Union Democrat staff

Talk early, talk often, take action

To the Editor:

Child sexual abuse happens often and close to home. This reality can be overwhelming, but it's important to remember that child sexual abuse can be prevented when we all play our part.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and communities across the country are standing up for child sexual abuse prevention by proclaiming "It's time ... to talk about it!" All adults have a role in child sexual abuse prevention, and this year's campaign encourages individuals and communities to support healthy childhood sexual development by talking early, talking often and taking action.

By talking about healthy childhood sexual development, adults are able to support the children in their lives. When adults support age-appropriate behaviors, model healthy boundaries and speak up to other adults, they are an ally to prevention. It's also our job to respect children and confront adults when they act in ways that are not appropriate.

There is often silence and discomfort when it comes to the discussion of sexual development. It's important to understand that this is a normal experience we all share. By opening up communication, sharing age-appropriate information with children, and educating one another - we are taking steps toward a safer community.

Choose to start the conversation about healthy childhood sexual development. Whether you are a parent, educator or community member, it's time for you to start talking early and often to support an environment where children are safe.

Mercedes G. Tune

Center for a Non Violent Community,


Fortunate for a giving community

To the Editor:

We feel very fortunate to live in a community with so many giving, caring people.

Last Saturday night, WATCH Resources held it's annual Chinese Dinner/ Auction to benefit adults with developmental disabilities. There were close to 100 items donated by local merchants and individuals to help raise money for this event.

Patrick Greenwell, local attorney, has been the emcee for this fundraiser for the past several years and he is to be commended for an outstanding job. He generated such enthusiasm during the evening, the crowd continued the momentum throughout the dessert and live auction. Several desserts went for prices well into the hundreds of dollars. This annual event is successful due to the diligent efforts of many: WATCH board members, parents of consumers, friends and staff at WATCH. They are all to be commended, but a big thank you to Patrick Greenwell, who not only comes dressed for the occasion, but really gets the crowd to open their wallets for a worthwhile organization. Thank you to all who came out and supported the Chinese Dinner/ Auction.

Kathi Kopyn

Twain Harte

Bullying is the new buzzword

To the Editor:

Bullying has become a buzzword in our society automatically eliciting sympathy the instant someone makes the claim. While I would never condone the mistreatment of anyone, I think it's important to know both sides of the story before any judgements are made. After all, isn't falsely accusing someone of bullying a form of bullying itself?

Cyndi Simonson