Safe Environment

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Recognizing Signs of Child Abuse

Physical Abuse is physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child or the genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child. The physical injury (ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death) can result from punching, beating, shaking, kicking, biting, throwing, stabbing, hitting, burning, chocking, or otherwise harming a child. Such injury is considered abuse regardless of whether the caretaker intended to hurt the child.

Suspect Physical Abuse When You See:
Frequent injuries such as bruises, cuts, black eyes or burns without adequate explanations
Burns or bruises in unusual patterns that may indicate the use of an instrument or human bite; cigarette burns on any part of the body
Unreasonable clothing that may hide injuries to arms or legs
Injuries that appear after a child has not been seen for several days;
Fear of going home or seeing parents
Frequent complaints of pain without obvious injury
Sleep disturbances (nightmares, bedwetting)
Aggressive, disruptive or destructive behavior
Passive, withdrawn, emotionless behavior

Sexual Abuse is any situation where a child is used for sexual gratification by an adult or by another minor, which may include indecent exposure, fondling, rape, exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials.

Suspect Sexual Abuse When You See:
Physical signs of sexually transmitted diseases
Evidence of injury to the genital area
Pregnancy in a young girl
Difficulty sitting or walking
Reluctance to be with a certain adult or older minor
Sexual comments, behavior or play
Knowledge of sexual relations beyond what is expected for a child’s age
Sleep disturbances (nightmares, bedwetting)
Aggressive, disruptive or destructive behavior
Passive, withdrawn, emotionless behavior

Emotional Abuse is mental or emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment in a child’s growth, development or psychological function. It includes verbal abuse such belittling or shaming a child, habitual blaming - telling the child that everything is his/her fault; extreme forms of punishment - those actions that are meant to isolate or terrorize a child such as locking a child in a dark room; and/or withholding love and support – ignoring and disregarding the child. This is the one form of child abuse that is most difficult to identify.

Suspect Emotional Abuse When You See:
Low self-esteem, speech disorders
Alienation or withdrawal; depression, anxiety
Behavior Extremes: passive, compliant or aggressive and demanding
Difficulty making friends or doing things with other children
Habit disorders (sucking, biting, rocking, etc.)
Sleep disturbances (nightmares, bedwetting)
Personality disorders

Neglect is failure to provide for a child’s basic needs necessary to sustain the life or health of the child; such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care or supervision – tends to be chronic; but, excluding failure caused primarily by financial inability unless relief services have been offered and the services were refused.

Suspect Neglect When You See:
Signs of malnutrition, constant hunger, stealing or begging for food
Poor hygiene/offensive body odor, torn or dirty clothes, inappropriate clothing
Unattended physical or medical problems, needs immunizations, glasses or dental care
Disregard for child’s safety, child unattended or unsupervised for long periods of time
Not enrolled in school when required, frequent tardiness or absences
Abuses alcohol or other drugs

Report Suspected Child Abuse - It takes Courage. It Must be Done Within 48 hours. It’s the Law!
CALL 1-800-252-5400 to Report Suspected Child Abuse Or

Our Mission

We at Cathedral have a moral and legal responsibility to be vigilant volunteers and staff. We want to provide a safe, secure and enriching environment for our minors and vulnerable adults in our parish.

Renew Badge & New Volunteer Training

Thursday, April 11 at 8 p.m. in Room 201

Renew Online Click Here »

New Volunteers

Please fill out our online screening form »

Safe Environment Program Procedures

Process & Requirements For All Volunteers

Before serving as a Volunteer, the applicant MUST complete the following process:

  1. Must be a registered & active parishioner (using contribution envelopes) for a minimum of 6 months at the Cathedral Guadalupe or registered in any other Catholic parish in the Diocese of Dallas.
  2. Fill out completely the Volunteer Screening & Background Investigation Consent Forms available at front office and return as soon as possible.
  3. Read the Diocese of Dallas Safe Environment Program Manual fill out the Acknowledgement Form and return with the above noted forms to the church front Office.
  4. Attend the initial & mandatory Safe Environment Program training “Family of Faith”.
  5. Attend a Volunteer Interview with the Safe Environment Program Director.
  6. Be committed to provide a safe and secure environment for all children, youth and vulnerable Adults; and follow all policies of the Diocese of Dallas Safe Environment Program.

Expect 4-6 weeks for the entire Safe Environment process to be completed from the moment that it’s initiated. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the process or experience any delays, please contact the Safe Environment Director Silvia Sanchez at 469-329-6238.Thank you!

For more information about Safe Environment please visit the Dallas Diocese website at: