The trial is over. Sandusky is guilty.
I, and I know many other people, are ready to move on and focus on what needs to change to prevent another child from being sexually abused. Here are my thoughts:
All children need adults in their lives who are knowledgeable about the behaviors and situations that may indicate an increased risk of someone abusing a child. All children need adults who are knowledgeable about healthy sexual development and age appropriate sexual behavior. Our kids need these adults in their families and in the programs, schools, and faith communities where they are involved.
All kids need adults who are willing to “Be that adult.” The adult who is there for children and young people; The adult who learns to recognize warning signs; The adult who is not afraid to speak up about concerning behaviors towards children; The adult who is like a broken record until their concerns are taken seriously.
What can we specifically do? We can learn the fact sand understand the risks. Realities, not rust, should influence your decisions regarding children.We can minimize opportunity. If we eliminate or reduce one-adult/one-child situations, we’ll dramatically lower the risk of sexual abuse for children.We can talk about it. Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it. 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. Make a plan. Learn where to go, whom to call, and how to react. Act on suspicions. The future well being of a child is at stake. Get involved. Take the 2.5 hour Stewards of Children training that Rural Resources offers for free. A child’s safety is an adult’s job. Call Family Support Center and sign up for one of our trainings in your town. I promise you. You will be so glad you took the training.
Education and Prevention Specialist
Family Support Center