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Talk about child sexual abuse

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To The Editor:

If you follow the headlines, you know that child sexual abuse happens.It happens often and close to home.This reality can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that child sexual abuse can be prevented when we all play our part.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and communities across the country are standing up for child sexual abuse prevention by proclaiming “It’s time…to talk about it!” All adults have a role in child sexual abuse prevention, and this year’s campaign encourages individuals and communities to support healthy childhood sexual development by talking early, talking often, and taking action.

By talking about healthy childhood sexual development, adults are able to support the children in their lives.When adults support age-appropriate behaviors, model healthy boundaries and speak up to other adults, they are an ally to prevention.It’s also our job to respect children, model healthy behaviors and boundaries, and confront adults when they act in ways that are not appropriate.

There is often silence and discomfort when it comes to the discussion of sexual development.It’s important to understand that this is a normal experience we all share.By opening up communication, sharing age-appropriate information with children, and educating one another, we are taking steps toward a safer community.

Choose to start the conversation about healthy childhood sexual development. Whether you are a parent, educator or community member, it’s time for you to start talking early and often to support an environment where children are safe.

It’s time…to talk about it!

Ilene J Burke

Executive Director

Renewal House

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