Protecting Child Safety at All Levels of Society
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Sexual assault in the military: still a national disgrace

The issue of sexual assault in the military is a national disgrace, and today the news spotlight is shining on this issue. The Pentagon is preparing to release an annual report about sexual misconduct in the military, which tells the results of a survey of military personnel that found that incidences of “unwanted sexual contact” were up by 33% in the past two years, from 19,300 to 26,000 now. Whether this increase can be in any way attributed to an increase in reporting, rather... Read more

Marathon bomber’s friends arrested for cover up: dramatic example of peer pressure gone wrong

I am just getting back from a week of Kidpower/Teenpower instructor training in Santa Cruz California. We have been teaching young teenagers how to resist peer pressure, including an instance where a friend asks them to cover up for them. Now comes the dramatic headline news that three buddies of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are facing federal charges for helping Tsarnaev hide the evidence of his crimes–even after they came to believe that he was involved in the bombings. This was a monumental... Read more

Rehtaeh’s devastated father: My daughter was disappointed to death

There has been so much tragic news lately that it is hard to even keep up. But I can hardly think of a story that has saddened me more than that of 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons’ suicide, which happened this week, seventeen months after reporting being gang raped by four schoolmates. After her reported sexual assault, Rehtaeh was revictimized by her attackers spreading photos of her rape on social media that went viral. Even with those photographs in circulation, which you would think... Read more

Washington DC musings: Abuse prevention, equality, and social justice

Watching President Obama deliver his second Inaugural address this week, I was struck by how much the President referred back to our country’s founding principles, emphasizing equality for all. The Declaration of Independence and Constitution were full of visionary ideas that have taken us more than 236 years to fully realize. It is just really sinking in for me how ambitious the Founding Fathers’ ideas were, that all men are created equal and we all deserve life, liberty and the... Read more

New Year’s thoughts: Safety crises and lessons from India and the USA

Visiting India can provide a shock to the system–the sights, the sounds, the colors, the social issues, often seem more intense than I am used to back home in the US. On this trip we landed in India in the middle of an unfolding social crisis, as the country confronts the gang rape and resulting death of a 23-year old paramedical student in New Delhi. The young woman has not been named publicly, but has been called “Nirbhaya” (“Fearless”) by The Times of India. ... Read more

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