Eight hosts panel of child abuse prevention specialists for original production broadcast Keeping Children Safe: Ask an Expert

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Local and national experts offer Arizona families strategies and resources for abuse prevention. Ted Simons hosts panelists Cordelia Anderson, Robert Bell and Rebecca Ruffner, April 21 at 8 pm.

PHOENIX — (April 15, 2014) Keeping Children Safe: Ask an Expert, part of the Eight, Arizona PBS ongoing "Ask an Arizona Expert" series, offers Arizonans a forum to hear from local and national experts with the very latest in child abuse prevention strategies and resources. Viewers will have the opportunity to phone in, or write in via social media, and ask a local expert for referrals and answers to questions on the issues of preventing child abuse and human trafficking.

The broadcast takes place April 21 at 8pm on Eight HD, during national Child Abuse Prevention Month. Keeping Children Safe: Ask an Expert can also be viewed online immediately following the broadcast at www.azpbs.org/arizonaexpert.

"We all care about the issue of child abuse, but in the past we've heard a lot more about the problem than we have about the solutions," says Eight, Arizona PBS Associate General Manager of Education Kimberly Flack. "Prevention priorities have historically lagged behind abuse response measures, resulting in long-lasting negative effects on children, their families and society as a whole. Preventing abuse means setting the stage for healthy, stable families who have the tools they need for nurturing their children. And we're pleased to be able to offer Arizonans this valuable resource in connecting them with this extraordinary group of experts."

The discussion will include a variety of topics, including recognizing instances of abuse, initiatives and resources for addressing the problem, and prevention of trafficking and sexual abuse.

Ted Simons, host of Arizona Horizon, will moderate the expert panel featuring:

  • Becky Ruffner, executive director at Prevent Child Abuse Arizona
  • Robert Bell, children’s justice coordinator for Maricopa County at the Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona
  • Cordelia Anderson, author and nationally recognized expert on human trafficking & prevention of child sexual abuse/exploitation

Representatives from organizations including Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Child Crisis Center will be in Eight’s studio taking viewer calls from 7pm to 10pm and a team of bilingual experts will also answer questions from the community via Facebook and Twitter. This broadcast is made possible by a grant from The Steele Foundation.

Anderson has conducted over 2,200 presentations nationally and internationally on topics including: prevention of child sexual abuse/exploitation, impact of pornography, normalization of sexual harm, promotion of sexual health, bullying/cyber-bullying, restorative justice, compassion fatigue and bringing activism into our work. She’s been the lead expert consultant on two statewide mass media efforts: Project Abuse (which won an Emmy in 1984) and You’re the One Who Can Make the Peace. She’s on the board of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and is the founder and immediate past president of the National Coalition for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation.

In addition to his work with the county, Bell serves as the vice president for the Arizona Child and Family Advocacy Network and as chairman of the Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Coalition. Robert also worked closely with the Gilbert Unified School District on issues relating to child safety during his nine year tenure with the Gilbert Police Department.

Ruffner is currently co-chairing the Task Force for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, and serves on the Strong Families AZ Coalition, and the Healthy Families Arizona Statewide Steering Committee. Ruffner implemented the Never Shake a Baby Arizona program in 2003, now reaching 45,000 new parents at the time of birth. In 2004, she helped launch the first Court Teams for Maltreated Infants and Toddlers program in Arizona in the Yavapai Juvenile Court.

Media Contact:  Colleen O’Donnell Pierce
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(602) 496-0579
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