Response to proposed "Sexual Assault Fast Reporting and Enforcement (Safe Child) Act of 2019"

The Diocese of Raleigh looks forward to reviewing the proposed act recently announced by Attorney General Stein and supports efforts to further protect North Carolina’s children from sexual abuse.

Since 1993, the Diocese of Raleigh has worked with leaders in the community to enhance our response to child maltreatment. In 2003, in cooperation with Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, training and screening programs were implemented for all adults in leadership positions with children. Since that time, more than 24,000 diocesan staff and volunteers have been trained in recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect and have received national criminal background checks.

In 2003, the diocese proposed and entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys, setting forth a self-imposed obligation to immediately report to the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys (NCCDA) all claims of sexual abuse or assault on a minor. As part of that agreement, the NCCDA determines which district attorney receives and investigates the abuse report.

Bishop Zarama and the diocese support additional measures that would further clarify or expedite reports of suspected abuse and aid survivors in healing.

For more information regarding child and youth protection efforts in the Diocese of Raleigh, please see the Office of Child and Youth Protection.