Letters to the Editor

Cristin DeRonja: Proactive against child sexual abuse

I extend my gratitude for the Dec. 12 Point of View “ ‘Spotlight,’ shadows and speaking truth” about the reality and prevalence of child sexual abuse and the immediate and lifelong damage caused by the trauma.

The POV referred to superheroes in a movie called “Spotlight” who “don’t allow (child sexual abuse) to exist in the dark, wrapped in secrets that are fostered by adults who are unable, or unwilling, to ask hard questions about what they know is happening right in front of them.”

The Wake County Multidisciplinary Team are our local heroes who nobly strive every day to intervene and give voice to the secrets that surround child sexual abuse. The collaborative team, coordinated by SAFEchild, Wake County’s only nonprofit child-abuse prevention agency, includes Child Protective Services, law enforcement, the district attorney’s office, Wake County public schools, WakeMed Health and Hospitals, Triangle Family Services, the Guardian Ad Litem program and the county attorney’s office.

More than 300 children each year are referred to the SAFEchild Advocacy Center for sexual abuse concerns. Most of these child victims have suffered in silence, fearing what would happen if they shared the secret of their victimization.

Be children’s heroes! Recognize that child sexual abuse exists and proactively step forward to prevent it by contacting the YMCA to schedule a Darkness to Light training and support SAFEchild and Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina.

We do not need a cape or super powers. We just need to open our eyes, pay attention and act to protect children from victimization and horror that should never occur.

Cristin DeRonja

Executive Director, SAFEchild

Raleigh

The length limit was waived to permit a fuller response.

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