January 11, 2005

New approach to curb abuse and aid victims

Catholic News

An American non-profit group, It Works, has unveiled a new web site, VictimPower, which will open a confidential channel of communication between abuse victims and authorities. The group has harnessed the power of modern technology in a radical new effort to curb child abuse.

The VictimPower initiative is designed to encourage victims to report abuse, by protecting their anonymity unless or until they are ready to come forward. At the same time, the web site will provide a way to hold authorities accountable for their response to complaints, and construct a thorough data base that could guide investigators in tracing abusers.

According to Catholic World News, the VictimPower site was designed and will be operated by a team of students from universities scattered across the US. Although the site was originally conceived as a response to the sex-abuse crisis within the Catholic Church, the technology can be used to respond to any sort of abuse.

The VictimPower web site assists an abuse victim in registering his complaint, guiding him through a series of questions that help to identify the authorities in the Church, in law-enforcement, or elsewhere who should take an interest in his report. The web site allows the victim to check back and see what response these authorities have made; it also allows the authorities to ask him further questions, without compromising his anonymity.

Posted by kshaw at January 11, 2005 07:22 AM