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Letter: Education is the key to ending sexual abuse

Education is the key to ending sexual abuse

I’m writing in response to the Another Voice regarding the issue of sexual abuse. I am a certified health teacher for a local school district, and 25 years ago I created a child abuse curriculum that instructs students in kindergarten through fifth grades. They learn about sexual, physical and verbal abuse and neglect. It is a building-blocks effect and by the time these students are in fifth grade, they have had six years of this instruction.

I have seen and witnessed firsthand how this unit has brought awareness of child abuse. Knowledge is power and students have learned how to respond if they are ever uncomfortable in certain situations. The steps to follow: say no in a strong manner, get away, tell a trusted adult and then be believed if an adult doesn’t believe them. We must educate our children regarding this horrific crime and do it in a manner that is age appropriate and sensitive.

I personally feel that this topic should be taught to every student in every school throughout the United States. Maybe if we start to teach students in our elementary schools and reinforce how to get out of scary situations, the crime can be somewhat eliminated.

We, as parents, really need to listen to what our children are saying, take notice of changed behaviors and believe what our children are telling us. We are here to protect them, especially from the cruel and sick predators who seek out our precious ones. School districts can help their students by developing a child abuse curriculum. As one who developed a program 25 years ago, I know that it works. Education is the key.

Mary Lynn Gallagher


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