HOUSTON, TX., December 21, 2011 —With the release of my book, When Jonathan Cried for Me, revealing the child sexual abuse and recovery that I experienced, I have teamed with Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse, Inc. (Stop the Silence), and Dr. Pamela Pine, PhD, MPH, the group’s founder.
Stop the Silence is an organization designed to bring awareness, and an end to child sexual abuse (CSA). Through dialogue, the group strives to remove the veil of secrecy and silence surrounding child sexual abuse, thereby preventing CSA, and helping survivors heal.
Dr. Pine is an international health and development specialist who has worked and continues to work globally on some of the world’s most pressing problems like the use of children in coca farming in Ecuador, Hansen’s disease (leprosy) treatment and control in Yemen and Ethiopia, child survival in the Congo, and HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis control, and many other health issues affecting, primarily, the underserved in the world (she is employed currently by the Panagora Group).
I recently spoke with Dr. Pine to learn about Stop the Silence and their goals raise awareness. In the part one of the interview, Dr. Pine reveals stunning statistics while explaining how the organization began, and why so many pedophile victims are silent.
This is the second part of my interview with Dr. Pine.
Q: So tell us about the Race to Stop the Silence (Stop Child Sexual Abuse).
Dr. Pine: The idea of the annual Race (runand walk) began in 2003 as a result of prize-winning research focused on “how do you raise awareness about an issue that no one wants to talk about?” The first race was held in 2004.
The annual Race is an upbeat, educational, and motivational event that brings in support from government (e.g., D.C., Prince George’s County), corporations (e.g. Adam and Partners Investment Advisors, Coca Cola, Clif Bar), the media (e.g., ClearChannel Radio, Women’s Calendar/Women’s Radio – capturing outreach to millions), and private individuals.
The Race has grown every year since it began, and about 1,500 or more people are expected to participate in the Race in 2012. Proceeds from Race to Stop the Silence go to support awareness and community-based programming.
Race organizers have reached out successfully to policymakers and stakeholders; for example, the Surgeon General of the United States was a keynote speaker one year at the Race. We are always looking for corporate sponsors, and we treat our sponsors very well for supporting this great cause. Registration is open, by the way (www.stopcsa.org/race)! I hope all your readers join us.
Q: One of the group’s efforts is the a play To Kill a Kelpie written to raise awareness, knowledge and action on CSA. Can you tell us about it?
Dr. Pine: To Kill a Kelpie is a brilliant and powerful, Stop the Silence-inspired, play by Scottish-born playwright, actor and musician Matthew McVarish. The play tells the tale of two adult brothers who reunite after the death of their uncle and speak for the first time about the sexual abuse they both suffered years before by him as six year olds.
Their revelation and story unfolds before their – and our – eyes.
I have seen this play numerous times, and it has never failed to have a real impact. It’s a two-person, fifty-five minute play on a minimalist set that amazingly is more than plenty and invites the audience to create scenarios in their mind’s eye. Immediately following the play and a very short break, there is a brief presentation that allows the audience to absorb the facts about child sexual abuse while they are emotionally open as a result of just having seen the play.
We then host a two-way Q-A period with the audience during which they can ask questions about CSA to Stop the Silence staff, the actors, and local community-based organizations that are collaborating with Stop the Silence.We also invite local, community-based groups to join us, to help get out information on CSA. Stop the Silence also solicits thoughts from the audience, asking for their responses to the play. The dialogue is driven and very powerful. The use of the play has been evaluated and shows enormous audience increases in awareness, knowledge, and intent to act
Q: Both the Race to Stop the Silence and To Kill a Kelpie are making an impact on communities, spreading awareness and understanding, and giving victims and others permission to act. Which leads me to ask your thoughts on the Sandusky and Fine allegations?
Dr. Pine: These are more than very serious allegations, and we need to realize that incidents like these are all too common. If you were to scratch the surface of many, many of our communities’ platforms – our homes, organizations, schools, churches, and universities, you would find many cases like these.
I will say [in regards to the Sandusky and Fine allegations] that if there was any sense that there was impropriety going on with youngsters, then somebody needed to call the authorities. From where I sit, everybody who knew about this is responsible: We are all responsible for the children.
The lesson to take from this is if you see abuse, or suspect abuse, you report it. And the other very, very important lesson is that we need to understand and learn how to prevent it in the first place.
There is such a huge impact from child sexual abuse – on the children, adult survivors and society. We can prevent it!
Q: I must say you certainly have helped shed some light on a topic that is not talked about enough. And you have also shown us how to get involved. I look forward to the Race to end the Silence and the play, to Kill a Kelpie. Thank you for your time and for what you do, Pamela.
Dr. Pine: Thank you, Carter, for this opportunity, for all that you are contributing as well, and for your bravery in ending your silence and writing about it so openly.
Dr. Pine is right, we can prevent the sexual abuse of children. We must all us the space around us to become involved, donate out time, our money, spread awareness, and report anything that you see suspicious to local authorities.
Together we can, Stop the Silence!
To read the first part of the interview, click here.
Carter Lee is the author of, When Jonathan Cried for Me, a professional speaker, and President of Innovative Social Dynamics LLC., and is a professional speaker. To learn more about his book click here. For a personal appearance or speaking engagement click here.
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