Thank you to everyone that supported the
Prevention Summit on November 19th and
helped make it a success!

*Coming Soon!*

Videotaped portions of the Summit, including the Opening Remarks, Senator Elizabeth Warren's video message, and one of the ten workshops - Doing the Right Thing - are available for viewing on our Facebook page! More video and audio recordings will be available soon, stay tuned!

*Leaning Circle to be Launched*

MassKids is establishing an on-line Learning Circle for Summit participants and other interested school and youth-serving organization members to continue the dialogue and sharing of resources that were a hallmark of the Prevention Summit. To join this peer support and resource exchange opportunity please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ask about becoming a member - we will contact you when the Learning Community is launched in early January!

 

In Memoriam

Katharine D. Kane

In deep gratitude for her over 30 years of dedicated
service on the MassKids Board of Directors.

Kathy's Obituary in the Boston Globe can be read here.

Kathy's service was held Wednesday, October 16, 2013
at The Church of St. John the Evangelist.
The service program is available here.

If you would like to make a donation to support our work in Kathy's honor please go here for more information; her family will be notified of all such donations.

News from the Coalition to Reform Sex Abuse Laws (CORSAL):

Your Action on SOL Reform Needed Today!

In a strategic effort to move civil Statute of Limitations (SOL) reform forward, Senator Brownsberger yesterday personally reached out to his Senate colleagues to urge them to add their names to a letter that he and Rep. Lawn have drafted. The letter urges Senate President Murray and House Speaker DeLeo to shepherd SOL bills S. 63 and H.1455 out of Committee and on to the Senate and House floors for a vote. Within hours, 30 of 40 Senators had already signed the letter. Rep. Lawn is reaching out to his House colleagues and expects strong support as well.

Your voice needs to be heard today. Call your legislators and urge them to add their names to the letter. If they have already done so, thank them and encourage them to ask their colleagues to do the same. (Because Sen. Brownsberger and Rep. Lawn are reaching out personally to their colleagues, legislative aides may not yet be aware of this effort. You should know this, in case aides tell you they have not seen such a letter.) The letter will be sent to Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Murray on July 31 just before the August recess. It may be publicly released to the media at that time. Make sure your legislators’ names are on it.

Tell them that survivors and advocates intend to take the issue of SOL reform to the mat. We expect them to take it to the Floor and vote to abolish or retroactively extend the civil SOL. Survivors deserve justice and our children deserve action now. Thanks and check CORSAL's website or Facebook page for regular updates!

Thank you,
CORSAL

 

MassKids Chronicle / Spring 2013

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month at MassKids. Here are some highlights of what's happening to build the movement to prevent child sexual abuse and to reduce infant deaths and disabilites from Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma.

  • "GateKeepers for Kids" - Protecting Children in Youth Serving Organizations
  • Upcoming Summit to be held on Sexual Abuse Prevention in Schools and Youth-Serving Organizations
  • MassKids and Massachusetts Medical Society Collaborate to Make New Resources Available
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma Prevention
  • Pinwheels for Prevention in the Month of April
  • Presentation on Protecting Your Children from Child Sexual Abuse for Waltham Area Parents
  • Training Medical Professionals About Sexual Abuse
  • Update to Statute of Limitations Legislation

Read More About the Above Here

"Sex-wise Parents Can Raise Sexually Safer and Healthier Kids!"

An article by Dr. Janet Rosenzweig

Reposted from the Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM,) Blog, original post found here: Sex-Wise Parents can raise sexually safer and healthier kids! | National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) This week the Talk Early, Talk Often series continues on the SAAM Blog with a guest post from author and expert Dr. Janet Rosenzweig.

Parents are the strongest influence on their children's decisions about sex and sexuality, yet most parents underestimate their own power. A major national survey reported in 2010 that 46 percent of teens continue to say that parents most influence their decisions about sex, while just 20 percent say friends most influence their decisions. At the same time, parents overestimate the influence media and friends have on their children's decisions about sex and underestimate their own.

The same study tells us that 88 percent of parents agree with the statement that "parents believe they should talk to their kids about sex but often don’t know what to say, how to say it, or when to start." (Albert 2010)

It's easy to see why: They were raised in the era I've dubbed "The Neutered Nineties". That's when we traded rational discussion about sexuality for Megan's Laws and sex offender registries, in the name of 'prevention.' It's when cash-strapped school districts had to teach abstinence-only topics or lose federal funding. And when answering a question about masturbation at an AIDS conference got the U.S. surgeon general fired. Too many adults stopped talking to kids about sex. Qualified professionals went quiet and left a vacuum too easily filled by people who sexually offend.

Accurate and age-appropriate information about sex disappeared from most professional work in child sexual abuse, and it's time to put it back.

Where to start? With two critical messages for our children:

  • They need to know accurate names for all their body parts; and
  • They need to understand that physical sexual arousal is an autonomic response -- like getting goosebumps when tickled.

One now-grown female victim of child sexual abuse I interviewed for The Sex-Wise Parent told me that good touch-bad touch programs can actually be dangerous to a victim because sometimes the touch actually feels good! Further, men who were victims of sexual abuse report that the confusion resulting from a climax is one of the most difficult issues to resolve.

People who sexually offend exploit children's guilt and their lack of knowledge related to sexuality often try to convince them  that they must have actually enjoyed the abuse because of a physical response over which they have no control. Understanding sexual response is important for boys and girls -- people who prey on teen-aged girls exploit the fact that very few girls understand that their physical response to a sexual thought, feeling or touch has absolutely nothing to do with love.

Language and knowledge that parents equip children with are a defense against abuse. Raising a child who knows the parts of his or her body, and knows that it's safe to tell parents or a trusted adult if they have been touched, can prevent their victimization and probably other children's, too. And, if abuse occurs, harm may be mitigated if the child understands their body's response.

For parents who need support as they heed the advice to 'talk early-talk often,' I suggest practicing with friends and getting used to using sexual terms without discomfort. Take turns role-playing, asking each other the kinds of questions you fear getting from your children. Watch this video for ideas and encouragement. This may not be easy at first, but the reward can be lifelong -- a sexually safe and healthy child!

Find more ideas at my website and feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. me your questions!

 

Dr. Janet Rosenzweig worked for the first sexual abuse helpline in the U.S., in Knox County, Tennessee; that project developed into a 5-county treatment program and a national multi-disciplinary training center. She has also managed child sexual abuse programs in Texas and New Jersey, and is the author of The Sex-Wise Parent: The Parent's Guide Protecting Your Child, Strengthening Your Family, and Talking to Kids about Sex, Abuse, and Bullying, (Skyhorse Publishing, 2012). She is currently the national consultant for child sexual abuse prevention programs for Prevent Child Abuse - America, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and a speaker offering keynotes and training nationally.