Professor to present information on child sexual abuse  

Abbey Whittington , Entertainment Editor

Lisa Moyer, a professor in family and consumer sciences, will be presenting research on child sexual abuse from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday in the Charleston-Mattoon Room in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Moyer said she has been researching the issue of child sexual abuse for 11 years, giving presentations on the problem and updating the information of her lecture on the topic over time.

The presentation will be over what teachers, parents and friends can do if they find out a child has been sexually assaulted along with the definition and prevalence of sexual assault.

“Oftentimes, people do not really know how to respond when someone tells them they are a survivor or if a child discloses sexual abuse,” Moyer said.

Moyer will be informing participants on the patterns an abuser would go through before assaulting a child and how people can catch these signs to prevent the assault.

She said many times an abuser will select a child who seems isolated or is having problems with their family members and then develop a relationship with the child based on these things.

“Abusers tend to target those that seem like they will not tell, so then they form a non-sexual relationship and use behaviors like hugging or other innocent things and then escalate to a sexual touch, oftentimes right in front of other people,” Moyer said.

Moyer said if no one catches these signs before it is too late and their mom and dad have not said anything about the abuse, the message to the child is that the relationship between themselves and the abuser has been there all along, so they think what has happened or is happening is OK.

The presentation will also teach parents how to talk to their child about the areas other adults should not be touching them in, which is also called the “secret touch.”

Moyer said she will discuss what people can do if they think they have been sexually abused.

This will include resources for adults who are survivors because they were not able to tell someone when it happened to them as a child.

As a survivor of sexual abuse, Moyer said it is important for her to spread awareness about sexual assault. She has participated in the Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Service’s fundraisers and social media campaigns and created an informational video on sexual child abuse to raise awareness.

“I think this will spread awareness about sexual child abuse. People do not really like to talk (about sexual abuse) and they really do not want to suspect or worry that their child has been abused,” Moyer said. “It will give them some action to take if they suspect anything so they will know what to do.”


Abbey Whittington can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]