news & perspectives

news & perspectives

mass. task force offers road map for preventing child sexual abuse

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In a powerful Op-Ed in the Boston Globe, Olympian and child sexual abuse prevention advocate Aly Raisman wrote that "child sexual abuse isn’t a kid problem, it’s an adult problem."

We agree completely, and we are grateful that voices like Aly's are breaking through the clouds of stigma, shame, and silence to shine a bright light on the steps we should all be taking to ensure that kids grow up safe and healthy. We are also grateful that the Globe published our letter to the editor in response to Aly's call to #FlipTheSwitch and take responsibility for protecting all of our children and youth, featuring the work of the Massachusetts Legislative Task Force on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse:

In her Oct. 16 op-ed “A role for adults in fighting child sexual abuse,” Aly Raisman is 100 percent correct that “child sexual abuse isn’t a kid problem, it’s an adult problem.” That’s why the Massachusetts Legislative Task Force on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse created a road map for significantly improving youth-serving organizations’ ability to keep kids safe. The 269-page report is full of important information, including on hiring and screening, codes of conduct, safe-environment policies, training staff, and implementation of policies and procedures, to ensure that those who work in these organizations are fully aware and actively involved in preventing child sexual abuse.
We applaud Raisman for her courage and commitment to seeing that this never happens to another child. Her #FlipTheSwitch campaign helps educate about the need to have policies and procedures in place, and our task force’s report contains specifics to fill that need. It is now up to organizations across the state to implement these recommendations.
Suzin Bartley 
Executive director
The Children’s Trust
Boston
The writer is cochair of the Massachusetts Legislative Task Force on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse.

Child- and youth-serving organizations can find the report and learn more here.

Parents can find some great resources and learn more here.