Briefly tell us about your role at the CAC.
As the Kids Have Rights Program Manager, my role is not frequently found at Advocacy Centers across the country. It is truly a gift for a CAC to have a prevention program that partners with local schools to provide, at no cost to the school, body safety education to children and their families.
The Kids Have Rights program was developed by, and belongs to, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Kent County. Meaning, not only do my team and I implement body safety programing for 23,000 children in Kent County, we also develop every element of the five curriculums we provide, as well as all ancillary materials that are brought to the nearly 1,000 kindergarten through fourth grade classrooms each school year.
My work at the CAC began in 2010, and I remain committed today to the same goals that began our prevention work: empowering children with knowledge on body safety; creating an informed community of adults aware of the epidemic that is child sexual abuse; and providing families, school staff, and community members with fundamental information on not only prevention but also appropriate response and care for children who have been sexually abused.
What do you want the community to know about child sexual abuse?
I would most like our community to know – the epidemic that is child sexual abuse affects all of us. It crosses all socio-economic lines. Child sexual abuse does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, or religion. The number one risk factor for child sexual abuse is simply being a child.
I think it is imperative for adults not only to recognize the prevalence of child sexual abuse, but also to take personal responsibility in their homes and in our community to stop and prevent it.
What is it about your work that keeps you here and motivated?
There are many motivators for me in prevention work. I truly love partnering with local school districts to visit children in their classrooms. I take great pride in providing a developmentally and age appropriate lesson that, for many children, is life altering. And, I am proud to be part of a movement in our community that is not only preventing children from experiencing sexual abuse, but giving them the tools to report if abuse occurs.
What do you hope for the CAC in the future?
My hope for the Children’s Advocacy Center is to continue our collaboration efforts and continue to grow our services for the community. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Hellen Keller, educator, journalist