Child advocates speak on catholic priest scandal

Child advocate speaks on Catholic priest scandal

WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - Child advocates have spoken out about the Diocese of Fort Worth released the names of priests accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

Those who work at Patsy's House – a child advocacy center – see a range of emotions from children who have experienced abuse.

When a victim sees something like the names of accused abusers being released by the Catholic Diocese, they could have difficulty managing their emotions.

Executive Director of Patsy’s House Denise Roberts said, “It could make them feel re-victimized, especially in a small community where we’re just big enough to be a bigger town but we’re also small enough where everybody knows everybody.”

Roberts said it could even lead to victims feeling shame or embarrassment. She said those at Patsy's House always remind the children they work with that the abuse they have experienced is not their fault.

While advocates say releasing the names of the accused could cause victims to relive their trauma, bringing them to light could help bring some closure by showing the young victims that someone has listened and that someone believes their story.

Roberts said, “It can be something that is very healing for them and for their families.”

Roberts also stated that when information resurfaces about a child’s abuse, they offer counseling no matter how long ago the experience happened.

To report child abuse or neglect call the Family Violence Hotline: 1-800-252-5400.

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