Last spring, Jack,* along with his brother was placed in a Childhelp foster home. Jack came from a very chaotic and violent home setting, and brought a lot of past trauma and hurt, especially for someone so young; he was only seven years old.
The impact of prevention education is far reaching and life changing. For Stephanie, a student of Speak Up Be Safe’s forerunner program, that impact not only helped stop ongoing sexual abuse by her father, but provided an early understanding that what was happening was not her fault, and help was available to her.
Georgie had a sparkle in her deep brown eyes that hinted at the intelligence and playfulness behind them. Her dark hair was cut short, with the top long and flopping to the side, covering one eye. She loved to run, and often gave chase just for the sport of it, leading staff members all around the Village almost every day. She was a character and a challenge, but she was also a sweet, brilliant child who didn’t deserve what happened to her.
Gerardo had been forced to be a warrior, facing violence every day at the hands of the person who was supposed to protect him. Despite this example, Gerardo learned to be his brother’s protector, and he bore the battle scars that came with his role. Rather than spending his life at war, Gerardo learned that he didn’t have to fight. Thanks to his time with Childhelp, he knows he’s safe.
Childhelp is the only program in Southern California that has a specialized cottage for children who are sexually acting out but who have not yet crossed the line to become perpetrators themselves. We are the last stop before a child ends up with a criminal record as a sexual offender.