Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday's Woman: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

My Body Belongs to Me, Jill Starishevsky

Today Joe Paterno, the famed Penn State football coach, was laid to rest.  There is controversy surrounding how he should be remembered.  Should his egregious oversight and failure to protect innocent children overshadow the good he has done?  We all have our opinions.  The best that can come from the child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State is awareness and prevention.  As long as we talk Paterno, we talk child sexual abuse.  And the conversation should not end until child sexual abuse ends.

To end childhood sexual abuse, there is work to be done beyond arguing over Paterno’s memory.  There must be discussion and action in order to protect children.  But it’s a scary topic.  As parents, we come to the table unarmed and without tools.  We hope and pray it doesn’t happen to our children.

But, hoping and praying are not enough.  We do not hope our children do not get hit by a car when crossing the street.  We teach them to safely cross the street to prevent them from being hit by a vehicle.  Similarly, child sexual abuse is a serious danger.  We must teach our children to keep their bodies safe to prevent them from becoming victims.
Jill Starishevsky, an Assistant District Attorney in New York City, is familiar with the serious need for child sexual abuse prevention and awareness.  She is featured today not only because of her work to prosecute hundreds of sex offenders and because of her fight for justice for the child victim, but also because of her willingness to give parents vital tools to be able to keep their children safe.  She is the author of a book for children ages 3-8 called, My Body Belongs to Me, which teaches children that their bodies are private.

Jill Starishevsky on the Oprah Winfrey show in April of 2011:

In the wake of the scandal at Penn State, she shared an interview she gave to ABC News in the past and asked all of her contacts to share it:

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For me, her most impactful writing is a post at MyWorkButterfly:

Because of her work and action to prevent child sexual abuse,  
is this week's Wednesday’s Woman.

{This is the second article in my new series, Wednesday’s Woman.  Each week I will feature a story of an inspiring woman.  Last week I featured Corrie Ortner, a single mom who is helping an elderly neighbor rebuild her life after years of hoarding.  If you know someone who should be featured, please let me know!} 

Found the Marbles


  1. Another great topic, Kim, that I'm glad you brought up. You're spot on when you said that we can't just 'hope' that it'll never happen to our children. We must teach and prepare them so that they have arsenals should they be faced with such a situation.

    I think it's wonderful, this series of yours: Wednesday's Woman! What a great way to get to know amazing and inspirational women who are making a difference in the lives of others!

    1. Thanks, Sweaty. You're friendship is making a difference in mine!

  2. Such an important topic. And you are right, we can't just hope, we must teach. What happened at Penn State breaks my heart.


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