State Legislature & Board of Education
United States of America

Sharon R. Wells is a survivor of child sexual abuse. At age 14 she could no longer suppress the traumatic secrets of being abused. She felt alone, abandoned, damaged, guilty and responsible. The guilt and shame impacted her life in a very negative way. The deep embedded scars of abuse carried over into her adult life, causing much pain and suffering. Had resources been available for teens during that time, there is a great chance that she may not have experienced such life-long suffering. Sharon's story is just one of many who continue to suffer in silence because of sexual abuse.

There is an estimate of 60 million sexual abuse survivors that live amongst us in the United States of America. Because sexual abuse leaves victims feeling ashamed and guilty, most victims never tell. The secret torments them and causes life long suffering. Research has shown that the population of teenage abuse victims have been known to take their own lives, engage in drug and alcohol abuse, experience depression, rage, post-traumatic stress disorder amongst many others. If the trauma is not treated, some victims are doomed to repeat the cycle of sexual abuse.

The only way that we can save our future generations is by educating and empowering them to speak up and out. We must provide resources and support that will encourage them to break their silence and seek help and be aware of their surroundings.

We, the undersigned, call on our State Legislature and Board of Education to pass a law that requires mandatory sexual abuse prevention and awareness education be included in middle school and high school health curriculum.

We want to keep our children safe from sexual predators. Children have the right to grow up to become healthy adults, sexual abuse strips them of that right. If children are educated at an early and young age, it will empower them to speak up and out. This in turn will assist in decreasing the number of future sexual abuse cases. Knowledge is power and therefore, mandatory sexual abuse prevention and awareness education and resources should be provided to our children and school faculty.

The curriculum should include:

(1) Watching 30 minutes of documentary footage that educates students about what sexual abuse is.

(2) A mandatory discussion after viewing the film to ensure students have a clear understanding about sexual abuse and what signs to look for, how to protect themselves from becoming victims, and to speak to someone they trust if it has already happened to them.

(3) Have the students work in a sexual abuse workbook to ensure they fully understand the effects of sexual abuse and have resources on hand if they've ever been victimized.

(4) Teachers are required to be educated on what signs to look for and know where to direct students to in-house resources/counseling if they know or suspect the student has been or is being sexually abused.

I gladly sign this petition so that sexual abuse prevention and awareness becomes a part of the middle school and high school health curriculum.

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The Speak Up! Speak Out! To Stop Sexual Abuse petition to State Legislature & Board of Education was written by Sharon R. Wells, Abuse Advocate - Angel Wings Bridge Foundation and is in the category Health at GoPetition.