Penn State to host conference on child abuse prevention
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Penn State University will hold a two-day public forum in October on child abuse, treatment, prevention and trauma research that will gather some of the nation's top experts in the field.
"Child Sexual Abuse Conference: Traumatic Impact, Prevention, and Intervention" will take place at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel on Oct. 29-30.
While the conference will be open to the public, there is a $145 fee to register for adults, $45 for students.
Penn State officials could not be reached for comment on the fee. But the registration website said it will be used to cover "all instruction, program materials, refreshment breaks, and lunches."
Among the speakers will be Sugar Ray Leonard and Elizabeth Smart, both of who were sexually abused as children.
Mr. Leonard, former boxing star and Olympic gold medalist, will be the keynote speaker and participate in a question-and-answer session with attendees.
Ms. Smart was abducted at age 14 from the bedroom of her Salt Lake City home in June 2002, sexually assaulted and held captive for nine months until she was found. She will be the forum's closing speaker.
Nationally recognized experts on child abuse who will appear at the conference include: David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire; Penelope Trickett, professor of mental health in the School of Social Work at the University of Southern California; and Lucy Berliner, director of the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress and clinical associate profession at the University of Washington School of Social Work and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
The conference is organized by the Penn State Justice Center for Research and Penn State Outreach and is designed to educate the public about various issues regarding child abuse, including the trauma it causes, characteristics of pedophiles and their use of the Internet, and treatment and prevention.
"Penn State has made a commitment to becoming a leader in the research, prevention and treatment of child abuse, and this conference is an important part of that," Penn State president Rodney Erickson said in a release.
"What happened at Penn State could -- and does -- happen in other communities across the country, and we hope that this conference will be a catalyst for furthering the knowledge that can lead to a safer environment for children in our nation and around the world."
Penn State retired assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted in June on 45 counts related to child sexual assault.
Testimony indicated the assaults involved 10 boys over 15 years, with some occurring in campus facilities.
Registration for the conference is open to the public at http://protectchildren.psu.edu/.
First Published August 16, 2012 12:00 am