Child abuse specialists encourage victims of priest abuse to come forward

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The fallout over the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal continues a week after the names of 18 men found credibly accused of sexual abuse were released by the South Bend - Fort Wayne Diocese.

Child abuse specialists are encouraging anyone who is a victim  to come forward.

The Diocese is just one place to call to report abuse.

 In Indiana -- anyone who suspects abuse or is a victim -- can call the child abuse hotline at 1-800-800-5556 anytime.

Specialists say it's never too late to report a crime.

So if you're not comfortable reporting it to the diocese you can call the hotline  or police.

Specialists say there are things parents can look for if they suspect abuse.

“Maybe a change in personality, or maybe they're isolating themselves, or acting out violently, or if they're drawing a picture of something they wouldn't normally draw a picture of, or pointing out things having to do with their body or being shamed of their body,” says Christina McGovern, board member for Prevent Child Abuse St. Joseph County.

Officials say when someone is exposed as an abuser it will often give others victims the courage to come forward.

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