Tomorrow, February 15, I will be on The CW San Diego Channel 8 News.
It will be a live segment at 7:15 am to discuss my upcoming child sexual abuse prevention training. I am hoping this will be a huge opportunity to reach my goal of training one million people on how to predict and prevent child sexual abuse.
As a survivor and a mother of a survivor, this cause is near and dear to my heart. Child sexual abuse is something nobody wants to talk about and yet that is exactly how predators thrive. I understand why people don't want to talk about it but unfortunately, I understand what happens when we don't. The #MeToo movement and the Olympic Dr. Larry Nassar story of 168 victims sharing their experience has helped to open peoples eyes to this very real epidemic.
This is something that effects every single person whether you believe your family has been effected or not. The consequences that victims suffer such as drug and alcohol abuse, trauma, anxiety, higher rates of crime and delinquency, lower cognitive ability and various health issues effects every single one of us. We are all paying the price daily with healthcare costs, welfare costs, criminal justice costs and productivity loss. But nobody pays the price more than the victim, it is something that follows them into adulthood and actually lowers their life expectancy. This is a societal problem of epic proportions and we need society to wrap their arms around this issue and say NO MORE!
How can you help me?
First, get trained on child sexual abuse prevention. No matter how much you think you know, formal training will open your eyes to the myths and false sense of security they provide.
Second, demand that anywhere your child is in the care of others that they train their staff on prevention. There are Federal and State Laws that require this.
Third, share this information far and wide. Predators deliberately target those who have not been trained or who are too uncomfortable to discuss this topic.
Fourth, if you are victim and you feel ready to share your story, please do. Predators are successful because they count on you not speaking up. Your story validates others and encourages others to speak up. Your story has the power to save a life.
Fifth, believe and support those who disclose. The most damaging thing you can do to a victim is to not believe them. False reports are myth, they are very rare and minuscule to the amount of victims. One in three girls and one in five boys will be sexually abused by age 18.
We can no longer be shocked when we hear stories like Larry Nassar or the Turpin Family. We can no longer say we thought something was off but were afraid to speak up. We must care about the safety of children over offending an adult.