Special to the Message
As part of its Protecting Our Children program, the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council has released a 30-minute feature video, “Protecting Our Children: A Family’s Response.” It includes the first-hand recounting by a Knights of Columbus family of every parent’s worst nightmare — the sexual abuse of their child by a trusted family friend.
The video also includes commentary and practical tips for parents from Dr. Monica Applewhite, a leading expert in the field of sexual abuse.
Family members explain how easy it was to miss the signs that abuse was taking place and their regret that they were not more aware about some of the signs of abuse, which would have helped them to know how to protect their children. Dr. Applewhite adds points regarding the tactics of predators and how they manage to manipulate their victims and those around them.
“This video is a critical resource for families seeking to keep their children safe,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Hearing the experience of a mother, father and their son is eyeopening and will help parents and guardians take the necessary steps to protect their children.”
The video, which is meant to complement the initiatives of other segments of the Church, will be distributed to members of the Knights of Columbus throughout the United States and Canada as part of its child protection program.
Additionally, the Knights of Columbus will create a familyresource guide in conjunction with Dr. Applewhite that will accompany the video. The Knights and Dr. Applewhite are also exploring the possibility of producing age-appropriate videos for middle-school and high-school students to arm them with the information needed to prevent and disrupt sexual abuse.
“The problem of the sexual abuse of minors needs to be addressed on a number of levels, but we want to focus our attention on protecting families, which is a founding principle of the Knights of Columbus,” Supreme Knight Anderson said. “The family in this video showed great courage by sharing their experiences to help others.”
The video is grounded in the Knights’ Building the Domestic Church program, which encourages the development of faith-filled families. The Knights will offer the video at no charge to dioceses, Catholic schools, and their employees and volunteers for free at http://www.kofc.org/un/en/members/programs/youth-activities/safe-environment-program.html.