Restorative Journeying with Survivors of Abuse within the Catholic Church
STEP 1: engagement
Pathways offers a person-centred response to support disclosures of abuse.
Those coming forward are connected to a Care Coordinator who can provide you with:
- immediate support
- access to counsellors
- assistance to navigate Pathways
If not already done so, those coming forward will be encouraged to report the allegation of abuse to police. In some circumstances, Pathways must report the disclosure to police and the Commissioner for Children and Young People. We will let you know if we need to do this.
STEP 2: response
Pathways seeks to makes the disclosure of abuse and any subsequent investigations as gentle, timely and transparent as possible.
Those coming forward are supported by the Care Coordinator and any other support persons to disclose allegations of abuse with the Pathways Response and Resolution Director.
We will assess the allegation and may appoint an independent investigator to provide an impartial review of the facts and circumstances disclosed.
STEP 3: resolution
Whilst we can't take the pain and trauma away from those who have experienced abuse, Pathways seeks to offer some resolution through access to a:
- Monetary payment
- Acknowledgement and Apology from representatives of the Church Authority responsible.
About Pathways Victoria
We humbly acknowledge the significant harm that has been caused by sexual abuse of children and commit to preventing such abuse in the future, acknowledging there are people in the community who are yet to come forward to disclose abuse in the past.
Commencing in 2022, Pathways Victoria seeks to offer a set of compassionate, just and appropriately resourced professional standards processes to respond to reports of abuse. The Pathways Victoria model will offer an alternative to existing mechanisms such as the National Redress Scheme and civil litigation for those who may wish to engage in a pastoral response.
Pathways has three distinct functions: engagement and support for people, responding to allegations of abuse and resolution of matters including a monetary payment. It will respond to a person making an allegation related to current or historical child sexual abuse and adult sexual misconduct, conducting investigations that respect the primacy of police processes and comply with any requirements set by the Commissioner for Children and Young People (CCYP) or by Canon Law.
The model responds to the need of those who wish to connect at a pastoral level with a one-to-one connection with a care coordinator who will walk alongside victims and survivors on their journey. It facilitates a compassionate approach with the opportunity to restore faith and trust with every step of engagement.
Pathways Victoria commences operations in 2022.