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History of the Victim Assistance Office

1974 - Diocese of Arlington is established

 1974 – 2002 Calls regarding victim/survivors directed to Arlington Diocese officials for response

 2002- Bishops of Catholic Church meets in Dallas & approves Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People 

  •  The Charter calls for a commitment to creating a safe environment for children and youth with in the Catholic Church.
  • It requires each diocese to reach out to victim/survivors of sexual abuse & their families to provide a program for their healing.
  • As a Church, we must apologize for the pain and harm caused by the Church and offer help for the future.
  • In the Diocese of Arlington, we decided that our priorities should be prayer and spiritual guidance, emotional healing and support for those who have been abused and their families.

As bishops, we have acknowledged our mistakes and our roles in that suffering, and we apologize and take responsibility again for too often failing victims and the Catholic people in the past. From the depths of our hearts, we bishops express great sorrow and profound regret for what the Catholic people have endured.

2002 - Bishop Emeritus Loverde and Fr. Mark Mealey, O.S.F.S., former Vicar General, establish Victim Assistance office with a focus on emotional healing & support for those who have been abused and their families.

2004 - June 30th First Mass of Healing for Victim Survivors of Sexual Abuse is held at St. Thomas More Cathedral.

2005 - Prayer Services are added to the program as a way to invite those who struggle to participate in the Mass.

2006 - Support Groups Evenings begin to meet three times a year

2010 - At the request of the victim/survivors an annual retreat is added to the program

2017 - Patricia Mudd retires as Director of the Victim Assistance Office