PACE would like to introduce McKenzie Nix as its sexual abuse and molestation prevention specialist.
The new position is aimed at decreasing sexual abuse claims in Oregon public schools.
Oregon is no. 15 in the nation for the reported rate of child sex abuse victims per 100,000 children. According to the Oregon 2019 Child Welfare Data Book, 23.1% of child abuse reports came from schools. PACE has seen 54 sexual abuse related claims over the last five years in Oregon. This trauma takes an emotional toll on students and results in abuse claims and lawsuits that cost Oregon schools millions of dollars annually.
Nix said she will be working to provide resources and information to PACE members and those who need it most: students and on-site staff. One way is by providing training so students and staff can learn how to prevent and report sexual abuse and molestation.
Nix understands that this can be an uncomfortable topic, so her hope is to help facilitate discussions around appropriate conduct and reporting while giving students, staff and communities the words and tools to change culture.
“I’m here to effect change, but also to answer questions, learn and grow with everyone,” said Nix. “I want to be a resource to PACE members.”
While in the military, Nix saw the successes and failures of various abuse prevention programs and initiatives. “Understanding what works and how to get through to people is an important first step in the change process,” said Nix.
Boosting PACE’s resources and tools on this topic also goes hand-in-hand with the 2020-21 general liability discount. PACE members can earn this 5% discount on their dues when they fill out a form showing compliance with state laws and proof of staff training. PACE also has various resources for members around mandatory reporting and boundary invasion prevention on its website.
“McKenzie has our wholehearted support in taking on this important role,” said Dave Harvey, PACE administrator. “We are very excited to have her join our team.”