Your gift last month helped the Foundation certify 10 additional Stewards of Children® facilitators at Doylestown Hospital in Buck County, PA (8 of whom are medical professionals and 2 victim advocates from Chester County Crime Victims Center).
These 10 are a force multiplier in the Foundation’s mission to educate adults on how secondary strategies to prevent sexual abuse: recognizing, reporting and responding to child sexual abuse. This also speaks to primary prevention strategies such as; developing policies and procedures that help organizations to better protect the children they serve, empowering children to seek out a trusted adult if they are ever in an uncomfortable situation, and holding other adults to a higher standard of conduct around safe boundaries around children.
Training stakeholders who have courageously stepped up to proactively seek-out adult audiences to better inform them of the critical role and responsibility we ALL have in stopping child sexual abuse before it ever occurs.
We see that child sex abuse is absolutely 100% preventable when:
children are not left in isolation with adults and older children;
spaces in which children are served have been thoughtfully examined for vulnerabilities;
touch with a child is observable by others;
interactions with children are either intentionally observable or interruptible;
thorough background checks are conducted on all who care for children (including volunteers);
children are educated around what touches are inappropriate and what to do when someone crosses their personal boundaries;
adults intervene on behaviors that cross those boundaries;
we ask open-ended questions when our “gut” tells us something isn’t quite right; and
we embrace our legal and ethical responsibility to report suspected abuse and neglect of a child.
I’m incredibly proud of these 10 professionals who are now better equipped to effect change in their communities that will undoubtedly keep children safer. The facilitators are now authorized to present Stewards of Children in their professional, and also their personal, circles (their own churches, schools, etc). They have a real opportunity to shift their communities from being complicit to being real advocates for all children.