New York City First Lady Charlene McRae, left, was one of the hosts of the citywide sexual abuse event called “Denim Day” in Manhattan. On Saturday, a training seminar on sexual abuse will be held at the Church of the Rock in Rockaway. Photo by Theresa Racine.
Sexual assault has become a major issue in the nation in recent years, with the issue impacting individuals as well as institutions ranging from local college campuses to the Catholic Church.
Each April, people join the movement to promote Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Month to raise awareness that child abuse is preventable.
On Saturday, April 30, the issue will come to Rockaway with a major teaching moment at the House of the Rock Church, 91-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Rockaway Beach, which will host a seminar entitled, “Preventing Child Sexual Abuse is a Job for Adults.” The event will run from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and will bring parents, teachers, congregational leaders, clergy and concerned adults together for a training program that will count for two credit hours for continuing education.
Theresa M Racine Founder of xtrememeasure. Com is a community activist who fight against crimes of children, and crimes against woman and men. Her goal is to have the community equipped and prepared to be reactive in a very difficult situation such as child abuse or sexual assault.
Racine is no stranger to child sexual abuse. As a survivor of such abuse, and also her own daughter. Her life goal is prevention, so no one else will ever have to go through something so horrible such as child sexual abuse. She is inviting the community to become more involved as being part of a solution to a large problem, that sometimes goes unheard, never reported, giving voice a child who has no voice. Her motto is to see change then you must be the change and it begin with you .
She is partnering along with House on the Rock Church with the Stewards of Children which is an evidence-informed program that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. It is designed for both youth serving organization and for individuals concerned about the safety of children. Engaging and thought provoking group led discussions include:
- A two part DVD presentation with commentary from sexual abuse survivors, experts in the field and concerned adults.
- Facilitator led discussion emphasizes important issues in prevention within the community and organizations that serve children.
- Reinforcement of key concepts, and serves as an opportunity to develop a personal action plan to resolve child sexual abuse.
The training takes about 2.5 hours and is perfect for any community that cares about children. It also counts for 2 continuing education credit hours for social workers or counselors. The training has been approved by the CDC and the DOJ because it is evidence-based and we know that it works in real-time. RSVP is required so we get material, This is a free event.
There is no charge for the program and everybody is urged to attend, according to Racine, one of the organizer’s of the event.
The local event follows up on a major city event held earlier in the week, hosted by First Lady Chirlane McCray and the Office to Combat Domestic Violence.
Commissioner Cecile Noel stood with Denim Day NYC organizers Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer at the steps of City Hall alongside other senior Administration leadership, local elected officials, advocates and survivors on Wednesday to raise awareness about sexual assault and the City’s resources for victims and survivors in honor of the fifth annual Denim Day NYC.
“Despite generations of protest, one in three women still experience physical or sexual violence. Ninety percent of college students who are assaulted don’t report the assault. And in New York City, a man recently forced his girlfriend to parade naked down the sidewalk and proudly posted the video online,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, honorary Chair for the Commission on Gender Equity. “Enough. We must make our streets safe for women and girls. This Administration will not rest until New Yorkers are safe from sexual assault, and I’m proud to stand with so many others against sexual violence.”
“Today and every day, we honor the survivors of sexual violence and recommit ourselves to ending this epidemic once and for all. Too often, society ignores, shames, or blames sexual violence survivors for their experiences. Too often, we make excuses for those who perpetuate these terrible acts. We have a responsibility to shine a light on sexual violence, end dangerous stereotypes, and empower individuals and communities to stand up united against rape and sexual assault. The bravery and strength of our survivors should not and cannot be in vain. I thank the New York City Council Women’s Caucus and all the allies here today for their unwavering commitment to this critical cause,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
“There is simply no excuse for sexual assault against any person,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “We must to do more to create a safe environment for victims – both men and women – to feel comfortable stepping out and speaking up about their experience so assailants cannot get away with these disgusting crimes. Today and every day we must remind survivors that they are not alone and we will continue doing all we can to support them and punish perpetrators to the full extent of the law.”
“Denim Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness about sexual assault and to show solidarity with survivors,” said Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Cecile Noel. “Consent is a simple concept, but as the Office to Combat Domestic Violence knows too well, our society still struggles to value, model and create relationships that are based in trust, respect and equality. Education, prevention and awareness are our most powerful tools to build a culture where every person feels safe and respected in their relationships. The New York City Family Justice Centers, our NYC Healthy Relationship Training Academy and the Office to Combat Domestic Violence Training Institute are invaluable resources to achieve community partners to join us in bringing attention to this issue so others don’t have to.”
Racine said that one out of ten children will be sexually abused before the age of 18, and that everybody in the Rockaway community can make a difference.
She urges everybody to attend the Saturday workshop to learn how to identify and prevent child sexual abuse.