Fighting Child Sexual Abuse, State by State at the School Level

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A recent media article on an always sensitive and critically important subject stresses the term “silence.”

We all know the adage “silence is golden,” of course. That phrase is often used in a manner denoting that reticence and withholding comment on a certain matter is preferable to speaking out about it.

That is obviously true in in some instances, but certainly not all cases.

In fact, the well-worn truism comes with an ominous caveat in at least realm, namely, the horrific scourge of child sexual abuse. In that awful universe, silence is the enabling factor that promotes the criminal behavior of sexual predators who insidiously prey upon the country’s most vulnerable demographic.

Where sex crimes against children are concerned, silence breeds secrecy. Under its fog, notes one recent media piece, “abusers take cover.”

The cited article spotlights a flatly necessary effort being made in Maine that is also being duplicated in various ways all across the country, including in California. That initiative focuses upon enhanced learning surrounding child sexual abuse, specifically through new guidelines and processes formulated in elementary schools.

The school nexus is key, state informed commentators, because school is the locale where children “interact with their peers and other adults in a way that might uncover that something is wrong.”

Kids victimized by abuse understandably have difficulty talking about, much less understanding, their trauma. Lawmakers reasonably believe that having a truly well-considered written policy and implementation guide in place will better foster communication among children, teachers and parents that will help clear the fog of silence.

Such a tool is sorely needed in every American school. It can help promote dialogue, rather than reticence, concerning a matter of dire public importance.

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