Friday, November 14, 2014

Addressing Sexual Assault in Our Community

By Kai Hill, Program Specialist

For the first time in Clark County, 65 individuals representing more than 20 faith communities came together to participate in an all-day training on Sex Offenders in the Faith Community, led by Cory Jewell Jensen, MS.  The training was provided by YWCA Clark County's Sexual Assault Program in conjunction with the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s office and the Center for Behavioral Intervention. Tony Golik, Clark County Prosecuting Attorney, offered opening remarks thanking the attendees and reaffirming the necessity of protecting children in our community. Deputy Prosecutor Luka Vitasovic provided a brief presentation on mandatory reporting.
Cory Jewell Jenson

Co-director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention in Beaverton, Oregon, Cory Jewell Jensen, MS. has over thirty years of experience as a treatment provider working with sex offenders and their families. The daughter of a minister, Cory understands the unique factors that make faith communities and their children particularly vulnerable to predators. She stressed that we are not doing enough to educate our kids. Parents may be comfortable talking about stranger danger, but that is insufficient and even misleading given that more than 90% of kids who report abuse know the offender. That said, we also cannot expect children to protect themselves from the adults who would prey on them.

During the month of October, the Sexual Assault Program of YWCA also offered “Where We Live” a 4-week series that engages parents and community members, offering tools for comfortable discussions with kids about healthy sexuality, identifying tactics sex offenders use, and practicing bystander intervention skills. YWCA was recently invited to present the workshop at Bethel Lutheran Community Church in Brush Prairie.
Traci Cole

In spite of the tough topic, participants were engaged in the conversation.  New partnerships were envisioned and participants were grateful for the chance to learn in a safe, quiet venue with the support of YWCA staff and volunteers. For more information on the next series of “Where We Live,” or to host a workshop, contact Traci Cole at 360-906-9151 or

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