In order to address the specifics of preventing sexual abuse in children with Down syndrome, we first have to understand what is referred to as primary prevention in the field of sexual violence prevention. Primary prevention aims to change the deeply rooted cultural attitudes that lead to inequalities which put certain populations at an increased risk of sexual abuse. Those of us parenting a child with Down syndrome are already doing the daily work to uproot prejudice against our children. Continue reading Primary Prevention and Why It Matters
Once upon a time, I had a job that gave me a paycheck. I worked as the child advocate at a crisis center where I provided education and support for children and families impacted by sexual abuse. I absolutely loved everything about it: giving awareness talks in the community, co facilitating equine therapy summer camps, and even helping teens prepare to testify against their abuser in court. It was intense meaningful work that would often shut down the polite, “What do you do?” party conversation in two seconds flat. Despite my Debbie Downer vibe at social gatherings, every now and then someone would find out what I did for a living and summon the courage to share their story with me. It was, and is, always a privilege to be invited to hear someone’s story of surviving trauma.