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Enacted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People requires:

  • Outreach to victims and their families, which can include counseling, spiritual assistance, support groups and social services;
  • Prompt response to allegations of abuse, readily available reporting procedures and a review board of majority lay people to advise on assessing allegations of abuse;
  • No confidentiality agreement in settlements unless requested by the victim/survivor;
  • Mandatory reporting of abuse of minors to law enforcement;
  • Removal from the ministry of priests found guilty of sexually abusing a child;
  • Openness and transparency with the public about sexual abuse of children, especially in communities that are directly affected;
  • Creation and maintenance of “safe environment” programs and clear standards for interactions with minors;
  • Criminal background checks for priests and deacons and other employees in contact with minors;
  • Cooperation with organizations conducting research on the sexual abuse of minors.

View Wisconsin Watch’s spreadsheet of clergy credibly accused of abuse in Wisconsin

More from this series:

Bram Sable-Smith reports on this story for Wisconsin Public Radio

‘I was such a little kid’: As Wisconsin Catholic clergy accused of sexual abuse grows, the trauma lingers

Catholic clergy abuse survivor traces rocky path from abuse to action 

Why we examined Catholic Church clergy sexual abuse in Wisconsin

To report Catholic clergy abuse

Here are the “safe environment” contacts for Wisconsin’s five Catholic dioceses for individuals who have been abused by clergy within that diocese. 

Green Bay
Justine Lodl, 920-272-8213, 

La Crosse
Teresa Brown, 608-791-2679

Anna Delaney, 608-821-3133,, Cheryl Splinter, 608-821-3162 

Jessica Brandt, 414-758-2232 

Kathy Drinkwine, 715-394-0216,, Shayla French, 715-394-0225

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism ( collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

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Erica Jonesejones

Erica Jones joined the Center in May 2019 as a reporting intern. She is a senior studying journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She was formerly an intern at Wisconsin Public Radio and an Ann Devroy fellow at the Washington Post. Jones has also worked as a reporter for the Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire’s daily newspaper. She has a certificate in American Sign Language. Contact her at