Be A First Grade Teacher To Someone

The role of helper is not defined by a title or position, according to SC Attorney General Alan Wilson who spoke at the Annual Denim Day Luncheon at the Historic Courthouse on Wednesday the 24th, but by the care given.  He spoke of two different situations in which the efforts of a team and in one case a trusted individual made the difference in the life of a child who was sexually abused.

In a very touching retelling of a story from a judge in Texas, Wilson explained how a young 7 year old girl was brutalized and left for dead on a beach. The next morning an officer found her and rescued her. When the trial began a year later, the little girl froze on the stand having to face her attacker. The trial was shut down for a week, and when it resumed, the little girl was able to testify about all of the details and memories. The difference between the two court appearances? The little girl’s first grade teacher was in the back of the room, and he little girl kept her eyes locked on her.  “Anyone can empower someone, and for someone you are the first grade teacher.”

April is Child Abuse Awareness and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Palmetto Citizens Against Sexual Assault holds a luncheon each year to help raise awareness of the problem of sexual violence. Attendees included SCDSS, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, Lancaster County Solicitor’s Office, The Children’s Council, J. Marion Sim Foundations, and many other concerned community members.

Wilson commented that to help improve the justice outcomes for our children and adults who have been hurt “We have to fully fund our solicitors and public safety agencies. Public safety is a core function of government. It is a function we should never scrimp on. {Funding] is not a silver bullet for the problem, but it would go a long way to improve our system.”

There is much to do, and many obstacles to overcome. Fredrick Douglas said of racism that to speak about it will kill it. The same can be said of sexual abuse. The more we talk about it, and discuss it, and improve our awareness, the sooner it will be gone.



Categories: Lancaster

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