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South Valley Riverton Journal

Shining A Light On Child Sexual Abuse

Jan 16, 2015 09:45AM ● By Sherrie Ricks
Preston Jensen of Riverton will be bringing his message of hope about child sexual abuse in a free, family-friendly event, “The Power of One…Breaking the Cycle of Abuse,” to Herriman City on Thursday, Jan. 22.

Jensen is a survivor of child abuse who is using his experience to shed light on the topic and melt the “victim shame” by teaching families to have open conversations to discover and discuss abuse.

Jensen was abused by the stepfather of a friend from the age of 8 to 13. He said he kept his abuse a secret, and it went unreported until he had returned from a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and reported it to the authorities himself.

“Nobody ever asked, or talked to me about it,” he said.

Raising awareness of child sexual abuse and learning to open the discussion about it is the purpose of the evening.

Detective Scott Russell from South Jordan, who handled Jensen’s case, will talk about the signs and statistics of child sexual abuse.

Then Jensen, Miss Utah 2013 Ceira McCausland and Paula Jensen, Preston’s mother, will share their personal experiences, all having been victims of sexual abuse as children. “We’re not going to go into a lot of detail [with specifics about the sexual abuse]. We want families to come, to help open the conversation,” Jensen said.

The program will be held at Herriman City Hall, 13011 South Pioneer Street (6000 West) from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.