we continue to struggle with our pain and rage.
Nearly a year has passed,
yet it is all too raw.
I've accepted that this experience will always be with us, changed us.
It has colored our lives
in shades of angry crimson
that I can only hope will fade
As I struggle to find something, anything, to create a wider, brighter path out of this dark despair,
I am reminded of all those beyond my family who were affected.
The sordid news spread virally, through several school districts and three college campuses, by word, text and social media sites, so torturous initially. Yet, now has served as an education of sorts, one that may save another girl from the same fate.
As I explore positive avenues to channel my anguish, I am drawn time and again to promote more aggressive education and awareness of sexual abuse and assault. Along this vein, I am pleased to introduce my readers to juvenile fiction title from author Amy Barth, addressing sexual abuse in children,
Will the Courageous ~ A Story About Sexual Abuse.
Written in an non-aggressive style with language that will be easily understandable by early elementary aged children, this book is an excellent resource for parents, educators, care givers, medical personnel; virtually anyone who interacts with children.
Will the Courageous outlines the experience of Will, a six year old boy, who encounters a sexual predator at day care. Within the context of the story, Barth presents a common sexual predator methodology, warning signs of abuse, as well as diagnosis of sexual abuse during an office visit.
Will is a typical six-yer-old boy: he loves to tell "knock-knock" jokes, collect bugs and play with other kids. On most school days, Will goes to Nana Winnie's until his mom returns from work. Will enjoys having his Nana as a babysitter. Recently, Nana's cousin Perry has come to visit and suddenly Will no longer wants to go there. He starts having nightmares, acting out in school and wetting his bed. Will's parents are worried. What is wrong with Will?The character, Will, is presented as one any child might relate to. Barth's story, combined with the bright, full color illustrations of Richa Kinra provides an excellent way to explore the subject of "good touch, bad touch" with young children, as well as potentially laying a more comfortable path for a child to share an uncomfortable experience.
As uncomfortable as this topic is, the statistics indicate that all children need to be educated about appropriate touching, in an age appropriate manner, and to trust their internal alarms. Will the Courageous ~ A Story About Sexual Abuse is an excellent resource for accomplishing this difficult task.
Childhood Abuse Statistics:
It is estimated that there are 60 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today.
Source: Forward, 1993. Prevent Abuse Now
In 2009, approximately 3.3 million child abuse reports and allegations were made involving an estimated 6 million children. 7.9% are victims of sexual abuse. A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds.
Source: Child Help
With child abuse, and especially sexual abuse of children, being historically under reported, this 7.6%, or nearly 500, 000 cases is likely significantly lower than the true number of victims.
For advice on appropriate response if a child discloses an abusive sexual encounter, professional advise is available at American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Author, Amy Barth, is the founder of the Safe Girls Strong Girls, whose mission is "committed to breaking the silence of Childhood Sexual Abuse and giving girls their voices back".
Purchase this book,
whether as your own resource, for someone you know, for your school, for your church,
I received a copy of this book to explore for the purposes of creating this feature, through my association with Parent Reviewers. The opinions above are both honest and my own.