Child Advocacy

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Making a Complaint

Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach Number: 617-746-5995
Toll Free Number: 866-244-9603
Email:  Vivian_Soper@rcab.org

Reporting Child Abuse to Civil Authorities

DCF: Department of Children and Families (formerly DSS) - State of Massachusetts
This link will take you to the section of the DCR site that has information on How to Help, Definitions, Warning Signs & NEGLECT Screenings, Investigations & Services, Understanding the Problem

Process for Making a Complaint of Sexual Abuse

Taking the step to report a complaint of sexual abuse by a priest or employee of the Archdiocese is not easy.   For many people the strength and courage to make such a report often comes after many years of inner anguish.  Survivors, who have made such reports over the years, have sensitized us to needs of survivors and families especially with regard to making an initial complaint.  As you contemplate your contact with OPSO we want to assure you that you will be treated with respect and kindness.  The following describes the content of the meeting with the OPSO social worker to make the necessary documentation of your complaint. 

The survivor contacts one of the OPSO social workers for an intake interview. The survivor may meet with the OPSO social worker at the Braintree office or, if this is not convenient, at some other mutually agreed upon location. The survivor is asked to provide his/her name, date of birth, current address, phone number, name of perpetrator, years of abuse and a brief description of the nature of the abuse. The survivor has a choice about whether or not they wish to participate in the Church (canonical) investigation of the person against whom they have brought a complaint. If they opt to participate, the survivor will sign a release, so that the intake information can be forwarded to the Delegate for Investigation for the Archdiocese who will then follow-up with the survivor independently. Further detailed information regarding canonical investigations can be found on this website in Policies and Procedures for the Protection of Children.

For adults who are bringing forward a complaint of abuse that occurred when they were under 18, OPSO completes a form provided by the Attorney General’s office. This form (FORM D) is sent to the AG’s office and states the basic facts: location, date, nature of abuse and the name of the perpetrator. The survivor has the option of including his/her name on this form or choosing to complete it as a John or Jane Doe.

Please visit the home page for Pastoral Support and Outreach and use the left navigation to learn more about how to access the Office, what services we provide, and information on survivor meetings with the Archbishop.