Get involved

Sexual violence against children has been allowed to go on in powerful religious institutions for decades, if not centuries. Only by working together can we stop one of the worst crimes committed against children from continuing.

Below is some information on how to get involved in the campaign to end sexual violence against children in religious institutions. You can find further details in the campaign toolkit we have put together for this stage of the campaign. 

The initial focus is on the Catholic Church because of a UN review that took place in January 2014 (see background on this). We will expand this campaign to other religious institutions - please email us for more information.

Victims, their families and support groups are the most important people in this campaign. Without your feedback, stories and courage we wouldn’t stand a chance, and many of you have been campaigning for transparency and justice on this issue for years, perhaps even decades.

As an international children’s rights NGO, our contribution here is twofold:

1To bring information together to give a global picture of the scale of sexual abuse against children in the Catholic Church across the world. Download our report, published ahead of the UN review in January 2014. 

We want to hear from you if:

  • You can verify or challenge any of the information in the report with information from existing court cases.

  • Have information on additional court cases (see below for more on the case law database we are building).

  • Are interested in hearing from CRIN about campaign follow up, including updates on the report and outcomes of the UN review.

Please email us or use #HolySeeConfess on twitter. CRIN works in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

2. To provide a platform for advocates, victims, lawyers and other campaigners to connect and learn about how people have succeeded in getting redress through legal and other challenges. We hope the January 2014 UN review of the Holy See is the beginning of this process.

To this end, we have produced a toolkit for campaigners with ways for people to get involved. Ideas include:

  • Connect: Let us know if you would like to be a part of the network. You can join our global directory of children’s rights advocates, and then email us to be included in this campaign network we are putting together.

You can also support each other by using some fantastic blogs set up by victims and support groups, which we have listed in the toolkit.

  • Use the law: The report cites a number of court cases from around the world either against individual clerics or the Church itself. We are aware that this is a very small snapshot of legal challenges. We are looking to build a case law database on this issue that lawyers, victims and support groups can use as a free resource. We will continue to update our website with information on cases, so please email us with information or use #HolySeeConfess.

If you are a lawyer who has worked on similar cases, or would like to, please contact us so that we can include your name and contact details in our network of legal professionals.

We will be developing a guide to using legal advocacy to challenge sexual violence in religious institutions. In the meantime see our law toolkits in the guides section of our website.

  • Get on twitter: Pope Francis has an official twitter account with over 3,000,000 followers. Interestingly, the account only follows eight people. Similarly, the Vatican News twitter account has over 180,000 followers and doesn’t follow anyone at all.

Let’s tell them what’s really going on. Tweet @Pontifex_ln and @news_va_en and use and follow #HolySeeConfess. The toolkit includes some example tweets.

Finally, follow #HolySeeConfess on twitter for updates.