The Future is in our Past: Report from Ending Child Sexual Abuse web conference

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Here is a guest blog by Cordelia Anderson and Joan Tabachnick, co-hosts of the Ending Child Sexual Abuse (ECSA) Web Conference Series that CALCASA’s national project PreventConnect is co-sponsoring with Ms. Foundation for Women.

This web conference series is sponsored by Ms. Foundation for Women.

With over 60 years of experience across the three eloquent speakers, the Ms. Foundation for Women (MFW) launched the new web conference series “Ending Sexual Abuse” to a sold out crowd.

The first web conference focused on highlighting Efforts to End Child Sexual Abuse within the Sexual Violence Prevention Movement. The three speakers, Gina Scaramella, Executive Director, Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Donna Dunn, Executive Director, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Sally J. Laskey, Director Special Projects, National Sexual Violence Resource Center all agreed that ending child sexual abuse was essential to their own work to stopping sexual violence across the lifespan of women.

Together, the speakers pointed to ways child sexual abuse has been addressed throughout the history of their organizations—from early speak outs, to advocacy with adult survivors, to collaborative work for social change.

Gina talked about BARCC’s work with early childhood education and how their own research showed that 70% of the early education and care workers saw some sexual behavior, but few of them any idea how to respond. The curriculum BARCC developed provides information about healthy sexual development and addresses practical questions such as how to deal with sexual behaviors in these settings.

Donna pointed to their statewide policy work to garner attention for prevention. MNCASA has been able to mobilize a broader community through engaging Voices of Experience and over 50 partners to Demand the Change for Children.

Sally highlighted the ways NSVRC learns from local efforts to develop ground breaking national resources based on collected knowledge, such as, research on bystanders, research on healthy sexuality and involvement in the National Coalition to Prevention to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation.

Together, each of the speakers sent a clear message that:

  • Child sexual abuse is a foundational component of the sexual violence prevention movement
  • There are many new ways of pushing for substantive change when we focus on ending child sexual abuse
  • Finding the right partners can lift our work into the minds and hearts of our communities

The web conference ended with a long listing of prevention actions. What can you do? Here are just a few ideas:

  • Attend or listen to a recording of a MFW Web Conference
  • Read the blogs and tell us what you are doing – post your own ideas and programs
  • Learn more from the links listed in each webinar and in this blog
  • Tell someone about the work you are doing or the work you are reading about
  • Know you can make a difference and be part of an inspiring, urgent, and effective movement

Click here to download the slides from this web conference and view the full presentation online (you will be asked to enter your email address in order to sign-on).

Sign-up to learn more about upcoming sessions.

We hope you will join us for one of the future web conferences or look in the archives for one you missed. For more information visit the MFW and PreventConnect websites.

David Lee

David S. Lee, MPH, is the Director of Prevention Services at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) where he provides training and technical assistance on prevention. David manages the national project Prevention Connection, an online community of violence against women prevention practitioners, funders, researchers and activists. For over 29 years David has worked in efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

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