Plea to Principals

Dear Principals of Elementary and Primary Schools, and Directors of Kindergartens

As a principal or director of a school or kindergarten, you are in a very powerful position to make a massive difference to the lives of the children in your care. Body Safety Education taught at your institution could literally change the course of a child’s life.

Firstly here are some *statistics (sources below). Did you know …

• 20% of girls and 8% of boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Think about this statistic in terms of a class of 30 kids at your school. That is approximately 3 girls and 1 boy will be sexually abused before 18.

• In 85 to 90% of cases, the sexual offender is known to the child. Child sexual abusers are in our homes, schools and communities. They are not only grooming children, they are grooming the adults who care for them.

• The most vulnerable age for children to be exposed to sexual assault is between 3 and 8 years. We need to start prevention education early!

• 1 in 3 adults would not believe a child if they disclosed sexual abuse. We not only need to educate our kids, we need to educate the community to believe a child’s disclosure.

• We know that in 98% of reported child sexual abuse cases, children’s disclosures were found to be true. Children do not lie about sexual abuse.

The tragic aftermath of child sexual abuse can have horrific and life-changing consequences. But what I want to tell you is that prevention education is actually incredibly easy. It is age-appropriate and empowering. Principals and directors such as yourselves and your staff have the ability to change the statistics I have quoted. Choosing to teach Body Safety Education to the children in your care can change outcomes for children.

If you are holding back because you are worried that parents won’t support this type of education, than I think you are wrong. In my experience, through social media and feedback from my work, parents are on board! With every second news story about historical child sexual abuse, this younger generation of parent is very keen for the past never to be repeated.

I know your curriculum is crowded but with simple professional development teachers can teach Body Safety; two, 30-minute lessons over five weeks is all it takes to impart this crucial knowledge to children. I know! I’ve done it in my own classroom.

Adults are 100% responsible for educating kids in Body Safety. And they are 100% responsible for educating themselves about child sexual abuse. Child sexual abusers are 100% responsible for sexually abusing a child.

We, as teachers, are in a privileged position to work with kids and help protect them. We can do this! Please don’t let our adult fear of this topic put our kids at risk. Our children are looking to us for protection. I am not a survivor of child sexual abuse. I am just a concerned teacher and parent who believes we can do so much more for our kids.

So next time you are at assembly and you see all those gorgeous faces looking up at you, please think about those statistics. And please implement a Body Safety program at your educational institution. Body Safety Education taught at your school or kindergarten could literally change the course of a child’s life. Please help me and other advocates like me. We are asking you to be as passionate about protecting children from child sexual abuse as we are. Please contact me through www.e2epublishing.info if you need more information.  

Regards

Jayneen Sanders

* 20% of girls and 8% of boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. (Pereda, et al, 2009)

* In 85 to 90% of cases, the sexual offender was known to the child. (NSW Commission for Children & Young People, 2009)

* The most vulnerable age for children to be exposed to sexual assault is between 3 and 8 years. (Browne & Lynch, 1994)

* 1 in 3 adults would not believe a child if they disclosed sexual abuse. (Australian Childhood Foundation, 2010)

* We know that in 98% of reported child sexual assault cases, children’s disclosures were found to be true. (NSW Child protection Council, cited in Dympna House, 1998)