This evening I am breaking from my usual post. Instead I am using this week’s blogging time to renew my “Safeguarding God’s Children” certification. This is the program that the Episcopal Church uses to train anyone working with kids to recognize signs of sexual abuse and, more importantly, identify abusers themselves before they can infiltrate your parish.
If you work with kids – or have kids – you should make every effort to take offered training and generally educate yourself on this uncomfortable topic. If you have never trained on this you may find that pedophiles aren’t who you think they are. And you may not know what kind of effects this abuse can have on a person over a lifetime.
I know victims of abuse; I learned about their experience when I was about 10 years old. I don’t know that I can really wrap my head around what they may have experienced any more now than I could then.
Also, I am a Penn Stater and the Sandusky tragedy hits close to home – I knew one of the Sandusky kids when I was there and I am still close to a number of people in the community, all of whom seem to be directly affected.
Preventing your child from being ideal prey and protecting kids you work with is easier when you know what to look for – and there really are distinct things to be aware of in preventing this tragedy.
One of the best summaries I found was in a “links” section of a blog I read regularly – it led to this post from Checklist Mommy and is called “‘Tricky People’ are the New Strangers”. If you need a place to start, start here.
If you are involved in an organization working with kids that has no training for this, please advocate for it!
Off I go to make sure I continue to Safeguard God’s Children…