COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133
Senator Joan B. Lovely
2nd Essex District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 18, 2023
Senator Joan Lovely Hosts Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Briefing with The Survivor’s Nest Project
BOSTON- On Tuesday, April 11, 2023, Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Salem) partnered with Massachusetts Citizens for Children (MassKids), Child US Advocacy, The Survivor’s Nest Project, Time to Tell, and survivors to host a child sexual abuse prevention briefing at the Massachusetts State House. This timely event took place during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
According to the CDC, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys experience sexual abuse prior to the age of 18. Findings also show that 1 in 10 students experience inappropriate sexual contact from an adult in their school at some point during their K-12 years. Massachusetts has over 7 million residents, which translates to approximately 100,000 children at risk of sexual abuse. Moreover, 91% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone the child or the child’s family knows. On Beacon Hill and across our Commonwealth, people are taking a stand to end this once and for all.
Since the start of her political career, Senator Lovely has been a champion to protect children from sexual abuse and has introduced legislation to promote prevention, support survivors, and hold perpetrators accountable to the highest extent of the law. Her bills include substantial measures that would require schools and youth-serving organizations to recognize the signs of child sexual abuse, prevent those who have been accused of sexual misconduct from being hired elsewhere, eliminate the civil and criminal statutes of limitations to allow survivors to seek justice any time in their lifetime, and heighten criminal penalties for individuals who used their authority to engage in sexual conduct under their purview.
“I am deeply honored to have hosted The Survivor’s Nest Project at the State House,” said Senator Joan B. Lovely. “Child sexual abuse can happen to anyone in any family. It is crucial that survivors know they are supported and that they are not to blame for what happened to them. It is equally vital that our children and the organizations that serve them are equipped with the tools and knowledge to recognize the signs of sexual abuse. I am proud to file legislation and work with so many incredible organizations dedicated to protecting our children to raise awareness on this important issue. I would like to thank The Survivor’s Nest, Time to Tell, MassKids, the Children’s Trust, Child US Advocacy, the Office of the Child Advocate, and the Child Abuse Prevention Task Force for their collaboration and all the brave survivors who shared their powerful experiences at this briefing.”
The Survivor’s Nest Project was founded by Carla Beatrice with a mission of education and healing. Carla worked with Portland, OR artist Debbie Baxter and local collaborators to create an immersive exhibit focused on helping survivors of incest and child sexual abuse heal from their trauma, connect with supporters, and bring discussions about this important issue to the forefront. Senator Lovely attended her May 2022 showing in Salem, MA.
In addition to Senator Lovely and Carla Beatrice, spectators heard from an impressive panel of speakers including:
- Tricia Kendall, Founding partner of Spectacular at Work
- Donna Jenson, Founder and Director of Time to Tell
- Jen Young, Founder of Art Connections
- Tink Bess, Creator of Let Your Survivor Dance
- Maggie Donohue, Time to Tell Collage artist and moderator
- Beth Seigling, Time to Tell collage artist and moderator
- Claire O’Leary, Founder of Voices Heard
To learn more about Senator Lovely’s child sexual abuse prevention legislation, please visit: