Local non-profit ‘Partners in Child Safety’ raises child sexual assault awareness
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Keeping kids safe and allowing their voices to be heard, that’s the goal of one local non-profit when it comes to sexual assault.
It’s a tough conversation to have when dealing with sexual assault and kids. Partners in Child Safety works to advocate for children who fall victim.
Founder of Partners in Child Safety, Jennifer Miller, said it’s important to raise awareness and for kids to have a plan in place.
“Sometimes they don’t know who or when the attack will come,” Miller said.
Miller explained when it comes to kids, predators will use their authority or age as leverage.
“You know, that’s a grooming process that they do so well. They kind of test the waters with conversations that are inappropriate and so we teach kids how to set boundaries,” Miller said.
These boundaries help kids to know when something isn’t right and if something makes them feel uncomfortable, they can report it.
“When the report does get reported, when a child does decide to disclose, we most definitely can’t be in a position and we should never be in a position to say ‘oh they’re innocent until proven guilty’ type of statement. That pretty much protects who? The predator, the accused,” Miller said.
She said it’s important that when a report comes, to not make any promises to the victim. Instead, ensure the victim they have been heard.
“Children are very scared to tell, and they really don’t feel safe. you know and it’s sad. They don’t feel safe in the schools. They don’t feel safe in their communities and they most definitely sometimes question being safe at home,” Miller said.
Miller said Partners in Child Safety also helps provide training for teachers and what it means to be a mandated reporter.
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