Creating a Safe Environment and Reporting Sexual Abuse

To comply with the USCCB Charter and Norms, the Diocese of Knoxville’s Safe Environment Program requires employees and volunteers to:

• Both pass a background check and sign the DOK Sexual Misconduct Policy prior to beginning work or volunteering.
• Attend the VIRTUS training session Protecting God’s Children within 30 days of beginning employment or volunteeringClick here to register.

Diocesan policies and procedures related to creating a safe environment:

Diocesan Policy and Procedures Relating to Sexual Misconduct
Política y Procedimientos Relacionados a la Mala Conducta Sexual
Recursos de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos  (USCCB) para la Protección de los Niños y Jóvenes
Code of Pastoral Conduct for priests, deacons, pastoral ministers, administrators, staff, and volunteers.
Policy for Responding to Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor
Diocesan Review Board Bylaws
Letter from Bishop Stika recommitting to complying with the diocese’s Policy and Procedures Relating to Sexual Misconduct  (en español)


Letter of Audit and Proof of Compliance 


Diocese of Knoxville procedure for reporting sexual abuse

Anyone who has actual knowledge of or who has reasonable cause to suspect an incident of sexual abuse should report such information to the appropriate civil authorities first, then to the Diocesan Victims’ Assistance Coordinator, Marla Lenihan, 865-482-1388.

Procedimiento de la Diócesis de Knoxville para reportar casos de abuso sexual

Cualquier persona que tenga conocimiento real o que tenga una causa razonable para sospechar de un incidente de abuso sexual debe reportar primero tal información a las autoridades civiles apropiadas, y a la coordinadora diocesana de asistencia a las víctimas Marla Lenihan al 865-482-1388. Para asistencia en español durante el contacto inicial, favor de comunicarse con Blanca Primm, llamando al 865-637-4769. Toda información recibida será tratada con la más absoluta confidencialidad.

Diocesan Review Board

The Diocese of Knoxville has a review board that functions as a confidential consultative body to the bishop.  The majority of its members are lay persons not in the employ of the Diocese of Knoxville (members include law enforcement professionals, medical doctors and clinical psychologists).  This board is to advise the diocesan bishop in his assessment of any  allegations of sexual abuse of minors and in his determination of a cleric’s suitability for ministry. The Diocesan Review Board regularly reviews diocesan policies and procedures for dealing with sexual abuse of minors. Also, the Diocesan Review Board meets as a body at least once per year.


Safe Environment FAQ Frequently asked questions about the safe environment program. (en español)

Report Sexual Abuse –  Diocese of Knoxville procedure for reporting sexual abuse.

Reportar Abuso Sexual – Procedimiento de la Diócesis de Knoxville para reportar abuso sexual.

More information about Safe Environment, including the Child Protection Curriculum can be found here.