Recently, Patricia Kosinski, Executive Director of Family Support Line, visited Main Line Unitarian Church (MLUC) to lead a forum on sexual abuse for church members and friends. In her presentation, she provided training on the responsibility of individuals and institutions to report sexual abuse of any kind, but especially sexual abuse of children. In the wake of public child abuse scandals like that at Penn State University, organizations like Family Support Line are integral in educating individuals and preventing children from being abused.
Family Support Line, located in Media, PA, began in 1984 as a group of social service professionals and private citizens concerned about child sexual abuse, and quickly grew into an incorporated organization focused on providing specialized treatment for children and their families. They also develop educational seminars that provide a comprehensive approach to the prevention and early detection of child sexual abuse.
Members of the MLUC congregation were glad for the opportunity to learn more about preventive practices and early warning signs of child abuse during Kosinski’s presentation. Pat explained to them the phenomenon of “bystander effect,” in which otherwise responsible adults neglect to report abuse when they have implicit or explicit knowledge of it.
Family Support Line shares MLUC’s core values, including the belief that all people are inherently dignified. The church named the organization as the recipient for their Offering Outreach program in the month of February, which donates half of the monthly collection to a local non-profit. Kosinski happily accepted a donation check for $2,103.
She said of the donation, “This much-appreciated support from Main Line Unitarian Church will allow Family Support Line to offer our services at a free or reduced cost. We have therapists specially trained to work with the trauma of child sexual abuse, and we provide prevention seminars for parents and children in schools and the community. In 2011, our efforts reached nearly 10,000 people.”
For more information on Family Support Line, including how to get involved, visit www.familysupportline.org. To read more about Main Line Unitarian Church’s Offering Outreach program, visit www.mluc.org/social-action/offering-outreach.