by Caren Nemtzow, Director, Needham Community Council Child Assault Prevention Program [CAP]
The recent trial of Larry Nassar was difficult to watch. It raised the question as to how he was able to perpetrate this pattern of abuse for such an extended period of time, affecting so many innocent and vulnerable young women and girls.
One by one the brave victims and survivors tapped into their incredible inner strength, faced their perpetrator, and shared their heartbreaking stories for the whole world to hear. Many reported they were scared to speak up, but as individuals, and collectively, they remained steadfast and strong.
In the Needham Community Council Child Assault Prevention Program (CAP), we teach children in the local elementary schools that it is never their fault when a trusted adult does something that makes them feel “confused, frightened or unsafe.” We teach them that the most important thing is for them to tell an adult about what happened.
In the case of Larry Nassar, many women testified they did not know they could tell anyone, or feared they would get in trouble if they spoke badly of the beloved, trusted doctor. They remained silent. Others did tell their trusted adults, but understandably, the adults could not bring themselves to believe that the revered doctor, and even sometimes family friend, could be guilty of inappropriate treatment of these young women and girls. They themselves, had been manipulated by Nassar as well. In addition, the institutions that should have protected the victims appear to have dismissed their claims of abuse.
If we can learn anything from the tragic suffering of the courageous individuals whom Nassar targeted, it is the importance of teaching our children what we teach in the CAP program: they have the right to stand up for themselves and say, “NO!” It is important for them to “tell, tell, tell” an adult if anyone ever tries to “touch them in a way that frightens or confuses them,” reminding them that: “it is never too late to tell.” It is then incumbent upon the trusted adults to empower the victims, to “listen to them, to believe them, and to help them,” no matter how difficult and painful it may be.
Statistics show that only approximately 2% of such allegations made by children turn out to be false. We as a society need to do everything in our power to educate children and their trusted adults to prevent anything like this from ever happening again.
88TH CELEBRATION EVENT
ANNUAL COMMUNITY AWARD:
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE NEWEST COUNCIL VIDEO: STRENGTH OF COMMUNITY
THURSDAY, MARCH 22ND
INTRODUCTION OF NEW OFFICERS:
Margie Margolis, President
Robert Dermody, Vice President
Caren Carpenter, Secretary
John Frantz, Treasurer
Deb Jacob, Past-President
We are grateful to EVERYONE who supported Council Holiday Programs this season.
These are some of the organizations that donated toys, food, Christmas Trees, volunteers, gift cards and/or funds to make sure all Needham residents had something to celebrate! …and, thanks to all the individuals who shopped at the Council Holiday Boutique, donated items, sent financial donations, gift cards, holiday decorations, delivered gift bags, delivered meals, and more…..
Please join the Needham Community Council as we congratulate Council Board President, Deb Jacob, on her selection as the 2018 recipient of the Patrick C. Forde “Good Person” Memorial Award: A Program of Needham Youth & Family Services
Monday, January 29, 2018
Powers Hall, Needham Town Hall
For additional information: 781-455-7500 x267
Thanks to all those who have supported Needham residents in 2017 with a donation to The Council.
YOU HAVE MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE!
If you haven’t yet donated, please remember the Council with a gift. Checks are processed by the date you write them; not by the date they are received in our office.
No gift is ever too early or too late; too large or too small.
Click here to make a 2017 online donation today!
Olin College Professor [and Needham resident] Caitrin Lynch taught a 1st year Olin class “Dirt to Shirt”.
Students toured the Council Thrift Shop with Executive Director, Sandy Robinson. Each selected an item of clothing for use during the class. The final project for each student was presented at the recent Needham Winter Arts Festival and were offered to visitors for a donation to the Council Thrift Shop fund; over $600 was raised from this project.