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Prevent Together Blog!

  • 08 Jan 2013 8:56 AM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Excerpt: The Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children released its Final Report to the Governor, General Assembly and State Board of Education. For the last year, the Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children has met and carefully studied the issue of child sexual abuse and how it can be prevented. The Report is a blueprint for ending the epidemic of child sexual abuse, and Missouri KidsFirst encourages all Missourians to read the report and become a part of the solution to ending child sexual abuse. Read more at Missouri KidsFirst!
  • 03 Dec 2012 3:08 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Read More about the December 3, 2012 Ms Foundation for Women's Igniting Change Blog: It's Time to Pull Our Heads Out of the Sand! By guest bloggers Cordelia Anderson and Joan Tabachnick, hosts of the Ending Child Sexual Abuse Web Conference Series.

    Excerpt: For years, we’ve asked the difficult questions: Why didn’t he do something to stop it? Why didn’t she say something when anyone could see that something was wrong? It’s easy to judge others for not doing what we hope we would do if we suspected a child was being abused. But case after case shows how much easier it is to ignore what is in front of us when it’s a family member, trusted friend, respected elder or someone in a leadership role who commits abuse. It is easy to feel immobilized when we’re not sure what to do.
  • 28 Nov 2012 10:37 AM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Read this MFW blog by Cordelia Anderson and Joan Tabachnich, co-hosts of the Ending Child Sexual Abuse Web Conference Series!

    Excerpt: There is certainly good news about the changing face of the media. Social media and the internet offer many opportunities for accessing information, and this web conference series is a prime example of how technology and new forms of media are connecting people like never before. However, these new opportunities don’t come without their challenges. Our recent web conference titled “
    The Role of Media and Pornography” brought together two national leaders known for their expertise on media and pornography, and examined the ways in which new media and technology have transformed the pornography industry to the detriment of safer communities.
  • 19 Nov 2012 12:07 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Excerpt: “Their suspension of Hewitt is an encouraging sign that organizations serving youth are taking to heart lessons learned from the Catholic Church, Penn State, and Boy Scouts scandals,’’ said Jetta Bernier, director of MassKids, which works to curn child sexual abuse. “The HOF’s decision reflects the overwhelming public sentiment that protecting children must always trump concerns about loss of institutional reputation, power and money.” Read More!
  • 16 Oct 2012 11:22 AM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Excerpt: That’s why shedding light on this subject is so vital. We are thankful for the media's continued coverage of this topic and have seen positive strides being made in spreading awareness about prevention. As a result, we have encountered more people who want to talk about sexual abuse, understand the warning signs and learn how to prevent it. We encourage these ongoing discussions to continue – further breaking the silence surrounding these crimes. We invite you to join online conversations such as those happening on NSVRC’s blogs (www.nsvrc.org/blogs) and social networking sites (www.twitter.com/nsvrc) and (www.facebook.com/nsvrc).
    From these conversations, adults become better equipped to identify grooming techniques and notice red flags that indicate someone might be sexually abusing a child. Like in the Sandusky case, oftentimes people sense that something isn't right, but never report their suspicions. This case illustrates the many missed opportunities to protect children and interrupt abusive behaviors. We hope this case will serve as a catalyst for changing our behaviors and priorities so that adults will step forward, value all children and support their healthy development. Today's sentencing sends a strong message to communities and survivors of sexual abuse everywhere: You are not alone. You will be believed and supported. And everyone’s voice matters. It’s time to get involved. Together, we can all prevent sexual abuse.

    Read More!

  • 16 Oct 2012 10:27 AM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Excerpt: Read more about the Role of Art in Ending Child Sexual Abuse, a part of the Ending Child Sexual Abuse Web Confence Series that PreventConnect is co-sponsoring with Ms. Foundation for Women!

    "It was one of those days," writes Cordelia and Joan in the blog. "The papers were full of child sexual abuse stories focused on the problem -- from national stories such as the sentencing of Jerry Sandusky to a wide variety of local cases involving priests, teachers, and family members. The web conference “The Role of Art in Ending Child Sexual Abuse” was a breath of fresh air because it showed so clearly how the trauma of child sexual abuse can be transformed into a wide range of positive solutions."

    Read More!
  • 11 Oct 2012 9:06 AM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Excerpt: Because of this event the norm of silence about child sexual abuse is beginning to become a more open and honest discussion about what it takes to ensure healthy child development. Institutions in communities across the nation are refining how they deal with situations like this and how they can prevent them from ever occurring again.

    Given this, we challenge all adults to see today's sentencing as a call to action, and a moment where they can pledge to do what's necessary to prevent child sexual abuse in their own communities by:

    • Taking a renewed interest in the lives of our children: where they go, who they play with, what they're watching on television and the Internet, and which adults they spend time with;
    • Reducing the amount of one on one unsupervised non-parental adult-child time;
    • Learning the signs of abuse and reporting abuse when they suspect it;
    • Ensuring that the organizations that serve children and families have sexual abuse prevention policies in place; and
    • Volunteering at local organizations that work to prevent child sexual abuse.

    "From a tragedy such as this, hope can emerge, and the future health of not just our nation's children and their families, but the nation itself can be addressed," said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America. "Today is a new day, and while we will not forget what brought us here, it can be the start of something healthy and positive. We hope you will join us, because what could be more important than the health and happiness of our children and their families... Nothing I can think of."

    Read More!
  • 11 Oct 2012 9:04 AM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Excerpt: Despite his claims of innocence and conspiracy, the prison term handed down yesterday against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky will effectively keep him locked away for the rest of his life. And it puts the rest of us at a collective crossroads in our own lives.

    The sentence by Judge Cleland has received a near-universal endorsement from anyone familiar with the sordid details of Sandusky’s sexual abuse of at least 10 boys over a 15-year period. Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse against the boys, who had come under his influence while he served as a Penn State coach and as the founder of Second Mile, a program for at-risk youth.

    Sandusky’s charitable works, his professions of innocence, and his goofy grin have revealed him to be a complex archetype and an easily-demonized caricature of a predatory sexual manipulator. These two images respectively offer a great opportunity and a significant danger, for educating adults about how to prevent future sexual abuse of children.

    And so, we must choose.

    We have an unprecedented opening to use this case’s stunning lessons about ignorance, self-interest and responsibility to closely examine widespread, false assumptions about the dynamics of child sexual abuse and how to prevent it. These assumptions make us all susceptible to becoming silent bystanders who, like many in Sandusky's midst, fail to protect vulnerable children due to self-protective confusion, fear or misunderstanding.

    Or we can seek reassurance in the caricature and congratulate ourselves for putting away a man who many equate with evil. We can punish the callous individuals and institutions who we believe should have stopped Sandusky. We can consider our duty done. We can convince ourselves that “they” were the problem and “we” would have done better. That’s the danger of this scenario.

    Read More!
  • 03 Oct 2012 1:44 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Watch the Interview! Early Intervention to Avoid Sex Trading and Trafficking of Minnesota’s Female Youth: A Benefit-Cost Analysis. This report was authored by Dr. Lauren Martin of University of Minnesota and Dr. Rick Lotspeich of Indiana State University. Using a very conservative methodology, we find a 34 – 1 return on investment for early intervention and prevention programs that serve runaway and homeless girls in our state. This is the population most at risk for being trafficked into prostitution.
  • 02 Oct 2012 2:06 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Dear Colleagues

    On October 9th, the sentencing trial for Jerry Sandusky is about to begin. One of the victims of the Penn State tragedy has agreed to testify so it is likely to be all over the media again.  And then when the trial is over, it will no longer be a media story and will cease to exist in the public eye.  

    But for those of us who care deeply about stopping sexual abuse, this case has brought focus and insight into this difficult topic in new ways.  Although much of the case has focused on what people did do and didn't do to protect these innocent children, we now have an opportunity to move the discussion towards prevention.  I believe it is incumbent upon us to learn from this case and others to prevent sexual abuse in communities and families across the country and around the world.  

    The Prevention Committee of ATSA has developed three letters to the editor for you to use as you would like.  We are asking anyone who is interested to  please take just a few minutes to contact your local paper or radio or TV station.  They will be looking for new angles to this story, so they will welcome your offer to send in a short letter to the editor/opinion piece.  It is incredibly easy to do and if you live in a more rural area, your letter is likely to be printed!  To make your part of the job easier, the ATSA Prevention Committee has drafted three different letters to the editor on the
    ATSA Website.  Choose one letter to edit and submit.  It really is that easy.  We did this once before and many people were able to get their letters into the public eye and one of our colleagues was given an award for her work!  

    So please contact your paper or local radio/TV station.  Please reach out into the community while people are still willing to consider what they can do to prevent child sexual abuse.    

    All of us will be safer because of your commitment and involvement.  Thank you!


    Joan Tabachnick

    Co-Chair of ATSA's Prevention Committee
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