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People are welcome to access Healing and Support the person needs to have suffered sexual abuse by a person who was a “diocesan worker” at the time of the alleged abuse.

“Diocesan worker” is a catch-all phrase referring to any persons acting on behalf of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, including:

  • employees
  • volunteers
  • contractors
  • clergy incardinated to the Diocese or who granted faculties to minister in the Diocese
  • religious acting as agents of the Diocese.

The “Catholic Church in Australia” is a large and complex set of entities. Healing and Support will assist a survivor of abuse committed by a “worker” from another Catholic entity, and make arrangements with the relevant entity to also provide help to the survivor.

Healing and Support also works with the immediate relations of the person who was abused, including:

  • parents
  • siblings
  • spouses and partners
  • offspring.

There is no “burden of proof” placed on people to access Healing and Support. The brief of Healing and Support is not to investigate or to “test” allegations but simply to welcome, support and accept, at face value, the person who presents. Some of the people who have and are working with Healing and Support have not fully disclosed their abuse and are unlikely to ever make a formal statement to Police or church authorities. Consequently, their abuse is never likely to be investigated. A person will receive services on the strength of their word, that they or an immediate relation had been sexually abused in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.