This week, many of us witnessed in horror the alleged wide-scale failure in leadership that occurred in the Penn State community to protect children from a sexual predator. There are endless questions to be answered as to how this situation was able to occur; but in general most people seem to want to know what they can do to be a part of the healing process for the victims. However, here are some statistics we all need to know:
Child sexual abuse is now an epidemic. 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. The median age for reported sexual abuse is 9 years old. If your child is molested, there’s a 90-95% chance it was done by someone you know, not by a stranger.
Rather than continuing to let this situation continue to fester within me, I decided to take action and start a conversation with all of you regarding what we can do to help end the cycle of child sexual abuse in our communities today. This is an incredibly painful and disturbing subject matter to think about because of the precious innocence of the victims. However, if we continue to let that discomfort keep us from doing something about it, then the perpetrator will continue to prevail and the abuse will never stop.
I welcome your input, recommendations and insight. Join me, won’t you?
Here are 5 simple steps YOU can take today to END child sexual abuse today:
1) Understand How To Spot & Confront a Possible Child Predator
2) Buy & Wear a Blue Silicon Bracelet that Symbolizes Child Abuse Awareness
Be prepared to talk about child abuse to those who ask you about the bracelet. This is a highly stigmatized and shame-ridden subject. The more we don’t talk about it, the more children who will continue to go unprotected. Be their VOICE.
3) Ask about the Child Abuse Reporting Policy & Procedures at Your Workplace/Organizations
If there is not such a policy in place, take a role in putting one into effect. If there is one already, make sure that the process has been clearly communicated to all of your colleagues by your administrators. Also, look into having an expert on child abuse speak, such as a policeman/woman or a social worker or counselor, at your workplace.
4) Talk to Your Children & Family about Child (Sexual) Abuse
This process begins by doing your own research on the subject and determining what is most appropriate to share with your children based on their age and/or developmental phase. What is most important is that you are creating a safe and trusting environment with your children, or the children in your life, so that they have the space and time and security to talk with you about anything that is bothering them or making them feel unsafe.
5) Follow These Steps When Considering a Program for Your Child: http://www.stopitnow.org/9questions
What else? What are you going to commit to start doing? You can begin by sharing this blog with your community. Thank you.