NC bill could require teacher training to spot signs of sex abuse, trafficking

**Embargo: Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, NC** House Bill 37 would extend the statute of limitations for civil action in a childhood sex abuse case. It would also require training for all school personnel to learn the warning signs of child sexual abuse and sex trafficking.

 NORTH CAROLINA (WGHP) — A Triad organization says its ready to help if state lawmakers pass a bill requiring extra training for teachers.

House Bill 37 would extend the statute of limitations for civil action in a childhood sex abuse case. It would also require training for all school personnel to learn the warning signs of child sexual abuse and sex trafficking.

“If they can be educated and fully aware of how important it is to report, we can save a lot of children,” said Reed Pomeroy, of Family Service of the Piedmont.

Pomeroy explained that the organization already conducts training with some day cares and schools in the area, teaching personnel how to spot warning signs like changes in behavior.

“It may also be that a child is really angry or very withdrawn, or they have knowledge of sexual activity they shouldn’t have for their age,” she said.

Under the proposed law, two hours of training would be required every two years. Family Service of the Piedmont says if contacted by the district, they are willing to conduct their program with staff.

“If we can do what we can as a community, to really prevent it when we can, and to have more of an open dialogue about it, we could really change our whole society,” Pomeroy said. “It’s so important because we’re learning as a society how common it is, and the statistics are staggering when you look at child sexual abuse specifically. So now that we know, we’ve have to do better and get out in the community and do prevention as much as possible.”

RAINN reports that one in every nine girls and one in every 53 boys under the age of 18 will experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult.

Lawmakers would set aside $50,000 to cover the cost for training. The bill has passed the House and a first reading in the Senate.

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