Protect Our Children: Training helps adults identify, report child sex abuse


The Next Door's Stewards of Children Protect Our Children training provides guidance around policy changes that organizations can implement to reduce the risk of child sex abuse.

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The Next Door's Stewards of Children Protect Our Children training provides guidance around policy changes that organizations can implement to reduce the risk of child sex abuse.



Do you know the signs of child sexual abuse?

If a child told you they were being sexually abused, would you know what to do?

The Next Door’s Stewards of Children Protect Our Children training addresses these questions and equips participants to safeguard the Gorge’s most vulnerable: its children.

The three-hour discussion-based training is designed to teach professionals and community members to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Lupita Muñoz, Protect Our Children facilitator, said that while most participants are professionals who work with children in educational or medical fields, the training is accessible to anyone concerned about the well-being of children.

Protect Our Children provides guidance around policy changes that organizations can implement to reduce the risk of child sexual abuse, as well as common mistakes made by adults when a child discloses abuse.

Child sexual abuse is a heavy topic, uncomfortable for adults to discuss and downright terrifying for a child experiencing abuse. Still, studies show that one in 10 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18. And of these children, 60 percent never tell anyone. So when a child discloses abuse, it’s important to know what to do and how to help the child.

The consequences of sexual abuse on male and female survivors’ long-term health continue to be identified and studied. Adult survivors of child sexual abuse are more likely to struggle with substance abuse than the general population.

Eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders are also more prevalent in adult survivors of child sexual abuse. And rates of physical diagnoses such as fibromyalgia, chronic headaches, obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart problems, and hypertension are higher as well.

“The goal of the training is that everyone leaves feeling confident in their ability to discuss and respond to child sexual abuse,” Muñoz said. “No one talks about child sexual abuse, but it’s too important not to talk about and know what to do.”

For more information about The Next Door’s Stewards of Children Protect Our Children training, contact Muñoz at lupitam@nextdoorinc.org or 541-399-6518.



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