Patty will share lessons learned about child safety following her son’s abduction. Understanding the continuum of child sexual abuse, and the contributing factors of today’s social environment to sexual harm, we also need to focus on the vision and work to build healthier, more respectful relationships. We need to teach our children about relationships and respectful boundaries so that they don’t grow up to become someone who would exploit another. Let’s talk about what are we fighting for.
Objectives or Takeaway Ideas:
1. Have increased understanding of child abduction and exploitation and how to replace fear with knowledge
2. Understand the collaboration needed to stop harmful behaviors
3. Share the hope for a world where children have the right to grow up safe and follow their dreams
Patty Wetterling is the mother of Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted at the age of eleven by a masked gunman on October 22, 1989 near his home in St. Joseph, Minnesota. On September 1, 2016, nearly twenty-seven years after his abduction, Jacob’s remains were found, and his abductor arrested. Throughout her healing process, Patty has continued to search for prevention solutions and to seek answers to build a better, safer world for children.
Patty co-founded the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center (JWRC) and Team H.O.P.E., a national support group for families of missing children. Patty co-authored the books, “When Your Child is Missing: A Family Survival Guide,” and “Perspectives on Missing Persons Cases.” Patty has become a nationally recognized educator on child abduction and sexual exploitation of children.
Patty was Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children from 2012-2015 and remains a champion of hope for families whose children are still missing and for prevention of sexual exploitation and abduction.
This presentation was given at the 2019 Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Global Summit. endexploitationsummit.com/