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Safe Environment
 
Making a Report

Reporting Information and Procedures

Who Should Make a Report

Anyone with information pertaining to suspected child abuse should make a report. All personnel of the Diocese (employees and volunteers alike), including, but not limited to, Mandated Reporters, must make a report of:

(1)          Suspected child abuse when: “in [their] professional or occupational capacity, know or has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected”;

(2)          Suspected abuse of a person of any age who is substantially impaired by a physical, mental or cognitive disability (e.g., a person habitually lacks the use of reason); and/or

(3)          The discovery of child pornography.  Child pornography is considered by the Diocese to be another form of child sexual abuse that must be immediately reported as set forth herein.

Some personnel, by virtue of their position, are required by law to make such mandated reports.

  • Mandated Reports/Reporters Include:  “teachers; administrators; librarians; school counselors; nurses; athletic trainers; clergy (unless he has acquired the knowledge of the abuse or neglect from the offender during a confession); any person employed by a facility or establishment that provides care for children; any adult who is employed by an entity that provides organized activities for children; or a person directly responsible for, or serving as a volunteer for, an institution or facility where the child is receiving child care outside of his/her home for a portion of the day.”

MAKING A REPORT OF SUSPECTED SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

Steps to follow in making a report to the authorities and the Diocese:

1.           REPORT FIRST TO LAW ENFORCEMENT:

              Report first to civil authorities, such as the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department at either their non-emergency number 3-1-1 or the emergency number of 9-1-1 where appropriate.  You may also report to Child Protective Services (“CPS”).  Below are important numbers for CPS in our corresponding areas:

• Clark County 702-399-0081
• Ely 775-289-1640
• Pahrump 775-727-8497
• Tonopah 775-482-6626
• Outside of Clark County 800-992-5757

  • Be sure to obtain the badge number or “P” number (or other identifying information) of the authority/person with whom you spoke.
  • Persons making a report should provide to the authorities as much information as possible, to include, without limitation, the following information: (1) The name and address of the child and that his/her parents or other person who has custodial responsibility for the child; (2) The child’s age; (3) The nature and extent of the child’s/person’s suspected dependency, neglect or abuse, including any previous charges of dependency, neglect or abuse, if known; (4) The name and address of the person who is allegedly responsible for the abuse or neglect; (5) Any other information that will be helpful to the investigator; and (6) If dealing with child pornography, the possessor/distributor of such material.  Similar information should be provided when reporting abuse of a person of any age who is substantially impaired by a physical, mental or cognitive disability.

2.        ADDITIONAL REPORT TO THE DIOCESE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE WHEN:

              The suspected sexual misconduct of a child within our institutions or ministries and committed by a priest, deacon or other Diocesan employee or volunteer must also be reported to the Diocese after the report is made to the authorities.

  • Report any suspected sexual misconduct to the Safe Environment Coordinator and Victim’s Advocate, Ron Vallance at:  (702) 235-7723.  You may also e-mail the Safe Environment Coordinator/Victim’s Advocate at: assistmin@dolv.org.
  • The Safe Environment Coordinator and Victim’s Advocate positions, as well as the above 24-hour phone line and e-mail account were established as part of our efforts to protect children in our schools, parishes and ministries.
  • You will be asked by the Diocese to provide the same information as was provided to the authorities, including the identity of those authorities with whom you spoke.
  • Please be aware that leaving a report with the Diocese in no way means you should not make a report to civil law enforcement authorities such as the police and/or the appropriate child protection agency; nor does it satisfy any requirement of mandated reporting.
  • If you need to make a report of child abuse which does not involve suspected sexual misconduct within our institutions or ministries and is not committed by a priest, deacon or other Diocesan employee or volunteer, please make your report to the appropriate child protection agency or civil law enforcement authority at the numbers listed above.   

3.         PROMPT INVESTIGATION:

After receiving a complaint which involves suspected misconduct by one of our Diocesan priests, deacons, other employees or volunteers, the Diocese of Las Vegas and/or its representative will promptly investigate all credible complaints and will impose discipline to those accused, where it believes it is appropriate.  The Diocese of Las Vegas treats all such reports seriously and needs those making a report to be candid and truthful in the investigatory process.  Though we do our best, it is difficult to investigate anonymous complaints.  For instance, as part of our investigation into the truth of an allegation, we may need to speak again with you directly.  

WHETHER TO MAKE A REPORT

Sometimes it is unclear whether a call should be made to the authorities about particular conduct.  The website for CPS provides the following additional guidance: “If, in light of all the surrounding facts and circumstances which are known or which reasonably should be known to the person at the time, a reasonable person would act within approximately the same period under those facts and circumstances,” a report should be made.  See also Nev. Rev. Stat.  §432B.121 (2011).

OUTREACH

Where an allegation is made, the Bishop of the Diocese of Las Vegas or his representative(s) will meet with the alleged victim and/or family members.  This outreach is meant to be a meaningful pastoral outreach and is not an expression of guilt or liability on the part of anyone.  Depending upon the situation, therapy and/or other social services may be offered.  Further Diocesan support is determined in conjunction with each situation. 

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