Precious and Prevention Consciousness

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Despite the fact that 20% of American children will be sexually abused by the age of 18, childhood sexual abuse remains a topic that’s swept under the rug. Precious, a new film starring Gabourey Sidibie and Mo’nique, gives people a inside glimpse of the devastating effects of sexual abuse.

Set in Harlem in 1987, it is the story of Claireece Precious Jones, a sixteen-year-old African-American girl born into a life no one would want. Shes pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother, a poisonously angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write. Precious may sometimes be down, but she is never out. Beneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her.

As an employee of Darkness to Light I came away from Precious with a hightened inspiration and beyond that a genuine belief that if a responsible adult in Precious’ life had been through a Stewards of Children PREVENTION training they probably would have been able to save Precious’ life. The film was not bereft of positive adults, but despite more than obvious signs, none of the adults from educators to social workers knew to think sexual abuse.

Precious is a great film which should inspire all of us to grow a “Prevention Consciousness.” Everyday our society, by turning a blind eye, is agreeing to accept child sexual abuse.

We have the tools to make this tragedy dissappear, but to see it go we as individuals and as a society must take decided steps to END it.

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