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Prevent Together Blog!

  • 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
  • 02 Oct 2012 2:04 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Dear Colleague:  Please join us for our first online webinar in this new NEARI Press series. Dr. Robin Wilson will be speaking about his important work with people who have intellectual disabilities and problematic sexual behavior.
    Working with Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and
    Problematic Sexual Behavior
    Tuesday, October 9, 2012
    2:00pm-3:00pm EST
    Within this one-hour webinar, Dr. Wilson will provide an overview of the essential knowledge tools and perspective necessary for anyone choosing to work with this population.
  • 24 Sep 2012 6:06 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)

    From Hosts Cordelia Anderson & Joan Tabachnick -- The Ms. Foundation for Women (MFW) has made the courageous decision to direct a significant portion of its resources towards ending child sexual abuse. Monique Hoeflinger, Senior Program Officer, Safety at the Ms. Foundation laid the ground work for why MFW chose this issue as one of its priorities by saying,

    “Ending child sexual abuse is one of the most strategic things we can do to improve the lives of women and communities.”

    Given the frequency of sexual abuse against children and the life-long impact of that abuse, focusing on child sexual abuse prevention makes sense. Among the approaches that MFW supports are those that move beyond traditional child-focused strategies and instead, engage adults and communities in prevention efforts.

    As just one part of their broad efforts, the Ending Child Sexual Abuse (ECSA) Web Conference Series is designed to bring the best thinking, programs, and insights they have seen to a larger community of stakeholders. Through this exciting new partnership with us (Cordelia and Joan), Prevent-Connect, and most importantly – all of you – we hope to build a stronger and more effective movement to end child sexual abuse. The goals of this series are to:

    • Raise visibility and dialogue within prevention community
    • Engage new communities in this movement
    • Increase knowledge, resources and strategic action on child sexual abuse

    Over the next nine months, we plan to cover the following exciting topics:

    Look on the MFW or the PreventConnect websites for dates and time and more details. And if you miss one of them, don’t worry! Both the slides and recordings of the sessions are available to anyone.

    We hope you will join us for one of these future web conferences. Sign-up to learn more about upcoming sessions.

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