The Archdiocese of Milwaukee requires all adults to exercise reporting responsibilities for any suspected physical or sexual abuse of minors, whether or not designated as a mandatory reporter under Wisconsin law.
A volunteer in any program should discuss any concerns about sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional maltreatment, or neglect of a minor with their immediate supervisor (such as a DRE or teacher), and cooperate together in making a report to local law enforcement officials or local child protective service agencies.
Any paid personnel should engage in direct reporting to local law enforcement officials or child protective service agencies. They should notify their supervisor (such as a pastor or principal) that report is being made and seek consultation as needed. A pastor, parish director or principal must notify either the Director of Sexual Abuse Prevention & Response Services (SAPRS) at 414-758-2232 or Sue Nelson, Director of Academics and Faith Center of Excellence, at 414-758-2263 that a report has been made. In addition, the Director of SAPRS and Sue Nelson are available for consultation about reporting. Concerns about lack of cooperation or resistance to reporting should be taken to the pastor, principal, the Director of SAPRS or Sue Nelson.
The State provides immunity for any professional who reports suspected abuse. The law does not require absolute proof. The “good faith” of any person required to report is presumed. Reporting must occur promptly once a problem is suspected, and failure to report may incur legal penalties. Illegal behaviors should be referred to law enforcement officials; usually someone trained in handling sensitive crimes with children is available. Sexual assault and abuse are illegal behaviors. Concerns about a child’s welfare in his or her own home are usually best referred to child protection agencies.
Sexual assault is defined as any kind of unwanted sexual contact or sexual intercourse with the clothed or unclothed intimate parts of another person’s body without his or her consent. Under Wisconsin law, minors under age eighteen may not consent to sexual intercourse and minors under sixteen may not consent to sexual contact. While Wisconsin law is silent about whether a minor who is sixteen or seventeen may consent to sexual contact, any sexual contact with a minor by an adult in any ministerial role is unacceptable. Exposing minors to pornography or soliciting minors for sexual activity is also illegal. All such behaviors should be reported to law enforcement officials (rather than to child protective service agencies). This may include sexual abuse by one student toward another as well as between adults and minors.
Phone numbers of child protective service agencies for each of the ten counties served by the archdiocese is listed to the right or review complete information for all child protective service agencies in Wisconsin.