Originally published in The Boston Globe.
By Suzin Bartley, Executive Director
Child abuse is preventable, and it’s time we start treating it that way. Yet once again, the residents of Massachusetts are flooded with news of children experiencing abuse. From an unchecked police officer sexually abusing children for decades (“Former police union leader pleads guilty,” Page A1, April 26) to a hockey coach permitting unconscionable behavior to persist (“AG probe faults Danvers in hockey scandal,” Page A1, May 3), we continue to allow our children to be put in harm’s way.
In Massachusetts, child-serving organizations have access to the best resources in the country. Our schools have guidelines they can follow that are specifically designed to address their unique needs, and we recently launched an online tool that helps other youth-serving organizations develop child sexual abuse prevention plans. There is no excuse for our failure to protect any more children from harm. We know how to keep kids safe, so why do we continue to allow children to suffer these abuses?
Please, for the sake of our children, help us change the story in Massachusetts. Demand that the places you send your children are taking child abuse seriously and are using the tools available to them to protect your kids.
Child abuse is preventable. Spread the word.
The Children’s Trust
The writer is cochair of the Massachusetts Legislative Task Force for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse.