There’s an irony that comes with technology, convenience, and efficiency–the more “advanced” we become, the more fragmented our knowledge is and the more socially isolated we become. Unfortunately, isolation of children makes them vulnerable targets for abusers, and it certainly doesn’t make for healthy relationships within the family structure. Here’s a great video to illustrate how social media actually makes us more isolated:
A professor once told our counseling class that being BUSY is an acronym for Being Under Satan’s Yoke. It would take me a few years to find out just how prophetic that statement was. Ecclesiastes 5:3 says, “For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words” (yes, it does say business, not busyness. . . but much business creates much busyness!). In a time-crunched environment, I’ve found that busyness is something that keeps many of us educators from finding the time to network our resources for protecting children. I get asked a lot, “What are some resources that you can point us to?” To be honest, I find myself asking that same question. The frustration at the lack of a clear pooling of resources has actually been motivating. I’d like to work on a project to create a network of resources–from prevention of abuse to what constitutes good organizational policies, to what steps to take for finding and funding victim counseling, etc. The good news is that there are a lot of resources out there. The bad news is that, for now, there’s no good networking of these resources that I’m aware of. I’d like to change that.
As for now, I don’t have such a tool developed. Therefore, when I come across valuable resources, I will highlight them via my blog. Today I’d like to highlight the work of Lauren Book. She is a survivor of child sex abuse and I just finished her memoir on abuse titled It’s OK to Tell: A Story of Hope And Recovery. The book is excellent and I highly recommend it. Lauren took the worst imaginable experience and has turned it into an opportunity to arm children with the tools to prevent abuse from happening to them. She is the founder of Lauren’s Kids. Their mission is “To prevent sexual abuse through awareness and education, and to help survivors heal with guidance and support.” She and her dad have successfully lobbied for funding to keep counseling centers for the sexually abused opened in Florida.
I’m also impressed with the curriculum that Lauren has gotten into the schools in Florida. I checked out her Safer, Smarter Kids for parents and was really impressed. I highly, highly recommend spending some time on Lauren’s site, viewing the curriculum, and going over it with your children. When I speak places, a question that always arises comes from parents of young children. They want to know to know what they should be teaching their kids and how they can arm their kids with knowledge to prevent abuse. Fortunately, now I can point them to another great resource!
If any of you know of other great resources out there, please let me know via the comments section.