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- This issue is not about big universities, celebrity, or one headline. It’s not about reputations, or legacies, or any one institution. This issue is about children.
- We have have to step into the reality that there are people in our midst that would rob children of their innocence and they are people we know and trust. They will go out of their way to appear above reproach and they will infiltrate our families and organizations where they can have easy access to children.
- It takes tremendous courage for children and adults that have been abused to come forward and our reactions can create a safe and supportive environment for others to share their story. We must support and honor the courage of victims and survivors and work together to put an end to the sexual abuse of innocent children.
- Child safety is the job of an adult. Teaching children how to keep themselves safe from abuse is important, but adults bear the burden of stepping up and speaking out when something doesn’t look or feel right with respect to the well being of a child. Reporting sexual abuse is simply the right thing to do regardless of one’s legal responsibility as a mandated reporter. If you see something or suspect abuse, call the police.
- The ramifications of not acting responsibly are clear. More abuse occurs, more children are harmed, fewer children get the help they so deserve. To be silent bystanders is to be complicit in its occurrence and wake. To intervene is to ensure that a child is treated and supported, that they are healed and better protected from the potential lifelong hardships of the trauma they’ve experienced.
- Child sexual abuse is preventable. We can learn the facts, we can acknowledge the reality, we can talk to other adults, we can ensure youth serving organizations have comprehensive child protection policy, and we can talk to our children. Awareness and education is the answer.
- The fight against child abuse cannot be the job of one individual or agency; it has to be a collaborative effort. It will take all of us to change culture–to one where engaged adults offer no access to children and no place for a perpetrator to commit their heinous acts.
- We can be stuck in the shock and horror at stories in the headlines or we can stay focused on the things we can all do today that better protect children.
Ways to Get Involved
- Learn the 7 Steps to Protecting Our Children.
- Find out more about Stewards of Children, a training for adults on how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
- Take Stewards of Children online now.
- Join the Movement to end child sexual abuse.
- Sandusky Jailed On New Child Sexual Abuse Charges (newsworldwide.wordpress.com)