Child sexual abuse can be prevented

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Letter to Herald Times Reporter Touting “Stewards of Children

In lieu of the recent news articles showing the prevalence and effects of sexual abuse, my hope is many are asking, “How can we prevent this atrocity from repeating itself in this community?

Holy Family Memorial’s Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC), in collaboration with Lakeshore CAP, has answers. Learn how to prevent childhood sexual abuse by inquiring today about a “Stewards of Children” workshop.

“Stewards of Children” is available in two formats: in person and online. Organizations and individuals that would like to schedule in-person training should contact the SARC prevention educator at (920) 320-8654. A facilitator is equipped to consult with your organization about child protection policies and procedures.

For the online version, visit darkness2light.org. The two-hour training is open to the public and is of specific interest among parents, youth sports and service organizations, coaches, camp counselors, teachers and faith centers. The two hour workshop is designed to educate adults on how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse. The training also provides continuing education credits.

Only 10 percent of child sexual abuse cases are committed by strangers; 90 percent involve an adult known by the child and/or the child’s family. This is a chilling statistic that cannot be ignored.

As adults, it is our responsibility to protect the children in our community from sexual abuse so they can grow up to lead healthy, productive lives. They are our most precious resource.

Anne Lee, founder and president of Darkness to Light, says public education is an essential tool to prevent sexual abuse of children. She points to leading research that shows educating 5 percent of a community’s adult population can create a “tipping point” toward societal behavior change. The tipping point carries momentum throughout the community to further spread awareness and make preventing sexual abuse the norm.

Kris Jacobs

SARC prevention educator

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