Author, teacher, editor and publisher Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) visited Wollongong this week to speak about about how the community can help prevent sexual abuse of children.
One way is by advocating prevention education. Mrs Sanders does that through picture books that she would like to get into all schools to teach children about body safety and that it is OK to tell someone if something distressing does happen.
They also encourage parents to listen when a child is trying to tell them something.
Her book Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept has been described as a tool that can help parents, caregivers and teachers sensitively broach the subject of sexual abuse with children.
The book sends a clear message to children about what is not OK.
‘‘One in three girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18,’’ Mrs Sanders said.
‘‘We teach road safety. We teach water safety. Why not body safety?’’
She is hoping school principals, political leaders and members of the community will help her get her book into all schools because it has such an important message.
Speaking at an Out of the Darkness Into the Light awareness lunch organised by the Cristina’s House of Hope committee at the Lagoon Seafood Restaurant, she gave copies of Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept to anyone who wanted to take one and donate it to their school or pre-school.
Mrs Sanders said she was not a victim of sexual abuse herself and this promotional exercise was not about trying to just sell books.
As a successful author, she sees her book as a way she can help address an important issue in society.
Mrs Sanders said children could only be saved from becoming victims of sexual abuse if they learnt it was OK to say ‘‘no’’ and to speak up about abuse.
That could be done by raising their understanding of what was OK and what was not OK, and by ensuring they felt they would be heard if they did speak up about things that were happening to them.