As Valley View School District 365U prepares to launch a state-mandated child sexual abuse awareness program for students in pre school through fifth grade, the district is also embarking on a campaign to help community and staff members prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
On Friday, March 28, VVSD will sponsor a free “Stewards of Children Workshop” conducted by experts from the Advocate Health Care Family Care Network. The workshop is designed to generate an increased awareness of the prevalence, consequences and circumstances of child sexual abuse. Participants will learn how to take action by developing a personal action plan.
“Unfortunately without being educated, most children will be repeatedly abused for years because often the only message they get comes from their abuser threatening them into silence,” said Erin Merryn, the nationally-recognized champion of child sexual abuse prevention whose efforts led to the passage of what is known as “Erin’s Law” in Illinois. “We teach children on bullying intervention, stranger danger, internet safety and drug abuse, yet we fail to give them a voice if someone is violating them.”
Space is limited at the March 28 session which will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the VVSD Administration Center, 755 Dalhart Avenue in Romeoville. Reservations must be made by March 2 by contacting Linda Daniel at 815-886-2700, Ext. 245 or DanielLJ@vvsd.org. Valley View staff members may register using Wisdomwhere.
“Current statistics show that one in four girls and one in six boys endure child sexual abuse prior to their 18th birthday,” said Michele Bochnak, VVSD’s Community Outreach Coordinator. “We all need to make a difference by developing skills to protect our children.”