APAV responsible for monitoring cases of violence against children and young people, says that this expansion of investigations into the sports, teaching, reception or extracurricular activities sector could lead to “disclosure movements”.

“Do the numbers of sexual violence in sport justify the existence of an independent commission? And I reciprocate the question, would the numbers of sexual abuse in the context of the Catholic Church justify the creation of an independent commission? It is that, if we only go by the numbers that are currently registered, we will have, in some contexts, apparently very low numbers”, said the official.

Carla Ferreira also states that these investigations can “contribute to the deterrence of abusive behavior”, but underlines that it is crucial to have “response structures for the victims”. “Deterrence is achieved when all these tools are happening together,” she says.

WYD will have a victim support center

World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon will have a mobile team and a victim support centre, according to a protocol signed this Thursday, which provides for the training of volunteers for the biggest meeting of young people with the Pope.

According to the general coordinator of WYD, the auxiliary bishop of Lisbon, Américo Aguiar, it is “an obligation” of the organization that “all people feel in a welcoming environment”, but “anything can happen” with one million pilgrims expected at the event, which runs from the 1st to the 6th of August.

The president of the JMJ Lisboa 2023 Foundation, however, said in statements to journalists that “the history” of criminality in successive WYDs “is very low, almost zero”.

APAV will provide training to volunteers and collaborators, help with the security measures and provide personalized support to possible victims of crimes during and after WYD. With Lusa

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