by Laura Ahearn – Executive Director of “Parents for Megan’s Law & the Crime Victims Center”

Sexual violence has no boundaries, it can happen to anyone – people of any age, financial status, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation or gender.  In fact, every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.

The sheer magnitude of the Sexual Victimization of Women and Children in the United States is astounding.

  1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men have been the victim of sexual assault while in college.

  As many as 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually abused at some point in their childhood.

  In Fact:  EVERY 8 MINUTES CPS substantiates a claim of child sexual abuse.

There is a straight line between children who have been sexually abused and substance abuse in adolescence, and into adulthood. And there is a downward trajectory for those who are victimized and suffer in silence. We’ve made the Connection…..and Child Sexual Abuse is a Tragic Contributing Factor to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues:

  Children who are sexually abused are at significantly greater risk for later posttraumatic stress and other anxiety symptoms, depression, and even suicide attempts.

  Adolescents with a history of child sexual abuse have a 3 to fourfold increase in rates of substance abuse and dependence and adults sexually abused as children also have increased rates of substance abuse.

We have to move beyond #METOO to #What –  Can –  I –  Do and that’s why we are here today, YOU CAN BECOME A GUARDIAN FOR CHILDREN. This online classroom teaches parents and community members how to start stopping child sexual abuse. Participants learn critical skills to PREVENT, DETECT and REPORT child sexual abuse.

It’s simple to enroll and it is FREE to all users. Just LOG ONTO https://www.parentsformeganslaw.org/course/apple/

Future Guardians for Children will learn 10 Prevention Tips to PREVENT, DETECT and REPORT child sexual abuse. And they will learn:

  The Ten Rules for Safety for Children and Teens

  The 27 Tricks sexual predators use to access our most vulnerable. (The tricks are comprehensively detailed in a downloadable file.)

  11 Red Flags to Identify a Person who may be problematic in your child’s life – someone who may be violating too many boundaries – a warning sign that there may be a predator in your midst.

  Participants will also learn the behavioral and physical signs of sexual abuse, equipping them with the knowledge they need to report if they believe a child is in danger.

  Participants will also learn where to report child abuse with links to all state reporting agencies.

To reinforce concepts learned in the Guardian for Children Program, Suffolk County residents will be offered a FREE tool kit. They can pick it up at the agency or pay to have it shipped to them. Those outside of Suffolk can purchase the Tool Kit for only $10.00. But remember the class is FREE. The Guardian for Children program takes a primary prevention and COMMUNITY approach by teaching adults specific skills to protect themselves and to protect ALL children from sexual abuse – not just their own children. The program also includes Adult Rape Prevention, understanding Rape Culture and the 3 D’s of proactive bystander intervention. We also plan on loading a special section for college-age students.

If we want to prevent children, teens, and adults from being sexually victimized we have to work together

to become PROACTIVE BYSTANDERS and GUARDIANS FOR CHILDREN. 

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