Reporting Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Chicago
Nelly Bonilla, LPC, CPAIP, CDVP
Director of Child Abuse Investigations and Review
The Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review (CAIR) is available to all who choose to report their abuse as children or who have the knowledge of the abuse of children in our Church. CAIR staff collaborates with all necessary Archdiocesan offices to investigate and process allegations. While our process is conducted efficiently, our overarching goal is to work with those who choose to report with compassion, and to connect them with the proper authorities and resources.
In cases where the reported abuse did not take place by personnel of this Archdiocese, the CAIR staff will provide individuals with the necessary information and support so that the report can be made to the appropriate authority. To ensure the best resources and investigation practices are engaged, we encourage you to contact public authorities first or simultaneously as you reach out to our office.
Below you can find links to more information on CAIR’s when the abuse involves:
- A Cleric (Priest or Deacon) (Link)
- A Member of a Religious Congregation (Link)
- A Lay Employee or Volunteer (Link)
You have the right to report your story, and we are here to help, listen and connect you to the right services. To ensure the best resources and investigation practices are engaged, we encourage all allegations concerning the abuse and/or neglect of minors are reported to the DCFS Hotline (1.800.25.ABUSE) and/or the local police department first before reaching out to the Office of the Protection of Children and Youth (OPCY). If you need to report historical abuse, please contact Nelly Bonilla at 312.534.5205 or [email protected]
Child sexual abuse is any sexual activity with a child (under the age of 18) by an adult. Sexual activity can be in the form of touching or non-touching and may include: fondling, rape, incest, sexual talk, voyeurism (watching), exhibitionism (showing), pornography or internet crimes (Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, 2011). As found in the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms, the sexual abuse of a minor includes, “sexual molestation or sexual exploitation of a minor and other behavior by which an adult uses a minor as an object of sexual gratification.”