Is the Media letting down survivors of child abuse?

            
As the hoopla and media coverage dies down about the Penn State, Syracuse, Citadel Child Sex Abuse Scandals, I worry that our attention span for the next salacious article has made many forget that underlying the headlines of the cover up, unraveling of institutions and the take down of “model” citizens – the real story is about the horrible crimes against children.

            The institutions are recovering, the players go on with their lives, participants in the child abuse cover up still have their jobs, and some of these criminals can now go back into hiding. But we can tell you that there are many children out there right now still suffering in silence, being abused, scared and unsure how to reach out for help. Scared they won’t be believed, fearful of stirring the pot and having the lid blow off (as 68% of the time a child is harmed by a family member). Those children, and advocates for children’s rights are hoping that these stories don’t go away so quickly.

            At this juncture the media wields a lot of power – they control what we all deem headline news.  Of course, we are certainly not hoping to hear of more children being abused – but when survivors come forward an extraordinary thing happens, it empowers others to know they are not alone and gives them the extra strength needed to come forward too. My fear….and we see it happening right now,  is as the next big story comes to the media and child abuse gets put on the back burner again – these children and adult survivors stay in hiding, keeping their secret, feeling that they do not have a voice, thinking they deserved what is happening to them and believing everything their abuser is/has been telling them.

            We can’t let that happen!!  We need to treat child abuse like an epidemic – because it is one. If there was an outbreak of any other “epidemic” every stone would be overturned to stop it. We must turn over every stone to stop and prevent child abuse. So please as you pick up the paper, turn on your computer and the TV and you don’t hear another “sex abuse newsworthy big media” story hitting the front page, remember there are children out there being abused (every 10 seconds a report of child abuse is made) that still need your attention, your outrage and your help to end child abuse.

           We ask you to help us in a call to action – Take a few minutes and raise your own awareness so you can at least know better how to protect your own loved ones. Learn and understand the process of grooming and continue this dialogue with your coworkers, friends and family. Let’s keep this “news” on our own front headlines even if the media does not deem it newsworthy anymore.

          Why? because there are children out there right now being abused.  There are survivors of abuse reading the same news you are and they are hoping that the public still cares,is still outraged and is not going to put child abuse on the back burner just because the media found another story to cover. Lets make the year 2012 the year we raise awareness and prevent child abuse. Remember as you finish reading this blog there are children being abused at this very moment, hoping and praying someone cares – get involved with the cause and help save a child from abuse.

Testimonials

"Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be included in the KidSafe program. I highly recommend this program to other schools. We hope that we will be given the same opportunity for our Kindergarten and 2nd grade students to be a part of this wonderful program during the 2016-2017 school year."

Mrs. Keelyn Meselsohn 2nd Grade Teacher/Team Leader Tradewinds Elementary School

"The Safe and Smart Series Book My Body Is Special and Belongs To Me is kept in my middle school clinic and has been a tool that has opened many conversations for me between students that have experienced a difficult situation and were unable to talk about it. Through the illustrations and nonjudgmental verbiage the author has allowed kids permission to share their feelings about invasion of their personal space. Thank you so much."

Nurse Connie, PBC School Nurse 6.8.2016

"I'm so grateful that KidSafe has partnered with my daughter's school.  I learned so much in the parent training--how to recognize potential sexual predator behavior; how to quiz my child about what they would do in different scenarios; and how to explain safe and unsafe touch.  In addition, knowing that my daughter is receiving weekly trainings on these topics gives me great peace of mind.  I have confidence that I can reinforce what she is learning in school in order to prevent her from ever being a victim of such a heinous crime.  Thank you KidSafe for your dedication to protecting our communities' most vulnerable citizens."

Christina Kranick

“It was a normal Saturday and I was at the rink with my 7 and 8 year old. My son asked me if he could use the Men’s Restroom by himself.  Without hesitation, my daughter said,  Absolutely not! I was in KidSafe today and you cannot go to the restroom alone.  It is very important that Mommy is with you.. with us.   I was so proud of my little girl!  We are so blessed to have Debbie Miller at our school teaching our children the importance of safety. Many thanks to you all!  Your program and instruction is absolutely amazing.  Keep up the great work!"  

Tara Henley Admissions Assistant, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and School, Ft. Lauderdale

I am a parent of two Pine Crest children and I attended your program on Monday night. I just wanted to thank you so very much for the very informative seminar. As hard as it was to hear all of those things, it was very needed. We were thrilled that you were able to come and share that very important information with us and our children. So again...thank you.

Elisa Aronberg

Today’s training was awesome! It was very informative. Sally was a very good resource, she motivated us a lot! We want to pass on this information to parents, teachers and students! Thank you for offering workshops like this. These are tools we use to continue serving our children and families.

Participant from Children’s Services Council of Broward Seminar

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