Educate Children About Sexual Abuse So They Won’t Delay Reporting

New law (AB218*) should serve as a wake-up call for increased child abuse prevention in schools by Erik Sternad, Executive Director, Interface Children & Family Services

We know a 69-year-old woman who never reported her childhood sexual abuse. A friend of the family abused her when she was seven years old; she told her mother at the time, who chose not to confront the abuser because “he was moving away.” A second man abused her later. The next person she told, apart from her spouse, was her 25-year-old daughter some 52 years after her first molestation. When we asked her about her experience, she said that she was an ideal victim—a compliant child who sought to please, took direction, kept secrets, and implicitly trusted authority. As she looks toward her 70th birthday in February, she is just now starting to understand how these events dramatically affected her life, from chronic anxiety and depression to a lack of healthy boundaries and an inability to self-advocate in relationships. At Interface Children & Family Services, we believe that early education could have easily prevented these abuses and a lifetime of painful impacts. Continue Reading Here

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