NAASCA Posters / Essays Celebrating April as National Child Abuse Awareness Month

Child Abuse lives everywhere -- don't be afraid to talk about it
8 of 30 ..

  Child Abuse lives ..
...... in every community
...... in every school district

The children of America are threatened by abuse and trauma in every community across the nation, and an amazing percentage at the hands of a family member.

In fact, true stranger danger, where a child has no previous encounters with a predator, account for only 7% of the cases, while fully 93% of the time a youngster is assaulted by someone they know, love or trust.

Of this group, about 1/3 are immediate family members .. like mom or dad or a brother .. 1/3 more are "extended" family members .. like a grandfather, mom's boyfriend or a cousin. Many of the last third are in the category we might describe as "caregivers" .. babysitters, teachers, coaches, ministers, volunteers at clubs for kids, etc.

Obviously we can not rely on prevention information being reliably provided during their upbringing to the many children in families or other groups that include predators.

That's the idea behind a number of efforts that have sprung up to reach the young through schools. One of them is a state by state campaign to require schools systems provide mandated, age appropriate sexual abuse prevention tools to children in grades K through 6.

The mission of Erin's law (named after it primary champion, Erin Merryn, a survivor herself) is "to get education in all 50 states on the prevention of sexual abuse by empowering children with their voice instead of allowing sex offenders to silence them."

Thus far 8 states have passed a version of Erin's Law, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

Many public schools educate children on tornado drills, fire drills, bus drills, stranger danger, and how to say "NO" to drugs.

Lets make sure they also include lesson plans on sexual abuse, safe touches, and safe secrets .. empowering kids about the sanctity of their own bodies.

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