Stories of Strength

/ Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 / No Comments »

We are grateful for this opportunity to join forces in the Ms. Foundation for Women’s Ending Child Sexual Abuse National Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to inspire and ignite a national movement to prevent and ultimately end child sexual abuse.

Our two agencies jumped at the chance to collaborate on this critical issue that traumatizes children and fractures the adults they become. This paper documents our exploration of the issue of child sexual abuse in dialogue with the community, local stakeholders and survivors themselves.

Through convenings, research, community dialogue, focus groups and interviews with survivors the purpose of this report is to explore the issue of child sexual abuse and to organize a movement of concern, awareness and action locally in Los Angeles County. One of the main goals of this project is to work toward reducing the stigma of child sexual abuse through surfacing the victim/survivor stories of pain (yet often filled with resilience and strength) and increasing the number of survivors willing, ready and able to speak out and tell their stories publicly through our speakers bureau: Voices Over Violence. Breaking through the silence and shame that surrounds this trauma is key. We aim to re-imagine a community that collectively faces this scourge, creates trusted spaces for healing and develops new and effective ways to prevent it.

In the past few years we have become painfully aware of the pervasive and endemic issue of sexual violence toward children, youth and adults. Behind bars in prisons, within the military, in religious organizations, on campuses of universities and schools; sexual violence happens everywhere. These institutions public and private, including the institution of the family, house where victimization and predation happen. When it involves children as a society we are moved emotionally and careen from shock to anger, despair and numbness. Scandals come and go, catching our attention for a time and yet we can’t seem to hold onto the issue long enough to really do something significant about it. Obviously, preventing child sexual abuse is a complex issue that requires complex actions and remedies. But if we don’t know what to do when we see it, when we don’t have the stamina to hold the issue as a community and seek community solutions then unfortunately we will not progress.

We invite you to join with us in local and national initiatives, indeed to think globally and act locally. This is our call to action: to imagine a future without sexually abused children; both girls and boys. Let’s pledge to reduce the one in four girls and one in six boys statistic. What might that look like and what might we do to make it happen? As a community let’s try… together.

Patti Giggans, Executive Director Peace Over Violence

Steve LePore, Executive Director 1in6

 

To download Stories of Strength for free click here

Stories of Strength: Report on Child Sexual Abuse and Community Recommendations for Prevention is a collaboration between Peace Over Violence, a sexual, domestic, and children and youth violence prevention center and 1in6 an organization dedicated to helping male survivors of sexual abuse.

 

 

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