Hello Friends!

At the 2021 Governor’s Conference for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, I had the privilege of meeting and listening to Sarah Klein. Sarah is a victims’ attorney, advocate and former gymnast. She is also one of the first known victims of former Olympic women’s gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Sarah speaks out on behalf of sexual abuse victims and survivors across the nation and advocates for changes in law for victims’ rights. I listened to Sarah tell her story, and how the grooming by Larry Nassar began at 8 years old. I was reminded how Sarah at the age of 8 did not have any idea that what Larry Nassar did was not normal. In fact, Sarah explained the abuse became such a regular routine of her childhood, that even as an adult her mind was protecting her from recognizing the truth. She also made it clear that her body however was keeping score as she struggled with chronic fatigue and fertility issues. 

As I sit here today a few months later, I continue to try and wrap my head around her statement that even as an adult she did not realize she had been sexually abused. Like many survivors, Sarah is finding ways to heal from the trauma she experienced for nearly 17 years of her life. We know that approximately 1-10 children will experience sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. What we also know is that it can be prevented. Prevention is possible! Together, we can protect children and empower adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse through awareness and education.

Below is a short video about Darkness to Light-Stewards of Children®, a child sexual abuse prevention program. KCSL is certified to deliver this nationally approved curriculum. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Rachelle Soden at rsoden@kcsl.org.  
With hope and gratitude,
Gail Cozadd