|“Stewards of Children” Workshop Will Empower Adults to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse|
Limestone College will host the Stewards of Children workshop in its AJ Eastwood Library this Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. While the session is free and open to the public, there is a $10 fee for materials.
The sessions will be led by Dr. Penny Saurino, Associate Professor of Elementary Education at Limestone and a facilitator of the Stewards of Children program. "Our sole mission is to empower adults with the knowledge needed to recognize the signs of child sexual abuse and to minimize the probability of it happening altogether. Once you read the statistics as to how pervasive this problem is and, if you have a heart for children, how could you not do something to help curtail the situation?" she explained.
And the statistics she was given about the abuse are simply horrifying. "One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday, and 20% of victims of sexual abuse are under the age of 8," she recalls. Many cases go unreported and these children, along with those who tell and are not believed, are at a "greater risk than anyone else in the general population for psychological, emotional, social and physical problems."
While all teachers in the state of South Carolina are required to complete "Stewards of Children" training, Dr. Saurino believes that the necessity of the workshop expands the confines of just the education field. "Anybody who has the potential of being a parent," she says, "should be exposed to this material because it is the parents who have the greatest opportunity to prevent the sexual abuse of their children."