Catholic Diocese Appoints Sexual Abuse Counselor

By Eileen Buckley
WBFO [Buffalo NY]
Downloaded July 23, 2003

BUFFALO, NY (2003-07-22) An expert in the field of sexual abuse has been appointed to assist the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

Kathryn Marsh will immediately respond to those who claim they were sexually abused as minors by clergy or other church personnel. She brings more than 30-years of experience in the field of sexual abuse counseling.

Marsh has served at Catholic Charities providing services to parents and children involved in sexual abuse. She's also the co-author of the book -- "Healing for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse." Marsh says the Catholic church is working to make sure "terrible violations" of the past don't occur in the future.

"The abuses that have occurred have been tragic," Marsh said. "But I think that this diocese, from the information I have, has done a pretty good job in terms of making the appropriate response to things that have occurred in the past."

Marsh will act as the first point of contact. She says she will be there to offer a timely response to victims and their families and make sure it is reported to the diocese.

"Because first and foremost, we want to make sure that children are safe," Marsh continued. "So if there is any potential that any other child might be harmed, we want to make sure the diocese is aware of that, and takes the proper steps."

Marsh says anyone who works with young people within the diocese will be required to participate in training. She says sexual abuse is an insidious problem that creates long term consequences for victims who fail to seek help.

"The phrase, strong in all broken places, I think is a good phrase to describe how sex abuse survivors, when they receive property treatment, really come out of it so very strong," Marsh said.

Marsh stresses the entire process will remain confidential for victims. The effort includes a confidential hotline established by the diocese.


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