The Children’s Advocacy Alliance in Conway will teach participants how to spot sexual abuse against children and talk more about the reporting process during a training program from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 15.
The event, Stewards of Children training program, will be held at the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center at the University of Central Arkansas.
Leia Smith with CAA, said the training is designed to help others learn how to recognize child abuse and walks through a step-by-step process of reporting and responding.
In addition, she said, there will be a DVD presentation with testimonies from sexual abuse survivors, field experts and more to create an open-dialogue around the issues of prevention.
Smith said the session will cover information about child sex trafficking, child porn and exploitation and tackle the myths behind child abuse in children like the issues with “stranger danger.”
She said 90 percent of the time, it’s not “someone walking in with a trench coat,” but most commonly, a friend of family member, a fact that often shocks participants.
“It’s not a stranger,” Smith said, adding it’s often people a child comes into close contact with, one-on-one. “It’s the person you know and trust.”
On that note, she said, the session will also look at controversial topics like not forcing children to hug those they don’t want to and what it means for a child to have consent over their own body.
Smith said her favorite thing about this training is that through prevention programs like such, educating the public and getting community members to understand what’s going on around them, child abuse across the nation has decreased by 50 percent.
Knowing CAA has played a part in that, she said, feels amazing.
“It means what we’re doing is helping,” Smith said.
While the event is free and open to the public, they do ask that those who want to attend register for the session which can be done here.