VIRTUS: Protecting God’s Children

By Kevin Leland

I have been educated on the grim topic of child sex abuse in ways that many adults concerned with this perverse affliction on the younger and more defenseless members of our population, have not. I served on a Rhode Island grand jury in 1998, that heard every gory detail of five different cases of the sexual abuse of girls and boys. Each of these cases pointed the accusations at a child molester who was in a position of trust that allowed them to be close to their victim. An Uncle, a father, a step-father, a friend that was only five years older than the 13 year old victim who initiated the inappropriate contact, and finally, a grammar school principal who carried on his abuse for many years, under the nose of everyone who worked with him and respected him.

I continued my education with the help of a program called VIRTUS — This program applies what is learned from busted child abusers, to actionable methods of prevention. Sadly, one of five girls, and one of eight boys experience this traumatic abuse before reaching adulthood. I’ve been certified by VIRTUS for a year now, and recommend this program to others. If you are interested in learning what you can do to put that concern for the innocence of childhood into action, and have a role in protecting children, talk to your Pastor about signing up for the initial class.

This program makes staying on the cutting edge of information that trains adults to properly protect and interact with children, very convenient. It starts with a two to three hour class. Ours included about ten students, and was taught / proctored by Marie Cookson of St. Jude’s in Hinnesburg, VT. After the class you will receive notices like this one below, requiring you to read articles online, answering a few questions after. The articles are interesting, informative and well written by child psychologists and other professionals in the field of children’s safety and well being.

Here is more information, with contact information, embedded in this notice I received in email to update my training certificate:

You have been assigned an online training exercise to complete.

Your new assignment is the Protecting God‘s Children training module titled SEX ABUSE PREVENTION RE-CERTIFICATION TRAINING FOR ADULTS. This module has been assigned to you because it has been one year or more since you were approved as a registered user on the VIRTUS Online system.

The purpose of the re-certification process is to provide dioceses with a way to ensure that adequate and appropriate sex abuse prevention training is provided to adults who work closely with children and young people. There are two components of the re-certification process:

The first component is successful completion of the Protecting God’s Children for Adults training bulletins, which are posted once a month on the VIRTUS Online website. The training bulletins help your diocese to fulfill the continuing education requirements of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as a part of the nationwide safe environment standards.

The second component of the re-certification process is successful completion of the annual online training module–the purpose of this email message.

Please visit and log in to your account to access the SEX ABUSE PREVENTION RE-CERTIFICATION TRAINING FOR ADULTS online training module.

Once you have logged in, click on the MY TRAINING tab and choose the ONLINE TRAINING link on the left-hand side of the page. The link for the required training module will appear in the center of your screen.

Jeanne Bruno

(802) 658-6110 x 1219

Online, click here: VIRTUS


One response to “VIRTUS: Protecting God’s Children

  1. God bless you for being a voice for the unheard children of the world! As a survivor of physical and sexual abuse during my childhood, it warms my heart to know there are people like you trying to make the world a better place, by bringing awareness to the horrors in the world.

    I’ve been facing the fears of my inner demons as I unbury the past through writings. Your post will inspire others to take action as well. Thank you for sharing and inspiring others with your words.

    Blessings, Joan

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