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If you follow the headlines, you know that sexual abuse happens. It happens often and close to home. This reality can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that sexual abuse can be prevented when all community members play our part.
March is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Kentucky, and this March, communities across the state are standing up for sexual assault prevention by proclaiming “It’s time ... to talk about it!”
This is true more than ever when you consider child sexual abuse. All adults have a role in child sexual abuse prevention and this year’s campaign encourages individuals and communities to support healthy childhood sexual development by talking early, talking often and taking action.
By learning and talking about healthy childhood sexual development, adults are able to support the children in their lives.
When adults support age-appropriate behaviors, model healthy boundaries and speak up to other adults, especially when those adults are not acting appropriately, they are an ally to prevention.
There is often silence and discomfort when it comes to the discussion of sexual development.
It’s important to understand that this is a normal experience we all share. By opening up communication, sharing age-appropriate information with children and educating one another, we are taking steps toward a safer community.
Choose to start the conversation about healthy childhood sexual development. Whether you are a parent, educator or community member, it’s time for you to start talking early and often to support an environment where children are safe.
The Adanta Group’s Sexual Assault Resource Center has staff available to educate, train and provide informational materials to community members, schools and groups about preventing sexual assault to children and adults.
Most importantly, when a sexual assault occurs to a member of our community, Adanta’s sexual assault advocates walk with the victim and/or their families and significant others through reporting the assault to law enforcement, going to the hospital for an exam and court proceedings to educate the victim and their family about the judicial processes that take place, in addition to other services. All of the Adanta Sexual Assault Resource Center services are free.
Adanta has a Facebook page with materials focusing on promoting “March is Sexual Assault Awareness Month” at www.facebook.com/The.Adanta.Group. We encourage the community to take a look.
If you or someone you know needs help, or to request training or materials, call (606) 679-4782 or (800) 954-4782 and ask for a sexual assault advocate.
After normal business hours, call Adanta’s crisis hotline at (800) 633-5599.
Lake Cumberland’s Community Mental Health Center services cover Taylor, Adair, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Green, McCreary, Pulaski, Russell and Wayne counties. Let’s work together to prevent sexual assault of our children, our friends and our community members.
It’s time ... to talk about it!
Jamie S. Burton
Chief Executive Officer
The Adanta Group