Can you guess what the following famous and not-so-famous people have in common?:
- Roman Polanski, Oscar-winning movie director
- Jerry Sandusky, (former) assistant coach with the Penn State University football program
- Jimmy Savile, (deceased) BBC television host and philanthropist
- Fr. Edward Avery, (former) priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
- Rabbi Yoel Malik, (former) teacher in the Satmar Jewish community in Brooklyn
- Keri Ann Brekne, (former) teacher in New Jersey
All of the above people are guilty of child sex abuse. Regardless of gender, level of fame, religion, title, and geography, they all abused boys and girls.
Sadly, in the US, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused by the time they reach their 18th birthday, according to the Centers for Disease Control! Like the perpetrators of this horrible crime, the victims come from all walks of life.
So, why am I telling you this on a blog dedicated to nonprofit management, marketing, and fundraising?
Let me explain.
I’m a former member of the board of directors of the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, so this month, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, is particularly meaningful to me. To mark the occasion every year, I devote one blog post that will help you protect your loved ones from the nightmare crime of child sex abuse. Fortunately, we can do something about this national tragedy.
First, we need to recognize that child sex abusers are difficult to spot. Warnings of “stranger-danger” are inadequate because over 90 percent of abusers are not strangers; they are someone in the child’s circle of trust. Abusers can be men or women, famous or not famous, leaders or average individuals, city dwellers or rural residents, Americans or non-Americans. To help you better understand and recognize child molesters, read my post: “Can You Spot a Child Molester? Discover the Warning Signs.”