Notre Dame Adopts Campus Policy on Child Abuse

Northwest Indiana Times [South Bend Indiana]
Downloaded April 8, 2003

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- The University of Notre Dame has adopted a policy on abuse against children, including sexual abuse, on university property.

There have been no cases of sexual abuse of a minor reported to the university, but the policy would come into play if a case ever is reported, said Dennis Moore, associate vice president of public affairs and communication.

Although virtually all students who enroll at Notre Dame are 18 or older, the university hosts summer sports camps, high school academic events and other activities that draw children of all ages to campus.

A child-care center also operates on campus.

For those reasons, administrators decided the university needed a formal policy to protect children, Moore told the South Bend Tribune.

The policy defines abuse of a child, in part, as anything that includes serious endangerment of a child's physical or mental health due to injury by act or omission, including acts of sexual abuse.

The university plans to establish a three-member advisory board that would review allegations of abuse.

The board will be independent of the university, meaning no employees, relatives of employees or others with possible conflicts of interest will serve on it.

The policy came about as a result of the Church Study Committee established by the university last spring, said Moore.

The Rev. Edward A. Malloy, university president, established a committee to examine the Catholic Church crisis involving cases of priest sexual abuse of children.

While studying the issue, the committee members noted that the university had no formal policy designed to protect children who visit campus, said Moore.

Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.