Springfield Diocese Hires ‘neutral’ Agency to Gather Input from Sex Abuse Victims to Improve Accountability, Prevention
By Anne-Gerard Flynn
January 7, 2021
A Deerfield-based organization contracted by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield is seeking help from clergy sexual abuse survivors as it develops recommendations for the diocese to improve prevention and accountability.
The announcement that recruitment of survivors who were sexually abused by Catholic priests, sisters and other members of the church community is underway by Stop It Now! for an independent report to the diocese was made during a press conference Thursday afternoon outside the Bishop Marshall Center on Elliot Street.
Those present included representatives of Stop It Now!, a national organization devoted to the prevention of child sexual abuse, as well as members of the Independent Task Force on the Response to Sexual Abuse within the Diocese of Springfield that will receive the report and Bishop William D. Byrne.
“We will be gathering the stories and experiences of those who are comfortable and agree to meet with us through a couple of ways – focused groups, surveys, conversations,” said Jenny Coleman, a licensed mental health counselor and director of Stop It Now!, prior to the conference.
“We will be summarizing our findings in a final report to the task force with some recommendations from what we hear.”