It Happens Here: We Are All Responsible to Stop Child Sexual Abuse | Anna Frissell | TEDxFargo

It Happens Here: We Are All Responsible to Stop Child Sexual Abuse | Anna Frissell | TEDxFargo


Translator: ana carla martinez
Reviewer: Yasmina Casado González I’d like you to close your eyes
for just one moment with me, and think back to when you were a child. When you crawled into bed at night
under the covers, you got a gentle goodnight
from a loving family member, likely, and you drifted off to sweet dreams. For many children, that is not the reality of the nighttime. Many children have predators
that come for them under the cover of darkness. When I met Jake, he was twelve years old and accompanied by
his two younger brothers. Jake and his brothers
came into our family room and his two brothers
started playing with all the toys and making a lot of commotion,
and Jake fell asleep. My co-worker and I speculated
why would Jake fall asleep like that,
in a room with all that noise. And then we thought,
“well, maybe he has an illness”. But when we heard Jake’s story,
we understood. You see, when Jake
is in his bedroom at night, the one that he shares
with his two younger brothers, his father comes for him
to sexually abuse him. Now, Jake hates
that his father comes for him, but he fears that if he
doesn’t please his father, he’ll begin to molest
his younger brothers. So, Jake waits, and hates the night. When I met Bree,
she was fourteen years old. She was a young teenager
with long, dark hair and really angry eyes, very expressive. Bree was living in a
juvenile detention center. She said that she had ran away
and stolen a vehicle, that’s what landed her there. Bree began her story,
which was a long story of victimization and multiple molestors. She began it with at about five years old, when she was molested by her father. That went on for quite a while. And Bree said, not unlike Jake, that she tried very hard
to please her father, beacuse if she didn’t please
her father, she feared that, in fact, he would molest her mother So, Bree tried to please him. But at about seven years old
her father disappeared. Now, you and I would think
that Bree’s life got better when her dad left. But unbelievably, it got worse. From that point on, Bree was molested multiple times, by multiple offenders. Bree talked about how when she
committed delinquent acts she didn’t connect them to her abuse. But when she landed in detention, she felt safe.
She could sleep at night. She softly wondered
where she would go next or she wouldn’t be raped. At the Red River Children’s
Advocacy Center last year, we saw five hundred kids
that came to us with stories of abuse. Most of them were stories
of sexual abuse. Now, you likely know a victim
of child sexual abuse. Experts tell us
that one out of one ten kids is victimized before the age of eighteen. You know, age doesn’t matter to predators. Predators will prey on any age victim. Our medical director can tell you a story
of a three month old baby that he treated for sexual abuse. Our statistics tell us most of the kids
we see are under the age of twelve and the national average is about nine. These kids live in everyone
of your neighborhoods, they go to school with your children
and your grandchildren. In most cases, the abusers are someone
that these children know or trust, even love,
like a father or a mother, an older sibling, a grandparent,
a babysitter or neighbor. In just about every case,
the offenders use bribery or threats to keep the children quiet. Now folks tell us that
there are many children that will never be able to share
the accounts of sexual abuse until long into adulthood. Because you see, child sexual abuse
is hard to talk about. Children that are victimized
suffer from trauma. And trauma is something
that, experts tell us, literally floods the brain with
toxic stress hormones, and impacts the way we think
and the way we react. Researchers tell us that kids
that are sexually abused, without intervention, will likely have a lifetime
of negative consequences. Such things as cronic illness,
lost opportunities, broken promises, addiction,
mental illness. At the Red River Children’s
Advocacy Center and eight hundred advocacies centers
like it in the United States, we work really hard
to give children a place where they can begin or be part
of that process of recovery from that trauma. Along with our partners,
law enforcement, social services, mental health professionals,
medical professionals and prosecutors, we all do
everything we can to see every child. But we know we don’t reach them all. I told you one out of ten children,
and that we saw five hundred. You do the math.
We’re missing a lot of children. So, we keep working.
We keep trying to do just that. But I want you to understand
that it doesn’t take very long when you’re working
in the field of intervention, to realize or wonder,
how you can continue to serve and honor these victims,
without taking steps to stop the abuse. And so, we are going to wage a war. We are going to wage a war
to stop sexual abuse. We want the full force of our community. At the end, it won’t take a week,
it won´t take a year, may not happen in a generation.
It may take two generations. But in the end, we can have a community
where child sexual abuse is taboo and where prevention is our priority. Just imagine. To this end, we have great, great allies.
In every community there’s allies. In our community we have
to call a medical foundation and our Rape and Abuse Crisis Center,
Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota. They’ve helped us to enlist
the services or the help to build the model
from an expert from Massachusetts, and we have local experts
that are helping us on prevention. And a very important part of that strategy
is to educate every adult. Every adult should be armed
with knowledge. Traditionally, we have armed
children with the knowledge of how to tell an ok touch
from a not ok touch. And that’s important education,
and that has to continue. But now we need adults
to know how to react. We need adults to understand
what is a grooming behavior. A behavior that an offender or an abuser
uses to ensnare a child. We need adults to recognize
those behaviors and be able to take steps to stop them, before the acts of sexual abuse
ever happen. Once parents and other adults
are armed with this knowledge, they can protect children,
and they can share it with other adults. And pretty soon,
you’ve got our whole community and the next community. So what can you do?
What can you do to fight the war? Well, number one.
You can get educated. You can get aducated. There’s prevention classes
and prevention training available. But you can go to websites, like Enough Abuse and
Prevent Child Abuse America and get educated about
the grooming behaviors that I mentioned. Learn about them. Quit thinking that this
doesn’t happen here, because it does. And remember, with education
you can begin fighting the fight to protect kids. Advocate, number two. Advocate for safe child policies,
to hold offenders accountable and when treatment is appropriate
to see that we find it. And raise up the survivors. Honor the victims,
and the adults who protect them. And lastly, don’t ever give up. It is going to be a very long fight,
and it’s going to take everyone of you and outside this room, the world. I beleive that the most despicable thing
that a human being can do to a child is to sexually abuse them. And I beleive that we are
all responsible to stop this from happening. And, that we can. Every child should have
the opportunity to go to bed at night safely and peacefully. And we can make that happen. Thank you. (Applause)

7 thoughts on “It Happens Here: We Are All Responsible to Stop Child Sexual Abuse | Anna Frissell | TEDxFargo”

  1. Wonder when TED Talks will gain some sense with how they do things…
    Also this is a "decent" video and decent about the topic at hand.

    But really.. preditors?
    If thats all you are going to see to EVERY case then… you will not get very far…
    But yeah in richer countries there might be more preditor like people out there, to poor places some are used get money, use children to the extent for their family etc…

    Taking away the one who might have burned into their memory isn't exactly going to "help".
    Sometimes its better to take a look from "above" and try to make the child or older to move by themselfs around/through the past/present.

    also sometimes the adult with a child "relationship" (good or bad)
    Can be look at in different ways, even though mostly its Fully a bad thing (but just not always)
    Humans are complicated creatures, both young or old.
    But sure one can't think that a young child would know everything or much about whats going on.

  2. The story of Jake – this is children!!!!! Here is a child submitting to something traumatic and life altering to protect a sibling. Child abusers are the lowest form of life on the planet. How can you look into the sweet, innocent face of a child and harm them in this way?! How can you rob them of their innocence just to satisfy your selfish needs?
    The world would be a completely different place, a much better place if would could end the abuse of children.
    This was heartbreaking to listen to.

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