It was an amazing day last Saturday, April 27, to have the large turnout and support for Healing Private Wounds fourth annual Stomp Out Sexual Abuse walk. Many concerned and courageous people came to march to support victims and make our community a better place — even with the tough topic of sexual abuse. It was especially great to have Oasis and their supporters walk with us.

Addressing the evil of sexual abuse is the only way we can stop it. Victims need to be reminded it was not their fault and to report the abuser no matter who it may be. Sexual abuse won’t stop unless we report it and tell our children about it. If children don’t hear us talk about sexual abuse in our homes or schools they won’t think it’s a topic they can talk about.

Ask your children if they have ever been touched in their private parts and be sure to add, if they have they aren’t bad or in trouble but it’s important to tell so it will stop. Shame and fear stop victims from telling.

Children and all victims need to know it’s not their fault, and they are still very lovable. Sexual abuse doesn’t make one any less. Believe the victim, help them heal and report the abuser. Healing Private Wounds is available to help all victims and families heal. Call (231) 846-4495. Our services are free.

Shirley J. Petersen