For the 25th year the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center will host its Annual Crimes Against Children Conference from Monday, August 12 to Thursday, August 15 at the Sheraton Dallas. To say it’s a powerful gathering of heroes from around the country who work daily to help little victims is an understatement.
The truly unfortunate truth is that many of these children are abused by people they know. According to DCAC, it’s 90% of the time. And it’s not just girls. Statistics reported that “one in six boys will be abused before their 18th birthday.”
This year the keynote speaker will address that particular issue from his first-hand experience. Known as “Jerry Sandusky’s Victim #1,” Aaron Fisher was the first to report the abuse that he suffered as a youngster at the hands of the former University of Pennsylvania coach, who was convicted of sexually abusing children.
The relationship between the perpetrator and the victim is complex. At the Sandusky trial, one witness said Jerry made him “feel like I was part of something, like a family. He gave me things that I had never had before. . . I loved him.”
Aaron explained in an ABC 20/20 interview, “Being a kid you never know what to do. You don’t know who you can tell because you don’t know who you can trust.”
In addition to co-authoring “Silent No More, Victim 1’s Fight For Justice Again Jerry Sandusky” with his mother Dawn Daniels Hennessy and his psychologist Michael Gillum, Aaron has committed himself to helping victims of sexual abuse by his participation in the “Let Go.. . Let Peace Come In Foundation” and programs like the Crimes Against Children Conference.
But before the conference gets underway at the Sheraton Dallas on Monday, the DCAC is hosted “a community-focused event” as part of the DCAC Lecture Series on Sunday, August 11, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. for parents and children ages 9 and older. Aaron, Dawn and Michael will join DCAC President/CEO Lynn Davis at the DCAC in discussing the following topics:
- Recognizing warning signs
- Minimizing risk and avoiding unsafe situations to avoid victimization
- What to do if feeling pressured or obligated by potential perpetrators
- Verbal and physical boundary setting
Suggestion: This Sunday afternoon event is not limited to parents and kids. If you’re a grandparent, an aunt or uncle or even a godparent, think about attending.
Tickets are $50 each.
Photo courtesy of Dallas Children's Advocacy Center