Yet another young life has been tragically lost because of bullying. Last week, fourteen-year-old Phillip Parker committed suicide. His parents say he had been cruelly bullied for being gay. It’s not enough to love your kids and to be upset and worried about the bullying. Parents, educators, youth leaders, and all caring adults must take these actions to help prevent young people who are being bullied from being overwhelmed by despair.
Please Login to view this content. (Not a member? Join Today!)
What other child abuse survivors say about why they didn’t tell is sadly similar to what Ralph West says in the interview about his experience. “I was freaked out. You don’t know what to do. Are you going to blow the lid? All you want to do is pretend it didn’t happen. You want to hide and bury it.”It is terribly sad that this happened – and even more sad that, even all these years and stories later, too many kids today STILL don’t know what to do.
The Penn State Football child abuse case is a classic story of someone misusing his position of trust and power to abuse and coerce kids and of adults in responsible positions not taking action to stop him. The knowledge and skills we teach in Kidpower could have helped to protect these vulnerable boys from harm – and could have caused the abuse to have been discovered and stopped much, much sooner.
A mother of a student in our Colorado center sent us a letter about how her daughter used Kidpower skills to avoid an assault and keep herself safe.
Dr. Amy Tiemann, Kidpower North Carolina Center Director and my co-author on our new book project, Doing Right by Our Kids, points out that the public safety message “If you see something, say something” is equally relevant for child safety.
Protecting Against Sexual Assault Without Blaming the Victims – Kidpower Response to London “Wake Up to Rape” Study
When I was a young woman coming of age in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, the woman’s movement was just beginning to build understanding that sexual assaults were NOT the woman’s fault. Even if women were involved, as I was, in working on social justice issues, most of us believed that we only had ourselves were to blame if a man tried to harass or rape us.