Congressman Raul Ruiz and former Senator Barbara Boxer visited the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center in Rancho Mirage to raise awareness about child abuse.
“It is therapy at the highest level and a transformation for individuals,” said Ruiz. “There is hope, and there is an ability to change and that is the message – that there is a resource here of people who love you, whom you can trust.”
As an emergency doctor, Ruiz said he has dealt with children who have been sexually and physically assaulted by someone they trust. Ruiz also said he wanted to use the centre’s online resources to teach his daughters to recognize abuse.
“We will be doing teaching sessions with my daughters using the resources at fightchildabuse.org, in order to educate and train them on what is appropriate and inappropriate anywhere and with anyone,” said Ruiz.
The center helped create a global online campaign on child sexual abuse and prevention. There are countless animated videos made by child advocates, therapists and academics. Their main goal: to educate children of all ages on what to do if they are faced with abusive behavior.
“It is available for free, not only to our local families, but also nationally and internationally,” Ruiz said.
According to the centre’s website, it has more than 100 million views on its animated prevention videos.
Ruiz and Boxer said they are keen to publicize the resources the center has to offer.
“I think we both think so strongly that if there is a problem please tell people about this resource,” Boxer said. “Because it’s exceptional, frankly, in the world. It really is. And it’s here, in our valley.
The center says it has treated more than 23,000 children and organizes around 5,800 therapy sessions per year.
“We will do all we can to really get the word out and help families in both English and Spanish get the information to help prevent child abuse,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz and Boxer said they want to promote the center nationally and internationally to help more children and families get the help they need.
“I think that would be a fabulous topic for a conference in Sunnylands, to get national and even international leaders to start setting an agenda on how we can really solve this horrible problem of child abuse in our country,” he said. said Ruiz. “And set a plan that other states and countries can follow.”
To learn more about the resources the center has to offer or how to help, click here.