Today’s guest, Cary Rayson, is the community engagement coordinator at Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee. Cary facilitates Stewards of Children training, which is a program to help adults learn how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. I went through Cary’s training earlier this year, and it really empowered me to be more proactive about protecting both my own children and children that I work with in the school setting.

Back in May, Anita Wadhwani and Dave Boucher at the Tennessean reported that in a recent five year period, more than 3400 cases of inappropriate sexual behavior have been documented in Metro Nashville Public Schools. The school board members interviewed in the article were unaware of the magnitude of this issue, and the district spokesperson explained the number away by saying they “overreport” and that this isn’t a problem exclusive to MNPS. I would argue that this issue is the problem of every adult in our community.

I believe that every organization who works with kids should take advantage of the free Stewards of Children training offered by today’s guest. As she explains in our conversation, child sexual abuse is a public health crisis and we need to treat it as such. She also offers concrete, cost effective suggestions, that if implemented, can ensure that fewer of our children become victims of sexual abuse. Cary can be reached at cary.rayson@pcat.org.

Further Resources:

ACE Nashville

Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee

Sexual Assault Center

Nashville Children’s Alliance

Our Kids

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