FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Centre County Women’s Resource Center, firstname.lastname@example.org, 814-238-7066
Statement in Response to Jeffrey Sandusky Arrest
Centre County, Pa., February 14, 2017 — Recent arrests of persons charged with child sexual abuse have highlighted the unfortunate reality that even after the traumatic events of the 2011-12 Sandusky scandal, we still have much work to do in Centre County to prevent and address child sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse, from sexting to pornography to the physical sexual assault of children, remains a reality in our communities, damaging the lives of our children and families.
Much has been done in the past five years to address the issue of child sexual abuse in Centre County. The Children’s Advocacy Center has enhanced our ability to respond appropriately and compassionately to children who have been abused. The Stewards of Children program has trained over 6,000 people to recognize and respond appropriately to child sexual abuse when it occurs and to work to prevent it. Churches and youth serving organizations have put in place policies and practices designed to minimize the risk to children participating in their activities. Many more mandated reporters of child abuse have been trained to know what to look for in situations of abuse and how to make a report to Childline. The fact remains, however, that children are most at risk from those closest to them, people they know and trust who have the access and the opportunities to hurt them.
No potential or new parent wants to think about the possibility that their child could one day be a victim of child sexual abuse. And if the unthinkable does happen and a child is a victim of abuse, the responsibility for that abuse lies squarely and absolutely on the shoulders of the abuser – not on the non-offending parent or care-giver. It is important to remember as well, that not all perpetrators of child sexual abuse were victims themselves and not all those who were victims grow up to be perpetrators. That being said, however, parents can and should arm themselves with information about child sexual abuse, just like they learn about age-appropriate discipline or how to nurture a child’s gifts. No new parent magically has all the information needed to be a good parent – parenting requires knowledge and skills that can be learned and practiced. Learning about the dangers of child sexual abuse and how to minimize its risk is as important to becoming a good parent as learning what your child needs to eat to stay healthy.
The Stewards of Children program, offered through the YMCA of Centre Co. as a collaborative project of the Centre Co. Women’s Resource Center, the Youth Service Bureau, United Way and the Y, is an excellent way to get the knowledge, information and skills all parents need to help them keep their kids safe. It is never too early to begin.
For information about the Stewards of Children program, go to the website of the YMCA of Centre County at ymcaofcentrecounty.org and type Stewards of Children in the search bar. Programs are offered regularly throughout the County.
About, Centre County Women’s Resource Center
The Centre County Women’s Resource Center provides services to men, women and children who have experienced dating or domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Our Hotline is available 24 hours a day by calling 1-877-234-5050. Additional resources and information can be found at ccwrc.org.