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 crucial for victims

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Protecting Children with Autism from Sexual Abuse

Excerpt from article in The Tennessean. It's a taboo that parents at the Brown Center for Autism don't want to talk about. Their children, and all kids with developmental disabilities, are four times more likely to be sexually abused than their peers. That's especially scary for parents of children who cannot speak. Protecting those children is the idea behind a training program gathering momentum in Nashville — an approach that Juli Liske, founder of the Brown Center, thinks holds great promise for guarding against the unthinkable. "It's a topic that our parents hate. And...
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Microsoft child pornography tip leads to arrest

Excerpt from PC & Tech Authority article. A Pennsylvania man has been charged with possessing and distributing images of child sexual abuse, following a tip-off from Microsoft. The suspect, named as 20-year-old Tyler James Hoffman, is alleged to have uploaded the offending photos to the company's OneDrive cloud storage service via his Microsoft Live email account on his smartphone. According to the police report, which was filed with the Monroe County Court last week, Microsoft detected in April that an image of child abuse had been uploaded to OneDrive. The company then contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited...
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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 of research demonstrating the fact that those who have experienced childhood abuse show a...
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Delaware child predator task force hits 203 convictions

Excerpt from delawareonline.com article. Delaware's Child Predator Task Force, dedicated to tracking predators lurking on the Internet, has reached a milestone of 203 convictions since its creation seven years ago. “Protecting children is all of our responsibility and requires all levels of government working together,” Attorney General Beau Biden said in a statement. “Delaware’s children are much safer because of the Child Predator Task Force’s work.” More than half of all convicted child predators victimize an average of 19 children during their lifetime, said Camille Cooper, director of legislative affairs for the National Association to Protect...
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Lieutenant brings Stewards of Children to Police Dept.

Article by Emily Meeks with High Point Enterprise Jokes exchanged between comrades as the sign-in sheet passed around the room. But that tone changed the moment the video began. Officers dressed in their uniforms equipped with weaponry belts silenced their radios and watched intently as victims of childhood sexual abuse told their stories. These officers are part of a training the High Point Police Department has incorporated into its curriculum. From an awareness program targeted at parents and community members, Darkness to Light has transformed into a training for law enforcement. The Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children program in...
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Texas Schools Required to Provide Abuse Prevention and Response Training for All Employees

Texas BluebonnetsAccording to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), in compliance with recent Texas legislation, district and charter schools within the state are required to provide all employees with prevention and recognition training concerning child sexual abuse and other forms of child maltreatment. Statistics for child sexual abuse are staggering. In the United States alone, 400,000 children born this year will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Studies show that school personnel identify 52 percent of child abuse cases classified as causing harm to the child –...
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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 child sexual abuse. In fact,...
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He Would Tell Me

Reprint from Together We Heal Recently I had the pleasure of having breakfast with my friend and colleague, Boz Tchividjian. I’m so thankful for the friendship he and I have developed and while talking he gave me one more reason to be thankful. He brought to my attention something I had not given enough consideration. It’s from his insight this article originated. We were discussing the reasons behind why I didn’t say something about my abuse and why other survivors don’t tell or speak up while the abuse is occurring. During the conversation I told him something my mom...
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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. colin-farrell-anti-bullyingAnti-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 uses fear, coercion, or force to...
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