267414 Lifting the veil of secrecy: Preventing sexual abuse in sports and every institution

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Annie Lyles, MSW , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
Larry Cohen, MSW , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
It's not expected that children protect themselves from sexual abuse and the predators that perpetuate it; as a society there is a normative belief that safety is the responsibility of the adults and institutions that surround children. Yet, our most trusted institutions and systems have been colluding with perpetrators, supporting them and creating a norm that allows sexual assault and child rape to continue. Individuals must be held responsible but by blaming individuals alone, the opportunity to change systems and establish policies and norms that protect children is lost. Prevention Institute has identified the key norms that shape our environment and encourage acts of sexual violence. Using literature, key informant interviews and moderated discussions with practitioners Prevention Institute has delved deeper into the most pervasive of the five norms, that of privacy and silence. The current attention to systems that have perpetuated sexual abuse by staying silent echoes the norm that that sexual, family, and intimate violence is a private matter -- none of our business -- and so those who witness it tend to stand by rather than standing up. This session will discuss changes in policy and practice that counter the value of privacy and shift norms from blaming the individual to creating systems that support healthy children and prevent future abuse. Participants will have the ability to make the case for a prevention approach and be familiar with examples of communities and systems with policies and practices in place to prevent sexual abuse.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify opportunities for policy change to prevent sexual violence 2. Explain the value of adopting prevention strategies

Keywords: Sexual Assault, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Program Manager at Prevention Institute, oversees projects to prevent violence, including violence against women, and sexual assault and exploitation. She develops and hosts Prevention Institute's contributions to the webinar series PreventConnect and coordinated the Ms. Foundation Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Project. Annie has more than 15 years of experience coordinating and providing direct services to families and adolescents through local government, community clinics, juvenile detention facilities, and school-based initiatives.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.