Forum on ‘Protecting Childhood Sexual Safety’ Slated for April 30

LUDLOW — In recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Ludlow CARES Coalition is hosting a free community event on the prevention of the sexual abuse of children. Learn more about “Protecting Childhood Sexual Safety” on Monday, April 30 at Ludlow High School, 500 Chapin St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. presentation.

Parents, grandparents, educators, youth program leaders, public health officials, and interested teens are invited to attend the forum featuring Jenny Coleman, director of Stop It Now!, a Northampton-based organization whose mission is to prevent child sex abuse by mobilizing adults to take action before a child is harmed. The presentation will introduce the key steps of prevention, address barriers to taking action, and teach families how to create a safety plan.

Coleman will be introduced by Ludlow native Kathy Picard, sexual-abuse survivor, advocate, and author. Picard will share the story of her success in increasing the statute of limitations in Massachusetts for sex-abuse cases. This is important because children often do not disclose abuse until later in adulthood.

The following organizations will be available to provide resources, conversation, and more: Springfield District Attorney’s Office, Department of Children and Families, Pathways for Parents, Unify Against Bullying, Center for Human Development, YWCA, and more.

Free child care will be available by the Ludlow Community Center/Randall Boys & Girls Club. Pre-registration is required. To reserve child care, visit www.ludlowcarescoalition.org/community-events-.html.

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