Sandusky Sentencing Reminder of Need for Best Prevention Practices

Seattle Nonprofit to Host Panel of Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Researchers, Experts


SEATTLE, Oct. 7, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach at Penn State, was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys. On October 9, he is scheduled to be sentenced for his long-ignored crimes.

And on October 10, at the University of Washington, Seattle nonprofit Committee for Children will host a panel of top child sexual abuse prevention experts from across the US, who will discuss the best ways to foster environments in which children can be safe from sexual abuse—that is, to avoid another Penn State catastrophe.

Titled "From Research to Practice: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse," the symposium will be moderated by former Washington State Legislator and long-time child advocate Kip Tokuda. Mr. Tokuda will moderate a panel composed of David Finkelhor, Ph.D., Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, Co-Director of the Family Research Laboratory, and Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire;">Charol Shakeshaft, Ph.D., Professor and Department Chair of Educational Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University; and Keith Kaufman, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Psychology at Portland State University, all renowned experts in the field of child sexual abuse prevention.

The panelists will discuss the latest research in child sexual abuse prevention and how to put that research to practical use to protect children from abuse.

Committee for Children Executive Director Joan Cole Duffell says, "Although our organization has been working for 35 years to prevent child sexual abuse, we heeded the Penn State debacle and similar institutional dismissals of children's safety as a clarion call to re-energize our efforts. We are grateful to have received a grant from the Raynier Institute & Foundation that allowed us to bring these experts to Seattle. Our goal is learn from them and share their knowledge with the professional community here in Washington State. Their research can help inform our collective efforts to keep children safe and be as effective as possible in our prevention practice."

According to Mary Ellen Stone, Executive Director of King County Sexual Assault Resource Center and a key sponsor of the event, "The Sandusky sentencing is a stark reminder of adults' responsibility to children—in this case, the responsibility to report child sexual abuse regardless of the perceived cost to themselves or to the institutions they protect. It is also a reminder of the urgent need for quality, research-based prevention practices. The more we equip ourselves with knowledge and skills, the better chance we have of stopping and even preventing child sexual abuse."

Other sponsors of the event are the University of Washington School of Social Work, Seattle Children's Hospital, Harborview Medical Center, the Children's Justice Center of King County, Casey Family Programs, and Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle.

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