A Letter from Bishop Loverde
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
It is with great pleasure that I present “You Matter” for use in our high schools, youth and religious education programs in the Diocese of Arlington. This program provides information to teens about sexual abuse prevention.
The “You Matter” Safe Environment Training Video for Teens was created by the Archdiocese of Atlanta to help educate teenagers on matters of sexual abuse and sexual abuse prevention, and was selected for use within the diocese because it comprehensively meets vital considerations which must be addressed when attempting this sort of catechesis. The program is age appropriate, and represents an important part of the Church’s commitment to protect the most vulnerable among us: our children. The video is intended to promote awareness of the nature of sexual abuse, reporting procedures, information on creating safe environments, possible signs of abuse, possible indicators of abusers, stories from victims/survivors, and information on the need for counseling for healing of abuse survivors.
The program is designed to require minimal preparation for presenters and is essentially self-explanatory. The video presentation can be given to various groups of young people within the numerous programs and ministries associated with high school students.
All activities of the Diocese will ensure that any program involving students between 9th and 12th grade include this presentation as a part of the program. The number of teenagers viewing the presentation should be reported every year to the Office of Child and Youth Protection of the Diocese of Arlington.
I am most grateful to Archbishop Wilton Gregory of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, and to the many experts within that archdiocese who so kindly shared the fruit of their work with us.
It is my hope and my prayer that through the careful implementation of “You Matter” in the parishes and schools of our diocese, our teens will come to an ever deeper and more profound understanding of Christ’s love for them and His desire for their personal safety and their spiritual welfare. I am certain that the consistent exposure of young people to this educational tool will help them grow in wisdom and grace, as did Jesus Christ, who is Lord and Savior.