A major accomplishment of the yearlong Community Cafe for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse series was to be able to be able to speak about unspeakable topics. The topic of all nine cafes was the hidden scourge of ongoing child sexual abuse and what we can do to prevent it.
The Community Cafe arose as a grassroots effort that was adopted by several religious organizations in State College and Bellefonte that hosted the cafes from January to October 2013.
Here are key findings in a new report on the Community Cafes project.
The key conclusion of the cafes is that in order to prevent child sexual abuse we have to be able to talk about it. We can’t afford to pretend it doesn’t happen or that it can’t happen. We have to have multiple avenues for adults and children to talk about sexuality in healthy, appropriate ways. Children need to feel it is OK to ask questions of trusted adults. We can be those trusted adults for the children in our lives, and we can urge the medical community, schools, and religious organizations to become proactive partners with parents and caregivers.
To read the full report, view photos, artistic renderings and conversation threads from the Community Cafes, visit www.cafe.defendachild.org.