10 January 2013

Building a Movement to End Child Sexual Abuse

By: David Lee
Ending child sexual abuse cannot be done solely by cleverly worded brochures, sophisticated social media campaigns, or dynamic classroom presentations. We need to have a robust social movement of people from all walks of life working to create changes in our society, creating policies to promote safety and prevention efforts to ensure child sexual abuse will not happen in the first place.

Last year PreventConnect was pleased to collaborate with the Ms. Foundation for Women to sponsor a series of web conferences on ending child sexual abuse. Over the course of the year, Cordelia Anderson and Joan Tabachnick hosted web conferences that served as an online gathering place for thousands of people to share their insights into what it takes to build a movement to end child sexual abuse.

From this series, I learned about how the arts, healthy sexuality, youth serving organizations and the media can play a role in preventing child sexual abuse. I was inspired by speakers who described their “soap box” moments to spark change, by survivors who envision a world without child sexual abuse, and by the tenacity of policy advocates who seek social change.

Most importantly, I recognized the collective power of all of the advocates, survivors, prevention practitioners, therapists, sex offender management professionals, educators, artists, and others, to create change. Ending child sexual abuse is an ambitious goal, but together we will make a difference.

While I know a web conference series is not enough to build the changes we need, this series provides a strong foundation for the work. Recordings and materials from all of the web conferences are available. I encourage you to check them out:

Including Child Sexual Abuse in the Sexual Violence Prevention Movement (May 3, 2012)

Using Media to End Child Sexual Abuse (June 7, 2012)

Preventing the Perpetration of Child Sexual Abuse (July 19, 2012)

Voices of Experience: the role of direct experiences in social change (August 30, 2012)

Healthy Sexuality and Caring Connections: Foundations for Prevention (September 10, 2012)

The Role of Arts in Ending Child Sexual Abuse (October 10, 2012)

Depictions of children in media and pornography: Implications for prevention (November 14, 2012)

After Sandusky: What we have learned to prevent child sexual abuse in youth-serving organizations (November 19, 2012)

Policy changes that help and hinder our ability to end child sexual abuse (December 10, 2012)

If you want to learn more about upcoming activities please sign-up to be notified of future activities.
David Lee is the Director of Prevention Services at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault and manages the national online project PreventConnect.

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