Do You Know How? Most People Don’t
Voice Found, an Ottawa based organization, offers childhood sexual abuse prevention workshops
Think about the girls you know in your life. Look at the faces in a classroom, on a sports field, at a concert. One in three girls will experience an unwanted sexual act before her 18th birthday. Now consider the boys on the hockey rink, the football field, running around a schoolyard or playing basketball at a park. One in five of those boys will be sexually abused before he turn 18.
“Sexual predators are rarely strangers,” says Cynthia Bland. “Over 95 percent of the time children are sexually abused by someone known and trusted. These predators look like anyone else in your community. They cross all socio-economic, religious and ethno-cultural boundaries.” Cynthia, a mother of four, is the community leader behind Voice Found, an Ottawa based organization that offers childhood sexual abuse prevention workshops.
The protection of children from sexual abuse is an adult responsibility, she points out. And adults need to learn the facts: Child abuse statistics show adults do not adequately protect children from child sexual abuse. “The main reason is that they don’t know how.” Teaching a child about good touch and bad touch is simply not enough, Cynthia notes.
Voice Found’s next workshop is this Saturday, July 28, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Led by an authorized facilitator, the workshop includes a DVD that highlights stories from survivors, law enforcement agencies and professionals who interface daily with the issues. Attendees leave with a workbook and their own personal plan to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.The program details the following Seven Core
Principles of Prevention:
Step 1: Learn the Facts
Realities, Not Trust, Should Influence Your Decisions Regarding Children
Step 2: Minimize Opportunity
If you eliminate or reduce one-adult/one-child situations, you’ll dramatically lower the risk of sexual abuse for children.
Step 3: Talk About It
Children Often Keep Abuse a Secret, but Barriers Can Be Broken Down by Talking Openly
Step 4: Stay Alert
Don’t Expect Obvious Signs When a Child is Being Sexually Abused. Signs Are Often There But You’ve Got to Spot Them.
Step 5: Make a Plan
Learn Where to Go, Whom to Call, and How to React
Step 6:Act on Suspicions
The Future Well Being of a Child is at Stake
Step 7: Get Involved
Volunteer and financially support organizations such as Voice Found that work to prevent childhood sexual abuse.
To register for the Saturday, July 28 workshop, visit www.voicefound.ca/events/preventionworkshops.
Need more information? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.