UISG DECLARATION AGAINST ANY KIND OF ABUSE
The Union of International Superiors General (UISG), whose memberships consists of 2000 Superior Generals of Congregations of Women Religious throughout the world, representing more than 500,000 sisters, expresses its deep sorrow and indignation over the pattern of abuse that is prevalent within the church and society today.
Abuse in all forms: sexual, verbal, emotional, or any inappropriate use of power within a relationship, diminishes the dignity and healthy development of the person who is victimized.
We stand by those courageous women and men who have reported abuse to the authorities. We condemn those who support the culture of silence and secrecy, often under the guise of “protection” of an institution’s reputation or naming it “part of one’s culture”. We advocate for transparent civil and criminal reporting of abuse whether within religious congregations, at the parish or diocesan levels, or in any public arena.
We ask that any woman religious who has suffered abuse, report the abuse to the leader of her congregation, and to church and civic authorities as appropriate. If UISG receives a report of abuse, we will be a listening presence and help the person to have the courage to bring the complaint to the appropriate organizations.
We commit ourselves to work with the church and civil authorities to help those abused to heal the past through a process of accompaniment, of seeking justice, and investing in prevention of abuse through collaborative formation and education programs for children, and for women and men. We wish to weave solidarity in these situations that dehumanize and to contribute to a new creation around the world.