Do Children suffer in silence when Schools fail to educate on Personal Body Safety?
Sexual abuse is a worldwide epidemic that affects children of all ages, ethnicities, races and gender. All over this world children are suffering in silence. Whether we as educators want to believe it or not there are children in our classrooms, schools or even children we pass by on the streets and wave a friendly hello to that are are being sexually abused. However they do not have the knowledge, skills or the courage to speak up about the abuse because of lack of training, fear, or even lack of understanding as to what it is they are experiencing. More importantly how do they speak up if they never even had the training that enabled them to do such a thing? Such is the case with Jada Pierce.
Unfortunately Jada is just one of 42 million survivors of sexual abuse in the United States of America. What is even more saddening is the fact that the school could have prevented the sexual abuse that Jada was forced to endure for years as a child. She believes wholeheartedly that looking back on her experience as a child that if only she had been taught in school the knowledge and skills regarding prevention it would have made a difference. She states “Yes I 100% believe if my family had the safe hearts (children’s books that discuss the topic of abuse) that it could have been prevented or stopped at an earlier stage. I also believe it would have given me the affirmation to know that no matter what I was threatened with that I had safe adults I could turn to. I was groomed from a toddler. I always knew something was wrong but didn’t have the proper knowledge to know that it wasn’t normal like I was trained to believe it was”(Jada Pierce). Although Jada suffered in silence as a child, fortunately she was able to gain a voice later on in her life.
When Jada was 20 years old she decided to report the abuse. When asked by the detective why? Her response was “I’m reporting to protect my family and to give a voice to those that aren’t strong enough yet to report. This is for them too. I was never focused on protecting myself and even when I thought that I was at my weakest I realized just how strong I was because my priority was always to protect others with all the strength I had. Being a protector is ingrained in my very being. That’s how I have always been and how I will always be”(Pierce). Jada is one of the fortunate ones who was able to transition from victim to victor.
Today Jada can be seen advocating on behalf of children and women in hopes that they do not go through the hurt and pain that she herself had to endure. She states “Basically I do anything I can within my power to educate, empower, and equip those around me so that no one has to go through what I did. I was abused as a child, have faced sexual harassment my whole life, and was raped when I was 17. I use what I have gone through to train and help others as much as I possibly can”(Pierce). She currently is an Independent Damsel Pro Mentor for Damsel in Defense.
Damsel in Defense mission is to equip, empower and educate children and women to protect themselves and their families. They offer empowerment and healing to those affected by assault, but also offer protection to prevent additional assault from occurring.
Jada does several kinds of Warrior Workshops (online and in person). One of her popular ones is The Mama/Daddy Bear and Little Bear Workshop. This workshop specializes in teaching parents how to protect their children’s hearts from things like: sexual abuse, internet safety, kidnapping, trafficking, and bullying. It also shows how to physically protect themselves and their children from an attack at the grocery store which is the most common place for attacks to happen. Jada pairs that training with the SAFE Heart Collection(Books geared toward approaching the topic of abuse) alongside protection gear line that Damsel Provides. However she also brings in prior and outside knowledge to show them how to protect their families minds, hearts, and bodies with and without protection gear. Jada has seen the effectiveness of conducting such workshops. One of the biggest effects is that people are keeping their eyes and ears open more than ever. There is more of an awareness after learning that 90% of children know their abuser, meaning that it is mostly made up of close friends and family members.
Jada’s next appearance is February 27, 2019 at the Paul Mitchell school of Design at 10:00 am. This workshop will be geared towards teaching college students how to safely enter and exit school, in order to combat the overwhelmingly high sexual assault attacks on campus.
Jada is definitely indeed a warrior on a mission as well as an advocate. She contributes her healing to her Aunt and mentor Lynn Owens. Her fiance Zach and her mother Tammy Keithly and baby sister.
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