Here’s an overview of the first wave of our Initiatives for 2017-18 – specifically the projects focused on the area of “grooming” education and awareness, which we call the “Edification Project.”
Grooming is employed by sexual abusers of children in the majority of cases, as most cases involve someone familiar to the abuser. And despite there being clear warning signs, there remains little to no community education as to how to respond to, and protect, our children from predatorial behaviors.
Building Hope Today is also building a Grooming Awareness curricula for those in Law Enforcement and Prosecution, aiming to make the prosecution process mercifully more efficient for victims, sparing them agonizing delays by helping prosecutors strengthen their cases against their abusers.
Additionally, and perhaps the thing which is closest to our hearts, BHT will bring an understanding of grooming to victims. One of the most valuable things we can provide is to help survivors see more clearly the manipulation that led to their harm, bringing them toward a more peaceful and powerful self-acceptance. Beyond the life-robbing effects of guilt and shame.
Below you’ll find overviews of the Edification Initiative as it pertains to each of these distinct areas of need: Justice and Policy, Community Outreach/Education and Victim Care and Support.
In the coming months, we’ll also be sharing several very exciting media campaigns involving the power of story, music, and film and video – please check our Facebook page for updates!
Again, we welcome your stories and comments!
This aspect of the Edification Project focuses on the value of taking expert testimony on grooming into courtrooms to shore up the prosecution’s side of a sexual abuse case. Grooming, a process of manipulating a child by physical and psychologically separating them from a loving parent or guardian, has distinct markers that our legal system needs to have stronger handle on. To be able to employ that understanding in a case not only sheds light on the tactics and intentions of an abuser, but could be very merciful to victims through greater efficiency in trials. [See Victim Care and Support below.]
Drawing on Matt Morgan’s own civil trial, this initiative would also serve to raise awareness of the use of “grooming” as a means to “defraud” victims of their childhood and childhood experiences that we believe are a basic human right.
This aspect of the Edification Project focuses on the value of informing parents, teachers, coaches and others who are in service to kids of the “Seven Elements of Grooming” with a goal of identifying those who may be at risk for being abused or being an abuser. We believe that with an increased conscientiousness toward such, we can reduce the incidence of abuse in our communities and break repeating patterns. To us, this is a critical outreach if we hope to live up to our mission to create a more hope-filled tomorrow for our community’s children.
This aspect of the Edification Project focuses on advocating for victims of grooming, giving them a moment to be heard, affirmed, and supported as they take a step beyond the mere recognition of the crime toward their own emotional healing.
When this knowledge is shared caringly to someone who has suffered in silence as a groomed victim, powerful transformations occur.
In the majority of grooming instances, the victim is unaware that they’ve been manipulated into submitting to the offender. And instead of a natural ability to express the violation against them, they hold onto a life-long sentence of shame, self-admonishment, and embarrassment.
Through this outreach, we want to help caregivers meet victims at the place of their need, equipping them to take that incredibly liberating step beyond any feelings that their abuse was their fault.
Building Hope wants victims to know… It. Simply. Wasn’t.