Whenever we offer educational events, we expect lots of questions from parents and teachers in the room. But as anyone who has ever run a child safety event can tell you, it’s not just questions about education. These events are forums where survivors often come forward to share their experiences (sometimes for the first time) and many parents share their experiences as mothers and fathers of child survivors.
But sometimes the most important feedback and questions come in calls we get soon after the events.
Last month, one of our staff members received an email two days after an event she had led. It was a father thanking her because “if it hadn’t been for your event I would not have known what to do when my daughter came to talk to me this afternoon.”
The staff member was moved but didn’t quite know what he was talking about until she got a call from our intake coordinator.
The father had called JCW’s office line. That afternoon, his daughter had come to talk to him, confused and scared. In the last few weeks her uncle, the father’s own older brother, had suddenly molested her.
This father was horrified and shocked, but Baruch Hashem felt empowered to believe and support his daughter, and call JCW for help filing a report with CPS, and felt ready to handle the very painful and turbulent family uproar that ensued.
At JCW, we know that education cannot fully prevent child sexual abuse. But it can help parents and communities take responsibility for protecting children, and it can help ensure that when it happens, it is dealt with quickly and effectively, that survivors are believed and supported, and that children are protected.