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Safe Havens: Preventing Student Sexual Abuse Starts With You

American School Board Journal

February 2016

Authors: Anne H. Littlefield

By: Anne H. Littlefield and Lyndon Haviland

School districts have legal and ethical obligations to promote safe and healthy environments in which students can thrive. Victims of childhood sexual abuse experience myriad adverse health and educational outcomes. School leaders must consider prevention education as a critical strategy to improve the health and well-being of students.

While many would prefer to think of childhood sexual abuse as a rare occurrence, research shows that it is experienced by an estimated 25 percent of girls and 16 percent of boys in the U.S. by the age of 18. Districts can prevent or reduce the likelihood of sexual victimization of students both through training and through adoption of certain employment practices and policies. By adopting a robust approach that includes prevention, intervention, and support measures, schools will reduce the opportunity for sexual abuse, create a supportive environment for disclosure, promote positive outcomes for victimized children, and create a safe and healthy environment for all students.

Read the rest of the article here.

Reproduced with permission from the February 2016 issue of American School Board Journal. Copyright © 2016, National School Boards Association.

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