HARRISONBURG — A local nonprofit agency that aims to prevent child sexual abuse plans to host a community discussion this week on ways to reduce the incidence of child abuse in the Shenandoah Valley.
The Collins Center will join the Virginia Department of Health and Stop it Now, a national organization that works with adults to help end child abuse.
The event will include a panel discussion with two survivors of child sexual abuse, two treatment providers and a recovering sex offender.
The discussion will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Court Square Theater. The event is free.
Organizers say having an honest conversation is the “first step to empowering adults to take action.”
“This event has the potential to change our community’s entire perspective on child sexual abuse,” said Gianna Gariglietti, in a statement. “In addition to it being emotionally powerful, it will provide the knowledge necessary to recognize and respond to warning signs before there is a victim to heal or an offender to punish.”