Indiana Attorney General provides forum to report abusive clergy
Attorney General Curtis Hill’s office is providing an online form enabling individuals to more easily report instances involving alleged abuse by clergy. The form may be found at the his homepage at www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/.
“Recent national and international reports of alleged abuse committed by clergy members have prompted widespread concerns,” Hill said in a statement. “Hoosiers are understandably worried that this kind of criminal activity might go underreported even here in Indiana. As a result, we have decided to make sure citizens have an available means of reporting any potential abuse so that authorities at all levels of government can pursue justice for victims.”
Any forms submitted may be disclosed to appropriate law enforcement agencies in accordance with Indiana law. Anyone submitting a form may be contacted by an investigator.
“Members of the clergy hold positions of great responsibility,” Hill added. “People trust them and look to them for guidance. By providing this service, we help ensure that if ever a religious leader betrays that trust by committing an illegal act of abuse, he or she is more likely to be found out and investigated. Those who violate our laws must be held fully accountable for their actions.”
To report incidents involving minors, individuals should call the Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-800-5556, which is administered by the Indiana Department of Child Services.
Since September the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has released the names of 20 priests and deacons who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.