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Sex Abuse Prevention

We want to address the high profile child sex abuse cases that have blasted our media over the past couple of months. These cases have been important because they are demonstrating criminal and financial accountability to Offenders and Bystanders.

Pathways to Healing provides domestic and sexual violence advocacy and general services. A large percent of our adult clients are dealing with child sexual  abuse issues as well.  We work to provide these adults with tools and skills to interrupt this cycle of abuse and prevent it from happening to their children and loved ones. The work that we have been doing throughout this state and country has been very important and is really about educating parents and children how to protect themselves. We have spent years teaching children about stranger danger, say “no” and to tell a trusted adult. This is one piece of prevention of child sex abuse. Due to gaining more knowledge and a better understanding of grooming, we know that most of the time the offender is a trusted adult. Prevention is NOT assessing whether your child has or has not been abused. Prevention is NOT telling your child to protect themselves from people we haven’t even identified.

Sex abuse prevention starts with non-offending adults becoming aware of who the vulnerable people are in their lives. Children, family and friends who are disabled, elderly or survivors of child sex abuse are at higher risk to victimization from sex offenders. The next step to prevention is accepting that sex offenders are not typically the “creepy” person. They are charismatic, accepted, funny, successful, nice, helpful, family members, community leaders and can present as friendly. We have to change our response and thinking to people in our lives to protect. In these times.. we can not afford to “give the benefit of the doubt” or “turn the other cheek”. Sex Offenders use this to access. If we hear about allegations (founded or not founded) of sex abuse in our families or community, rather than minimize, take this seriously and incorporate safety measure for the vulnerable people in your life. We need to trust our instincts and act on them. Saying “no” is ok even when others put pressure on us to say “yes”.

“Sex Offender grooming is not only with the victim. They groom the adults and communities around them “.


Savenia Falquist

Silent Spirits Founder

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