A Better Normal is a live Zoom event series by PACEs Connection in which we imagine and create a better normal together that is informed by PACEs science. PACEs = Positive and Adverse Childhood Experiences. For an overview of PACEs science, check out this 5-minute video.
Join us for our next event:
Institutional Child Sexual Abuse: Problem and Prevention
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Noon to 1:00 PM PDT
Hosted by PACEs Connection staff including @Natalie Audage (PACEs Connection Staff) and featuring Dr. Billie-Jo Grant and Terri Miller (see below for bios).
On July 2 of this year, news broke of the largest sexual abuse settlement in US history—The Boy Scouts of America would pay $850 million dollars in over 60,000 claims of historic sexual abuse. The BBC reported, "In terms of reported numbers, it dwarves similar complaints made against the Catholic Church." See the full article here.
And yet, none of us were surprised.
For those of us who work in this field of child trauma prevention, we know just how prevalent child sexual abuse is in the United States. In addition to the public health numbers we often refer to, we also know the personal stories, whether from our own lives, our friends, our family members, or our colleagues. What's disturbing is how institutional abuse has such a profound scope and impact. Giving a predator access to hundreds or thousands of children through their professional employment has the potential to inflict monumental trauma on whole communities, generations, and societies.
@Porter Jennings-McGarity (PACEs Staff) reminded me that we have all been revisiting the institutional sexual abuse of the US Olympic girls gymnastics team, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games that just wrapped up. Please reference this piece from Vox: Gymnastics still hasn't fully reckoned with its abuse problem (July 24, 2021).
I reached out to my friend Billie-Jo Grant, an expert in school employee sexual misconduct prevention, to see if she could share some of her work and findings to help us make sense of extensive institutional child sexual abuse. She and her colleague Terri Miller are on the Board of Directors of Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct & Exploitation or S.E.S.A.M.E., Inc..
Some questions we'll dig into:
- What is the scope of this problem in the United States?
- Why is keeping predators away from child-based work so difficult?
- What's working in institutional child sexual abuse prevention?
- Historial, institutional, and societal trauma in the US
Please bring your thoughts, questions, curiosity, and expertise to this difficult topic of conversation. Event is free and open to the public. These events are interactive and in a "meeting" format. Attendees will be able to share questions and comments in the chat and/or on audio and video in the meeting.
To see past episodes of A Better Normal, click here.
Our featured guest speakers:
Dr. Billie-Jo Grant is a research and evaluation consultant, the COO of McGrath Training Solutions, a faculty member at Cal Poly State University, and a board member of S.E.S.A.M.E., a non-profit dedicated to the prevention of school employee sexual misconduct. Her diverse background includes experience in the design, administration and analyses of randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental studies, and cases studies involving the evaluation of preschool to higher education curricula, sexual harassment research, and prevention programs funded by organizations such as the Department of Justice, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National School Board Association. She has experience developing and administering training curricula for school districts to effectively respond to sexual harassment and misconduct, discrimination and bullying.
Dr. Grant is a nationally recognized expert in school employee sexual misconduct prevention. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles on the prevalence and prevention of school employee sexual misconduct, policy implementation, and implementation of federal and state laws. She has served as an advisor to the Office for Civil Rights regarding school employee sexual misconduct prevalence and Title IX implementation, the Department of Education, Study of State Policies to Prohibit Aiding and Abetting Sexual Misconduct in Schools, and the Ontario College of Teachers, Professional Advisory: Professional Misconduct of a Sexual Nature. She has been integral in providing legislators with evidence to pass state and federal legislation to better protect students from sexual misconduct.
President, Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct & Exploitation (S.E.S.A.M.E., Inc.)
As an advocate for the safe education of children, Ms. Miller has been a member of S.E.S.A.M.E. since 1996 and is currently President of the Board of Directors. Her responsibilities include providing support, resource materials and research to survivors, their families, professionals and media. Ms. Miller is a leader in legislative and policy reform to protect students from sexual misconduct in schools. She has educated audiences across the country through numerous appearances on national talk shows, conference presentations and has contributed to countless articles. https://www.sesamenet.org/