WILKES-BARRE — In response to the grand jury report on child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s eight Catholic dioceses, the Family Service Association is offering help to all victims.
“We believe that it is vitally important to provide information to help victims of child abuse and their families,” said Michael Zimmerman, CEO at Family Service Association. “We offer the following information to all victims of child abuse — not just those covered by the grand jury report.”
• If you or someone you know is being abused, call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313 to report it.
• If the child victim of abuse is in immediate danger, call 911.
• If you are a victim of abuse by a clergy member, the Attorney General has established a special hotline: 888-538-8541.
• If you are a victim of abuse and do not know where to turn for help in dealing with the effects of abuse, contact your local Child Advocacy Center to be directed to resources in your area.
Zimmerman said abuse can happen anywhere by anyone.
“There is no profile or demographic that identifies a potential abuser,” he said. “We all need to help ensure the safety of our children. Some people are mandatory reporters of child abuse, but anyone can make a report to ChildLine if they know or suspect that a child is being abused.”
The Family Service Association’s offer of help came in a news release from the the Children’s Center of Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties and the Pennsylvania Chapter of Children’s Advocacy Centers and Multidisciplinary Teams.
The Pennsylvania Chapter of Children’s Advocacy Centers provides technical support to children’s advocacy centers throughout the state. Zimmerman said the chapter works diligently to ensure the cultural changes are in place to bring the secrets of abuse to light.
To find a Child Advocacy Center near you: www.penncac.org.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.