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Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

Keyword: news

Headlines about child sexual abuse prevention, research and policy from around the country

World Congress Child Dignity

Last week Dr. Letourneau, along with other researchers in the field of child sexual abuse prevention, attended this event held in Vatican City and convened by the Gregorian University's Center for Child Protection.

Dallas County’s Sex Offender Program is Letting Teens Down

State watchdog group issues report that details horrific negligence in the Dallas County Juvenile Department.

Halloween sex offender hysteria is starting early this year (see the long list of Patch.com’s sex offender maps)

  • Moore Prevention News: The Biggest Danger to Kids on Halloween is Drivers, not Sex Offenders.  Dr. Letourneau’s study looked at whether more sex offenses occur on Halloween night. The study found that there is no significant risk for child sexual abuse. The greatest risk to children on Halloween night is getting hurt by drivers who may not be able to see them in the dark.

Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry Needs Reform

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that the state cannot apply the sex offender registry laws to people retroactively. Michigan will have to revise the registry.

California Sex Offender Registry Laws to Change

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that could purge 90 percent of the names off the state’s lifetime registry for sex offenders.

Colorado Lawmakers May Change Sex Offender Registry 

Lawmakers are reconsidering the fairness of the state’s sex offender laws

We’ve had an incredibly busy year and believe 2017 may be the most impactful one yet. We've been working very hard to fulfill our mission to produce high quality research and develop, evaluate and disseminate proven prevention programs so that children can grow up without experiencing child sexual abuse. Here are four big updates from the year so far:

  1. This fall, Dr. Letourneau's TEDMED talk will be released and available to the public. In her talk, she discusses the Center’s public health approach to preventing­ child abuse before it happens, which includes the need for federal funding for research so that we can better target populations at-risk of child sexual abuse and make our communities safer for children. Look for more communications about the TEDMED talk later this summer.
  2. Our symposium last spring was a terrific success. We were honored to have Johns Hopkins University President Ronald Daniels, JD, give opening remarks and introduce our keynote speaker, Dr. Patrick McCarthy, president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, who generously awarded the Center $100,000 to support our mission. We will continue to provide information, resources and evidence to our child sexual abuse prevention partners at our 2018 symposium and grow this coalition of organizations, agencies, government entities and private therapists working together on the prevention of child sexual abuse.
  3. Related to the topic of registries, recent results from of our latest policy research (to be published this fall) found that children under age 18 required to register as sex offenders are clearly harmed by this policy. I believe these findings support efforts to end juvenile registration. Look for more communications from the Center highlighting the importance of this study.
  4. Finally, the Moore Center gained two new staff members, Dr. Reshmi Nair and Mr. Marcus Nole. Reshmi is our data analyst. Marcus is our research program assistant who will facilitate middle school student groups to learn about responsible behaviors with younger children in a pilot research program launching this fall. We will continue to collaborate with Dr. Ryan Shields, our former associate director, who has taken a position at the UMass Lowell. His leadership and thoughtful approach to conducting high quality research was an incredible asset to our team. We will also miss Ms. Cierra Buckman, senior research coordinator, who has taken a research position in North Carolina.

We believe that child sexual abuse is preventable, not inevitable. Please donate to our Center’s research that seeks to end child sexual abuse by preventing it in the first place.

Visit www.jhsph.edu/giving and click the “Give Now” box in the upper right hand corner of the page

  1. Select “Other” beside the “Please designate my gift to support” section
  2. Type “Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse” in the field

Thank you for your continued support.

In 2016, the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse played a vital role in bringing knowledge and expertise of issues related to child sexual abuse prevention to the attention of our stakeholders.

Here are the headlines that have been the most impactful.

The List by Sarah Stillman. (The New Yorker). March 2016.
This long-form article describes the challenges of young adults who were required to register as sex offenders when they were children and discusses the work that researchers, policy experts and activists are doing to bring attention these harmful policies.

Should a Juvenile Offender be Locked Up Indefinitely? by William Brangham. (PBS NewsHour). June 2016.
The series “Broken Justice” looks closely at criminal justice issues and policies across the U.S.  In this episode, Brangham interviews youth who have been charged with sex crimes and are held beyond their release date. Dr. Letourneau asserts that because recidivism rates for juveniles charged with sex crimes are so low, the enormous cost associated with committing juveniles makes no sense and is a wasted cost to taxpayers.

After Jacob, Work Harder to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse (op-ed) by Elizabeth Letourneau, PhD. (Star Tribune). September 2016.
Read our op-ed about the need for a paradigm shift in the way we view and respond to child sexual abuse. We cannot wait for children, like Jacob Wetterling, to be harmed before we take action.

What’s the Real Rate of Sex-Crime Recidivism? by Steven Yoder. (Pacific Standard). May 2016.
In the 1980s, a counselor working with convicted sex offenders made an assertion that would change history. Researchers, like Dr. Letourneau and others, are now setting the record straight: recidivism rates are much lower than were previously reported.

Read more news coverage here.

On Point LogoDid you happen to listen to my interview Wednesday, June 3 on NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook? The show was dedicated to child sexual abuse prevention and how it relates to three top news stories at the moment: Josh Duggar, Dennis Hastert and Beau Biden’s prosecution of a pediatrician who abused hundreds of his patients.

In case you missed it, you can listen to the podcast here.

New year, new initiative.

I'm thrilled to communicate more broadly and more often about the work we do here at the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. Now that our blog, Moore Prevention News, has launched, we've made more connections on social media and tweaked our website to better highlight Center news and recent press, I think now is a great time to build a foundation of supporters who believe in our mission to end child sexual abuse.

Please stay in touch. Here's how:

I welcome your comments and suggestions for getting the word out about what we do.