VIRTUS® Protecting God's Children Adult Awareness Session is a three-hour training that helps clergy, staff, volunteers and parents to understand the facts and myths about child sexual abuse; how perpetrators operate; and how caring adults can take five important steps to keep children safe. The parent session also stresses monitoring of computers, cell phones and other technology that perpetrators use to gain access to children and young people.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles mandates all staff, whether paid or volunteer, and all volunteers who work in any capacity with or around children, the elderly, or people with special needs are required to complete the initial three-hour VIRTUS® Protecting God's Children for Adults program. This education component helps prevent child sexual abuse by first making every adult employee and volunteer aware of the issues surrounding child sexual abuse. This includes awareness of the many ways sexual abuse harms its victims, their families, the parish, and the community. The awareness session also helps adults learn to recognize the warning signs of abuse and shows them the appropriate way to respond to suspicious behavior. Finally, the awareness session empowers each person with five steps to help prevent child sexual abuse.
More than 150,000 priests, deacons, parish and school staff members and volunteers have already participated in these sessions throughout the five Pastoral Regions of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Our goal is to provide this training to all adults who work with children so we can work together as a more effective community to prevent child sexual abuse.
CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION BLESSING
Dear Lord, We ask You to bless us “Your holy people” who have gathered to learn new ways to help stop child sexual abuse. Open our hearts to Your call to be the “eyes, ears and voice of children and young people everywhere.” Give us the vision and grace we need to fulfill the special “commitments” that each of us has made to “Protecting All God’s Children” in our homes, churches, schools and communities.