By partnering with various dioceses, agencies and ministries, SafeNet's Survivor Outreach Services offers survivors options and services that aid and further the healing process, including access to therapy, educational assistance, emergency financial aid and support for restorative justice programs.
1. Psychotherapy is essential to any survivor's well being, but many simply don't have the means to obtain therapy and/or are unwilling or unable to seek help from the Church through its various diocesean victims assistance programs. For those already receiving therapy from the Church there are limits to the number of paid sessions. To help fill this need, SafeNet hopes to create a therapy trust fueled by contributions from Catholic dioceses, individual parishes, attorneys and the therapeutic community.
2. Restorative mediation for survivors is a viable option to civil litigation, and SafeNet has begun working with individual bishops to adopt this practice and offer it to survivors in their respective dioceses. It requires the skill of professional mediators, and the willingness and trust of both parties to do what's right and just.
The present diocesean defalut policy is to defer to lawyers, insurance companies, the courts, etc.. Mediiation, if it comes at all, usually occurs only after more harm has been done to survivors--and without any restorative measures. Each diocese has the power to create a new model regarding the handling of clergy abuse cases. And resorative mediation, as an option, can minimize suffering and increase the likelihood of healing on both sides.
3. For survivors in need, limited financial assistance for educational purposes can be made available. One-time grants can be awarded to individuals interested in attending conferences, lectures, seminars, gatherings and other events that contribute to the healing process. Small emergency grants can also be made to individuals who are suffering temporary hardships.
We believe Survivor Outreach Services can serve as one compassionate response to the needs of survivors of clergy abuse. To learn more, please write to:
SafeNet, Survivor Outreach Services, PO Box 236, Millbrae, CA 94030 USA