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Educators, professionals in W.Va. learn how to identify sexual abuse

By Eddie Trizzino | Times West Virginian

WHITE HALL, W.Va. – Sexual abuse is a concept hard to grasp for kids under a certain age.

Even those who have been victimized may have a hard time processing the actions, which is why there are specially trained professionals who take on these cases.

Katrina Byers, right, director of the Taylor County Family Resource Network, gets information from Kerri Thomas, left, and Jessica Bender on the Foundation for Rape Information Services booth at the Prevention Summit Tuesday.PHOTO BY EDDIE TRIZZINO

“A lot of people don’t know what to do,” said Carrie Linn, prevention educator with HOPE Inc. of Fairmont “It’s very important for prevention work to be able to see the signs and know the signs, and know what to do in recording and being able to help children; either prevent them from being abused or if they are, know what to do.”

Education on prevention is the first line of defense for most cases of sexual abuse and assault, Linn said, and it often falls on adults to identify the signs if a child has been abused. That is the foundation for Erin’s Law, which was the focus of a prevention summit held Tuesday and today by the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information Services at the Mollohan Center.

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