By David Lee on September 19, 2012 · tagged as , , , ,

Start with healthy sexuality

By Cordelia Anderson and Joan Tabachnick, guest bloggers and hosts of the Ending Child Sexual Abuse Web Conference Series that PreventConnect is co-sponsoring with Ms. Foundation for Women.

This web conference series is sponsored by the Ms. Foundation for Women.

The most recent web conference, “Healthy Sexuality and Caring Connections: Foundations for Prevention” featured Rev. Debra Haffner of the Religious Institute and therapist Geraldine Crisci. Both Debra and Geraldine are published and passionate advocates for promoting an accurate understanding of sexual development and healthy relationships. Speaking to an audience of those interested in child sexual abuse prevention, they emphasized the importance of starting with healthy sexuality.

Geraldine emphasized sex education as a tool in preventing child sexual abuse. She noted that that the highest risk factor for sexual abuse is age, and emphasized the need to discuss healthy sexuality at an early age. Geraldine went on to offer an overview of the benefits of secure attachment in infants, toddlers, and children. She emphasized the importance of building respectful and trusting relationships early in children’s development. Building on this overview, Debra focused her presentation on healthy sexual development in adolescents. She emphasized the importance of making moral and ethical decisions about sexual relationships during adolescence, noting that sexual health education is the foundation for healthy relationships.

Both speakers identified the need for parents and professionals to understand age-appropriate sexual behaviors. They also challenged all of us working to end child sexual abuse to think about the intersection of sex education and seize opportunities to bring this conversation into all of our discussions about child sexual abuse prevention.

Click here to learn more about the Ending Child Sexual Abuse Web Conference Series. Slides and recordings are available for each web conference. Sign-up to learn more about upcoming sessions.

David Lee

More Posts by David Lee

David S. Lee, MPH, is the Director of Prevention Services at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault where he provides training and technical assistance on prevention. David manages the national project PreventConnect, an online community of violence against women prevention practitioners, funders, researchers and activists. For over 27 years David has worked in efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

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