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Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

Date: Apr 2015

Child Abuse PreventionApril is an important month for the Moore Center. It’s Child Abuse Prevention Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month and it’s when we hold our annual symposium, Child Sexual Abuse: A Public Health Perspective, on the campus of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

April was first declared Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation in 1983. Since then, April has been a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse. According to the 2010 Child Maltreatment Report, the most common form of child abuse is neglect, followed by physical abuse and sexual abuse.

As early as 1976, Take Back the Night marches rallied women in organized protest against rape and sexual assault. Over time these events coordinated into a movement across the US and Europe. In 2009, President Obama proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Across the country, organizations including college campuses are holding events designed to bring attention to this public health, human rights and social justice issue.

I believe that everyone has a right to a life free from violence. Raising awareness of issues that pertain to keeping children safe from harm is not only a critical component of our mission, but it’s also something I personally believe is important and have gladly spent my career working to do. I’m happy to see that many others feel as passionately as I do.

Learn more about the importance of prevention by attending our free symposium on Friday, April 17.

researchRecently, an article that I wrote with Ryan Shields, PhD, my colleague at the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, along with Andrew Harris, PhD, and Scott Walfield from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, was published in Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment.

The article, “Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Sex Offender Registration and Notification: Results from a Survey of Treatment Providers,” examines treatment providers’ perceptions of the consequences that result from including youth on sex offender registries. There were five key areas where we believed consequences might occur: mental health, harassment, school problems, living instability and risk of re-offending.

Three important themes emerged: 1) treatment providers overwhelmingly believe there are negative consequences associated with youth being registered, 2) the negative effects were associated more with notification than registration, which supports earlier studies that found public shaming increases the stigma of sexual offending and leads to depression, stress and isolation, and 3) providers’ negative perceptions were not influenced by their demographics, education level, etc., suggesting that concern about the potential harm of registering youth is prevalent.

To read the article in full, please visit the Sage Publications website.

JHSPHWe’ll, we’ve done it again. I’m happy to announce that Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has been voted the No. 1 graduate school of its kind by the US News & World Report.

I’m proud and thrilled to work at a wonderful organization whose mission is to protect health and save lives, millions at a time.

To read the School’s media release, please click here