Dear Parents & Guardians:
The Archdiocese of Detroit is committed to providing a safe environment for all who worship, work , or participate in activities at our parishes and schools. We are particularly concerned that our children are kept safe both on and off church property. This is a continuation of initiatives of protecting God's children.
Statistics show that the vast majority of children who are abused know their abusers. For this reason, one of the best protections we have to ensure the safety of our children is to develop and maintain an environment of trust in the home, where children are confident that they can talk to their parents about any topic, any fear, and any experience they are having.
Potential abusers will shy away from children who have such an open relationship with their parents, since abusers depend upon secrecy to perpetrate their deviancy. If an abuser knows that children will tell their parents everything, even as they try to persuade them to keep their actions secret, then the abuser may not take advantage of those children. Studies show that abusers target children who are most vulnerable to their methods, such as those who are starved for attention. Their methods depend upon the abuser establishing a relationship of trust with children at the expense of the children's relationship with their parents.
The best thing that parents can do to protect their children, in addition to maintaining an environment of trust, is to be alert to adults or older children who take a particular interest in their child, especially to the exclusion of healthy relationships with their own peers.