Penn State’s “Child Sexual Abuse Conference: Traumatic Impact, Prevention, and Intervention” scheduled for Oct. 29-30 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel has sold out.
The 500 available seats for the conference sold out in three and a half to four weeks, Kate Staley, a justice researcher at Penn State, said.
The conference has attracted people from about 26 different states, Staley said.
The audience will be comprised of academics from Penn State and other universities, Penn State staff, alumni, police, detectives, social workers, psychologists, teachers, nurses and doctors, Staley said.
The conference is co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, Kristen Houser, PCAR vice president of communications and development, said.
“The event selling out is a testament to the issue, prevention and support of survivors in this community,” Houser said. “This is a great event for people to learn the facts and be able to do their part in preventing sexual abuse.”
The conference received permission to live stream some of the speeches because the event reached its capacity, Penn State Spokeswoman Jill Shockey said.
Featured speakers Elizabeth Smart and Sugar Ray Leonard give the issue a human face, Staley said.
“The conference is compelling because it is expert information presented in an accessible manner,” Staley said. “It puts a human face on child sexual abuse.”
The conference will also include expert speakers who can translate their knowledge to the audience, Staley said.
The Penn State Justice Center for Research, College of the Liberal Arts and Penn State Outreach organized the conference.
“The goal for attendees is to learn about latest research on prevalence of sexual abuse and it’s traumatic impact and the best practice for prevention. We hope everyone will be inspired to return to their communities and share what they learned to protect our children,” Shockey said.
Staley said the conference has three main goals. They hope to raise awareness about child sexual abuse, educate people on sexual abuse’s impact on children and teens, and to inspire.
“We want to grip the hearts and minds of people,” Staley said.
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