Dear MassKids Supporters,
For 60 years, MassKids has been a leader in efforts to prevent the abuse
and neglect of our state's children. In 1986, we led the first statewide
media campaign in the country on child sexual abuse. Since then we have
trained thousands of parents and professionals about how to take actions to
keep children safe; developed numerous high quality prevention resources;
and led successful legislative initiatives to address the problem. Read
about our latest efforts. On Black Friday, Cyber Monday and throughout the
holiday season, shop with Amazon Smile and benefit MassKids at no extra
cost to you. On #Giving Tuesday, December 3rd., choose MassKids and join
the movement to stop the hurt before it starts.
Prevention Tour Announced
In response to participants at MassKids’ three annual cutting-edge
conferences on sexual abuse prevention, we are taking our highly rated
Enough Abuse Campaign on the road. Partnering with colleagues across the
state, we will provide free, half-day trainings about sexual abuse, and the
and youth organizations can implement to keep children safe and reduce the
legal/financial liabilities that can result from sexual misconduct and
First Stop – Over 60 school and law enforcement leaders from 22 communities
convened on August 15^th for our first Prevention Tour training,
co-sponsored by the MA Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA) and Salem
State University’s Center for Childhood and Youth Studies. University
President John Keenan and Senator Joan Lovely, a survivor of childhood
sexual abuse, addressed the gathering and emphasized the critical need for
prevention. The 3-hour training was delivered by MassKids Executive
Director Jetta Bernier, who updated the group on legislation introduced by
Sen. Lovely that would mandate schools and youth organizations to adopt
training and policies to address the problem. Check out coverage of the
event in the headline Salem News article and Newburyport News
Second Stop - On November 7^th, 54 youth organization leaders from 15 North
Shore towns convened in Ipswich at the VFW Hall for our second Prevention
Tour training, co-sponsored by Pathways for Children, the YMCAs of the
North Shore, and Salem State University. The group learned about the latest
strategies to prevent sexual misconduct and abuse, including tools to
screen prospective new employees, boundary-violating behaviors that should
be a part of a comprehensive code of conduct, how to handle disclosures
from youth, and evidence-based resources available to train agency staff.
Carmen Durso, MassKids Board Member and legal advocate for hundreds of
victims of child sexual abuse, provided examples of cases that could have
been prevented, had school or youth organization staff been trained about
behaviors to look for. YMCA CEO Chris Lovasco emphasized the agency’s
commitment to do everything it could to keep safe the over 18,000 children
it serves each year.
Prevention Tour 2020 – In January, school leaders in Middlesex County will
convene in Waltham to learn how they can strengthen their prevention
policies and practices. Among local leaders supporting the effort are
Representative John Lawn and Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, longtime
supporters of MassKids’ efforts.
MassKids is partnering with Boston Children’s Theatre to deliver a training
for parents and youth-serving organization leaders, also in early
2020. Recent allegations of sexual misconduct by a former artistic director
at the Theatre prompted the BCT Board of Directors to take immediate action
to provide an opportunity for its supporters to learn more about the
problem and how to prevent it. Leaders of other Boston youth organizations
are encouraged to attend the public training. Date and location to be
Other Prevention Tour stops in Eastern Massachusetts will include trainings
for Merrimack Valley youth organizations in partnership with the Center for
Hope and Healing in Lowell, and in Lynn with Lynn Economic Opportunity
(LEO). Stops in Worcester, South Worcester County, North Quabbin Area,
Springfield and other Western Massachusetts cities and towns to be
What paticipants are saying:
"Excellent information and resource-sharing." "Comprehensive and thorough."
"...provided me with information I can share with my staff to make our
To encourage school and youth organization attendance, we are committed to
keeping these trainings free. We invite you to “Get on the virtual
Prevention Tour bus” with us by making a donation to support these
Donate to support the Prevention Tour
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in My School
Thanks to a grant to MassKids from the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation,
our online course, "Enough! Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in My School,"
will now be made available to the 1,500 employees in Lowell's 29 Public
Several thousand public and private
school employees have completed the course, with over 95% indicating they
would recommend it to their colleagues. The U.S. Department of Justice has
selected Enough! for inclusion in crimesolutions.gov, its online
repository of effective crime prevention programs.
What school staff are saying:
"Excellent training! Really good specific examples, great narration!"
"I really appreciated the candid discussion about the fears and biases that
often prevent teachers from recognizing and reporting suspected cases."
"I am glad to have more information and feel empowered now to act as an
advocate to prevent or report the sexual abuse of my students."
Superintendents, principals, and school committee leaders can preview the
course at no cost. Contact us or click below to learn more.
Learn more about Enough!
Take Action Today! Pledge to Prevent™ Child Sexual Abuse
Polling by MassKids confirms that awareness about child sexual abuse is
already high and there is great interest in preventing it, but most people
report they simply don’t know what they can do practically to stop it. To
provide citizens with the knowledge and skills they need to put an end to
the silence, and eventually the epidemic of child sexual abuse, we have
developed Pledge to Prevent™, a unique online action campaign that gives
everyone a way to prevent sexual abuse in their homes and communities.
Eight national organizations have joined the initiative in the first wave
of "Pledge Partners."
At Pledgetoprevent.org you can choose one of over 30 specific pledges.
We promptly send you an email with tailor-made resources to help you
fulfill it. Upload your photo to the Gallery and inspire others to take a
Pledge and to “Show Your Hand, Take a Stand!“
Look for the national launch of the Pledge to Prevent™ in April.
Take the Pledge to Prevent!
Engaging young people in the effort to prevent child sexual abuse is
critical. Partnering with student leaders from Tufts University’s 180
Degrees Consulting team, we have developed specific Pledges college
students can take to address the problem. In November, the Tufts team
successfully launched Pledge Day on campus and raised over 100 new pledges,
handing out stickers to spread the word. They have developed a Campus
Action Kit that details how other college clubs across the country can
launch the effort. Be a Pledge to Prevent™ promoter on your campus.
It's Not Just Jenna: A True Story of Child Sexual Abuse and Survival
“It’s Not Just Jenna,” a compelling video produced by MassKids and Alvid
Productions, features the story of the Quinn family whose 16-year old
daughter Jenna revealed sexual abuse by a trusted family friend. The Quinn
family’s willingness to share their journey of discovery is a powerful tool
to educate parents and youth about how they can take action to prevent
child sexual abuse. The popular video has been dubbed in Spanish and was
recently updated with a compelling post-script from Jenna - now a
nationally recognized advocate for prevention - to survivors, parents, and
people who work with children and teens.
The 30-minute video and companion Discussion Guide are available digitally
for purchase by youth groups, schools, churches, and others.
Learn more about It's Not Just Jenna
South Dakota Latest State to Adopt Enough Abuse
South Dakota is 8th state to adopt the Enough Abuse Campaign. The Center
for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment at the University of South Dakota,
lead agency in that state for Enough Abuse,
hosted a 2-day Training of Trainers, led by MassKids staff, that certified
40 professionals to deliver prevention education workshops across the
Enough Abuse Campaign in Africa
Child advocates in Sierra Leone have adopted the Enough Abuse Campaign to
help address the serious prevalence of child sexual abuse in their country.
Student Parliament/ Sierra Leone (SP/SL) is training a cadre of volunteers
in over 50 chiefdoms to deliver Enough Abuse’s tested, research-based
curricula to parents, schools and youth groups. Francis Sam-Kabba, Director
of SP/SL, attended a conference in Lagos, Nigeria in October sponsored by
Suburban Health Care, lead
agency for Enough Abuse in Nigeria.
That group, headed by pediatrician Dr. Bukola Ogunkua, has trained over
2,000 parents and health workers using Enough Abuse training curricula
adapted for that country.
Support Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Legislation in Massachusetts
MassKids urges citizens to voice their support for two critical prevention
bills introduced by Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem). S312 would mandate
child sexual abuse prevention education and policies, standard employee
screening, and prohibit schools from aiding and abetting employees engaged
in sexual misconduct from securing employment in another school.
S313 would provide that in any civil action, youth under 19, or under
22 if a special needs person, would be incapable of consenting to sexual
relations with a person over 21 employed by a school, state department, or
private institution that serves youth.
If you live in another state, check out MassKids' national online,
MAPS resource for information about states' efforts to address child
sexual abuse through legislation. You can advocate for similar legislation
in your state. Join Citizens to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and we'll
keep you updated on these developments.
Thanks for reading. Stay connected.
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