For a “culture of mindfulness”

For a 'culture of mindfulness'

NRW: Cooperation against abuse © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

The five Catholic dioceses in North Rhine-Westphalia and the state's Child Protection Commission want to cooperate in preventing sexual abuse. The goals are prevention and consistent intervention.

Representatives of the dioceses agreed on the collaboration at a meeting with Child Protection Commission Chairwoman Britta Altenkamp, as the Archdiocese of Cologne announced Friday. In addition to the SPD member of the state parliament, her parliamentary group colleague Frank Muller and the head of the Catholic Office in the state capital Dusseldorf, Antonius Hamers, took part in the discussion.

Manuela Rottgen from Cologne represented the prevention officers of the five NRW bishoprics. Marianne Genenger-Stricker, chairwoman of the North Rhine-Westphalia state working group for the protection of children and young people, and Ilka Brambrink, managing director, were also at the table.

Preventive measures important

"The aim of the preventive measures is that respect for the rights of the children and young people entrusted to us, the prevention of violence and consistent intervention in the event of border violations and assaults must be a natural part of everyday activities," explained Rottgen. For almost ten years, the dioceses in North Rhine-Westphalia have been working together to establish such a culture of attentiveness among all church legal entities.

"We are happy to make this wealth of experience available to others," said the prevention officer of the Archdiocese of Cologne. Because without preventive measures, sexualized violence against children and young people in society could not be contained.

Child protection commission has been working since November

The North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament had passed the Child Protection Commission in November last year with the approval of all parliamentary groups. The occasion was the cases of abuse in Lugde and Bergisch Gladbach. The committee is to work out proposals for structural improvements in order to be able to detect child endangerment at an earlier stage and to combat it more effectively.

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