I am writing this letter for two reasons, first to thank you for sharing your story and turning something horrible into a way to help so many others and second I hope to get this message to the Legislature to thank them for their support in this wonderful curriculum, Safer, Smarter Kids Abuse Prevention Curriculum.
I believed in the program from the time I first heard about it. Children need to actually be taught tools to use in situations and that it is okay to not keep ‘secrets’. Time and time again you hear about these horrible stories of child abuse. But, this past Monday, it hit my school personally. We had a five year old little girl who after just two weeks of participating in the Safer, Smarter Kids, Curriculum and learning about the tools such as, safe touch and unsafe touch, safe secrets and unsafe secrets and especially, the Trusted Triangle of grown up buddies, she came forward and told about being abused two months earlier. The man accused admitted to the abuse and is now in jail, hopefully will be prosecuted and will remain in jail for a good amount of time. I cannot help but believe she stepped forward after learning she had the right to tell a grown up buddy in her triangle of trust. For this reason, I thank you Lauren, because of your courage, another child who will hopefully be able to move beyond this trauma!
I also thank our Legislature in Florida and stress to please continue funding Safer, Smarter Kids. If the funding saves just one child, it is worth every penny. Since the kits are free, there is no reason they should not be used by every classroom. My kindergarten child’s experience alone should tell you how important a program like this is!
I am so proud of this little girl for coming forward – two months after the attack. That means she has thought about this for a long time, then within two weeks of participating in the Safer, Smarter Kids Curriculum, she steps up, using the tools she was taught and tells her mom. Wow, talk about courage! I ask that you please continue to support this program and in doing so support the children of Florida.