Victims Assistance Ministry

The first obligation of the Church with regard to victims is for healing and reconciliation.

The Office of Victims Assistance Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was created in April of 2002 to deal with allegations of past or current sexual abuse by clergy, religious or any lay person working or volunteering for the Archdiocese. The Office is charged with creating a safe and compassionate environment for victims to come forward while ensuring that civil authorities are notified and victims are provided with counseling and other assistance in the healing process.

The Victims Assistance Ministry serves to help victims/survivors who have been victims of sexual abuse by a priest, deacon, or individual representing the Catholic Church.

The Victim Assistance Coordinator is available to help victims/survivors make a formal complaint of abuse to the diocese, and to obtain support for the needs of the individual and families.

Thank you for visiting our website.

As the Victims Assistance Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I want you to know that your contact is very important to us.We have learned over the years from survivors that it takes great courage for a person who has experienced abuse by someone in the Church, to reach out to that same Church, either to make an abuse report or to ask for assistance of any kind.

We echo the words Pope Francis said to survivors in Philadelphia, in September 2015, “words cannot fully express our sorrow for the abuse you suffered and I am profoundly sorry that your innocence was violated by those who you trusted”.

In that light and since you have taken this first step to look at our website, we encourage you to contact us directly at (213) 637-7650 or our toll-free number (800)-355-2545.  It is our sincere hope that the Office of Victims Assistance Ministry can support your healing and reconciliation.

Most sincerely,
Heather T. Banis, Ph.D.
Victims Assistance Coordinator


Here are some helpful resources and background on our prevention:

How to Report Abuse. | Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service (CBAR)

Report to the People of GodReports and Audit Summaries

 Prevention Efforts Overview and Timeline | Support Groups and Retreats

FingerprintingSafeguard the Children Infographic | Safeguard the Children Resources

Thank you for joining our Novena for Healing from Abuse. We prayed in support of all sexual abuse survivors – those harmed in their families, or the church, or the community at large. Click here to learn more here.

Our Staff

Dr. Heather Banis, Ph.D.

Victims Assistance Coordinator


(213) 637-7650

Victims Assistance Team