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Safeguarding Conference and New Child Protection Center in Slovakia

On 29 April 2019 in Košice, Slovakia, the first Conference for Prevention in Child Sexual Abuse took place. The Faculty of Theology of the Catholic University of Ružomberok with the cooperation of the Foundation for Education organized the one day seminar, in which around 70 specialists from different fields participated, together with priests, religious and bishops. The program concentrated on increasing the awareness of CSA.

The morning block was prepared for the professional participants, and consisted in talks regarding victims, perpetrators, prevention and canonical issues. Speakers were alumni of the Diploma Course in Rome: ThLic. Marek František Drábek DiS, Mgr. Agnieszka Jarkowska SCdSC, JCLic. Andrej Kačmár and ThDr. Mgr. Slávka Karkošková, PhD, who also graduated from the course of Safeguarding in Košice, and who has been working in the field for 17 years. The conference received the patronage and support of bp. Marek Forgač. On the same day opening of the new Center for Child Protection in Košice was also announced, with JCLic. Andrej Kačmár serving as director.

Afternoon session of the conference began with the Holy Mass for victims of CSA and continued with a meeting for those who had been affected and for the general public. We are grateful for this initiative, which has moved us a little bit forward. As Judith Herman said in her famous book “Trauma and Recovery”: “to find a language that allows all of us to come a little closer to facing the unspeakable”.

—Sr. Agnieszka Ewa Jarkowska, SDcSD