Nov 30, 2018

Whenever I speak at conferences about prevention of child sexual abuse, I try to make the point that school staff should know about the associated issues because most school staff are in regular contact with children, and children can at times express something to school staff that could be a red flag. It is very important for school staff to be aware of the possible issues so they can act appropriately.

For many victims of child sexual abuse, the perpetrator is often someone within the family or someone very close to the family. That makes it extremely difficult for the child to tell someone within the family about the abuse or about the general threatening behavior of the perpetrator. They often end up talking to some trustworthy person outside the family about this issue. And in many cases it is a school staff (school social worker, school counselor, school psychologist or even a teacher) who appears to be the most trustworthy person that the child can talk to.

This is why it is important for all school staff to have a clear understanding of the issues associated with prevention of child sexual abuse. Many of our systems are doing great work all around the year, but they also face many challenges when it comes to ‘preventive’ measures. If the school staff is aware of the various challenges our systems face and how many families fail to detect the red flags, they will be able to take appropriate steps if they find a child in a possibly risky situation.


© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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