Awareness must lead to prevention

Blog by Joanne Johnson Often, child sexual abuse is only discussed by the media after something goes horribly wrong. All one has to do is Google it to read about the most recent child sexual abuse horror stories. Awareness is a significant part of ending child sexual abuse, but for it to be effective, we must take action. It’s important to remember that child sexual abuse can be prevented. Our conversations about abuse don’t have to revolve around the “aftermath” of a particular case.  It is …

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Focus on child sexual abuse needs to include mental health services for survivors

Excerpt from article by Clare Allan for The Guardian There is a sense of national outrage at the seemingly endless stream of revelations concerning the sexual abuse of children by people in the public eye. While such outrage is understandable, I can’t help being struck by the simultaneous lack of concern about the cuts to the services and support many survivors of sexual abuse depend on. Around half of people using mental health services report histories of sexual and/or physical abuse and there is masses …

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My Conversation with Matt Sandusky

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Matt Sandusky about his Peaceful Hearts Foundation, and his efforts to use his story to help others. To him, his story is just “one of millions,” but to the rest of the world, he is one in a million. Along with many others across the nation, I watched Matt’s recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, and was impressed by his courage and grace. Like D2L, he believes that prevention is the key to significantly decreasing the prevalence of …

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Uncovering Sexual Bullying: Learn the Facts

Blog by Joanne Johnson In recent years, government organizations, nonprofits, celebrities, and others have caught the media’s attention with their work to end bullying. As technology progresses, bullying continues to be a significant threat for today’s youth. Anti-bullying campaigns are becoming as common as those against smoking, drinking, and drugs. As the public continues to learn more and speak out against bullying, we want to shed light on a specific type of this harassment: sexual bullying. WHAT IT IS: Sexual bullying occurs anytime a child …

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Google it

Having trouble understanding the prevalence of child sexual abuse? Just Google it. By now, you’ve probably heard the statistic that one in 10 children will be sexually abused by the age of 18. For many, seeing this number and actually understanding it are two different things. We hear statistics every day, and at some point we forget that these numbers represent actual children. You may think: Yes, this number is too high. Yes, someone needs to do something about it. I’m glad my children are …

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5 things every parent and youth serving organization must remember from Matthew Sandusky’s courageous interview with Oprah

Last night, Matt Sandusky sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an emotional, eye-opening interview detailing his abuse at the hands of Jerry Sandusky. Oprah promoted the interview as a “must watch” for parents. In addition to parents, everyone in a position or organization that serves youth needs to understand these important messages provided by Matthew’s first-hand account of child sexual abuse: 1. Grooming is a gradual process. “It started from the first moment he met me…when he picked me up for the football game for the …

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We must help teens understand the seriousness of child sexual abuse

Excerpt from THINKPROGRESS In an incident making national headlines, a 16-year-old girl from Texas says that photos of her unconscious body went viral online after she was drugged and raped at a party with her fellow high schoolers. But the victim isn’t backing down. She’s speaking out about what happened to her, telling her story to local press and asking to be identified as Jada. After other teens started mocking her online — sharing images of themselves splayed out on the floor in the same …

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Sandusky appeals his conviction yet again

Every time we think that we’ve heard the last of Jerry Sandusky, another headline appears in the news. Last March, we were subjected to an unnecessary and offensive TODAY Show interview with Dottie Sandusky. And last week, we had to hear the news that Jerry Sandusky is pursuing yet another appeal of his conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse. Each time we hear his name, we get angry all over again. Years later, the survivors, families, and entire community this man devastated are …

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The link between holidays and child sexual abuse prevention

We often encourage parents to use holidays like July 4th to spend quality time with kids. This is pretty common advice given by everyone from youth organizations to parenting organizations. But what is the link to child sexual abuse prevention? As parents, you spend a good amount of time making sure your children are protected – from holding their hands when you cross the street to buckling them up into the appropriate car seat as they grow. If you’ve taken D2L’s Stewards of Children training, …

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The truth about child trafficking

When movies or books address the topic of child trafficking, they tend to show it as something that happens in other countries on other continents. The plot of 2008′s Taken involves a 17-year old girl who is kidnapped after she travels to France with a friend, unaccompanied by parents or guardians. The truth is that the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is much more pervasive than people realize. It affects communities and children across the globe, and in many cases, the perpetrator is not …

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