The Superior Court Division’s Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section and the Victim Witness Assistance Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the District of Columbia are launching a hotline and e-mail address for survivors to report child sexual abuse by clergy, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced Monday.
Survivors of child sexual abuse by clergy who wish to share their experiences and those who have knowledge of such abuse are encouraged to report these incidents to the USAO for potential criminal investigation and prosecution, as a part of the Office’s Superior Court Division intake process.
The hotline appears less than ten days after the Archdiocese of Washington released the names of 31 priests deemed to have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors in DC.
Survivors of child sexual abuse by a clergy member that took place in a house of worship, school, or other location in the District of Columbia can call the Clergy Abuse Reporting Line at 202-252-7008 or send an e-mail to USADC.ReportClergyAbuse@usdoj.gov (link sends e-mail). Survivors can access further information by visiting the following website: https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/victim-witness-assistance/report-clergy-abuse
All reports to the hotline will be reviewed and a team of criminal investigators, prosecutors, and victim advocates from the Superior Court Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office who will determine whether any criminal charges can be brought or victim services provided. The victim advocates, who are part of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit, will be available to offer support and guidance to survivors who wish to report.
Depending on the nature of the report, some information may be referred to law enforcement or the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.
Individuals in need of police assistance or wishing to report any other criminal activity or sexual assault or abuse should call 911.