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Prevent Together Blog!

  • 06 Aug 2014 3:16 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    youthSpark is pleased to announce a first of its kind study to assess the size and nature of child sex trafficking as it affects boys in metro Atlanta. Today, we know how child sex trafficking affects girls in metro Atlanta, and as a result, people always ask, "what about the boys?" Our hope is to have the same depth of knowledge on the way this issue impacts boys, and research is the first step.During the preliminary phase of this research, we will evaluate multiple potential methodologies to determine what is most likely to work. We will consider a variety of options, including network-estimation via mobile device feedback and in-person peer interviews. It is likely that multiple approaches will eventually be combined together. Upon completion of this preliminary phase, we will summarize the findings and recommended approach for next steps. youthSpark will collaborate with local and state agencies to review the findings. Assuming the main phase is promising, we will proceed with the study. If the main phase of the study is undertaken, the results will be available for public use. The initial phase of this study is being funded by a local foundation.
     
  • 05 Aug 2014 10:30 AM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    BECOME A TRAINER AND PREVENT CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE!

    The Healthy Relationships Project trainings will prepare you to:

    • Train educators to protect children from sexual abuse and promote healthy development,
    • Implement classroom curriculum, and
    • Educate parents.

    Trainings are available in the Care for Kids Program (PK-2) and the SAFE-T Program (7-8) in September and November. Learn More

  • 29 Jul 2014 11:34 AM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Adapted from the Sex-Wise Parent Blog by Dr. Janet Rosenzweig on July 23, 2014

    A lesson in sexual abuse prevention from Oprah Winfrey's interview with Matt Sandusky.

    In her recent interview with Matt Sandusky, Oprah Winfrey hit one of the toughest issues associated with child sexual abuse head-on.

    Her interview with the man both victimized and adopted by former Penn State assistant football coach and convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky drove home this  point:  people must rid themselves of the notion that all sexual abuse hurts physically.

    “It is part of my mission to expose sexual abuse for what it really is” said Winfrey, and her  questioning of Matt Sandusky was one more step on that path.

    As she did with former child actor Todd Bridges in 2010, she directed her questioning of Sandusky to reveal that sexual arousal and climax were part of the abuse.

    “It’s very confusing, it’s very confusing to you because you … have a reaction,” Sandusky said, tearfully stumbling over his words. “It’s something that you definitely don’t know what’s happening, but that’s just what it is, I guess, I don’t want to say that it’s pleasurable, but it’s not the most painful thing I guess.”

    Winfrey firmly told Sandusky that it is OK to say it’s pleasurable, “because it is. You don’t have the language to even explain what’s happening,” she said.

    And therein lies one of the most compelling arguments for sexual education for children. We can neutralize one of the most powerful tools used by predators when we raise kids who truly understand that genital arousal in response to stimulation is as uncontrollable as getting goose bumps when they are tickled. There is no shame or mystery – that’s just how the body works. Parents are the best people to share this information with their kids in age–appropriate doses as they develop, and I believe that so strongly that I developed resources to help them.  With practice and tools  like these, it can be easier than it seems.

    Oprah Winfrey shares my dedication to ensuring that people understand that involuntary physical sexual arousal is often an aspect of sexual victimization, and ignorance of this fact traps victims into confusion, shame and silence.

    In April 2010, she asked Todd Bridges to read the section from his autobiography “Killing Willis” where he described his awful confusion from climaxing when molested. That show inspired me to bring a sex educator’s perspective to child sexual abuse prevention, write the Sex-Wise Parent and put resources at SexWiseParent.com. In 2012, I heard boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard speak at a Penn State conference on child sexual abuse; he said that hearing Todd Bridges acknowledge this physical reaction on national TV gave him the courage to speak out about his own victimization.

    Sexual abuse of children takes many forms, each of them painful in its own awful way. We know that the majority of abuse is initiated by a person known to the child.  In many of these situations, the abuser uses so-called ‘grooming’ techniques to seduce a child into compliance before the child knows what’s happening. Accurate information, lovingly shared by informed parents, can provide children an extra means of defense against fear, guilt and shame and provide a robust defense against sexual a most common type of sexual predator; those who shun physical violence in favor of inducing a physical reaction.

    I will always thank Oprah Winfrey for using her platform to continue to share this very important message. Let’s honor that by helping families and communities provide accurate and honest information about sexuality. To paraphrase a pedophile I interviewed when writing the Sex-Wise Parent: “kids want to talk about sex and if their parents won’t do it, I will”.

  • 29 Jul 2014 10:58 AM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Adapted: EIE/PBS Internet Safety 101® TV Series, which recently won an Emmy Award is available to be aired in your city. The National Educational Television Association (NETA) is offering the 101 TV series to all public television stations in America through fall 2014. And better yet, it's FREE for your local station to air. You could be the reason countless adults are educated and empowered, thereby helping to prevent the kids in your community from becoming ensnared by Internet dangers and traps.

    Do you want to see it yourself? Do you know parents and grandparents who still don't have a clue that the kids in their lives can accidentally be exposed to extreme hardcore pornography through their smart phones, tablets and computers? That sexual predators actively seeking out kids to sexually exploit via technology? That half of today's youth are experiencing cyberbullying?

    The reality is parents and caring adults must be the First Line of Defense.

    You can make a difference! Can I count on you to sign the petition to ask them to air the "Enough Is Enough®” TV series? 
     

  • 24 Jun 2014 1:18 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)

    From the MassKids June 19, 2014 Press Release:

    Any child 18 or younger who is abused after the law goes into effect will now have up to the age of 53 to file civil charges against their alleged abuser and/or against a supervisor and/or the employer of that supervisor.  Previously a victim only had up to 3 years past their 18th birthday to file civil charges or until 3 years after they came to understand the harm caused by the abuse. Under the new law, that limited “discovery period” is extended to 7 years. Also, the previous requirement that a survivor give a two-year notice of intent to file charges under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act has been eliminated, but only for claims of sexual abuse.

    A significant feature of the proposed new law is its retroactivity for survivors. This means that anyone who was sexually abused in the past and who was time-barred under the old law from filing civil charges against their alleged abuser will now have until the age of 53 to do so.  

    The new law, however, would not be retroactive for institutions and their supervisors.  This means that survivors who believe their past abuse was due to the actions or inactions of an organization and/or a supervisor of that organization, may not file civil charges if they were time-barred under the old law.  Only abuse by institutions and supervisors that occurs after the new law goes into effect would be subject to the age 53 provision.  

  • 24 Jun 2014 1:14 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)

    Building Capacity to Reduce Sexual Victimization by Promoting Collaboration Among Victim Advocates and Sex Offender Management Practitioners

    There is great potential to enhance victim and community safety and prevent sexual victimization when sexual assault victim advocacy and sex offender management professionals work together.  Recognizing this, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is supporting four national organizations – the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), the Resource Sharing Project (RSP), the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), and the Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) – in working together on an exciting new initiative.  Through this project, NSVRC, RSP, ATSA and CSOM will deliver on-site training, provide on and off-site technical assistance, and develop training curricula and other written resources to support collaborative partnerships between sexual assault victim advocates and sex offender management professionals. 

    We Need Your Help!

    Our organizations share the common vision of reducing sexual violence.  We have all long been proponents of collaborating across disciplines in order to accomplish this goal and hope that you will join us in advancing these efforts.  As an important first step, and because we need your perspectives and insights about these issues, we have developed a needs assessment.  Your responses will help guide the direction of the project’s efforts and shape the resources that will be developed for sexual assault victim advocates and sex offender management practitioners nationwide.  Please click here to complete the needs assessment to make sure your voice is heard!  The needs assessment will be open until Thursday, July 3rd. 

    If you have any questions about this project, please contact Leilah Gilligan at lgilligan@cepp.com.  We thank you in advance for your contributions to this important initiative! 

  • 10 Jun 2014 11:33 AM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)

    Join us for the second webinar in a five-part series entitled, "Essentials for Childhood" on Friday, June 20, 2014 at 10amET - 11:30amET.

    This webinar will (1) briefly review Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their short- and long-term impacts on health and well-being, (2) introduce how assuring safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments can help prevent ACEs, and (3) demonstrate through examples from several participating states how state health departments are using ACEs to inform primary prevention strategies to address child maltreatment.
     
    Participants will learn:
    How knowledge of ACEs supports the importance of safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments.
    How state health departments and their partners are using ACEs to inform primary prevention strategies in child maltreatment prevention.
     
    Please REGISTER and extend this invitation accordingly.

  • 13 May 2014 8:13 AM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    From NSVRC - A new edition of the NSVRC’s The Resource has arrived.  The 2014 Spring & Summer edition features a cover story on campus sexual assault written by the Clery Center For Security On Campus. The article provides details on recent amendments to the Jeanne Cleary Act and how policy can be used to help protect the well-being of students. In the same vein, The University of Oregon has students talking about consent with its SexPositive cellphone app. Learn about the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape’s Assessing Campus Readiness Curriculum and the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance’s Building Peace at Home creative fundraising project.


  • 29 Apr 2014 12:39 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    NEARI Press is a nonprofit publishing company and training center for professionals working with youth with sexually abusive and other risky behaviors. To see more of their titles, visit their new Facebook page!
  • 29 Apr 2014 12:36 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    From the Justice Blog: Staying Involved During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, April 2014.

    This month also gives us a chance to thank those already committed to helping children in need. Recently I was privileged to speak to over 1,000 people at the National Symposium on Child Abuse about their work at child advocacy centers, where children who are brought into contact with our child protective and justice systems are getting the services they need to deal with the trauma they have experienced, such as critical medical care and coordinated and efficient case management.

    Eliminating child abuse is a huge challenge. Thousands of children in communities across America need us – all of us – to advocate for their future, to determine whether it will be one darkened by the violence and abuse they have experienced or one lit by care and hope. As the President said in his proclamation, “Our nation thrives when we recognize that we all have a stake in each other. This month and throughout the year, let us come together undefined as families, communities, and Americans undefined to ensure every child can pursue their dreams in a safe and loving home.”

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