While the shock is still fresh from the scandal at Penn State, we find ourselves grappling with yet another story of a child allegedly enduring years of sexual abuse in silence [“Curl accepts provisional suspension,” Sports, Aug. 2]

Earlier in my career I taught swimming classes for 18 years, so I am familiar with the pool environment. Children are already in a vulnerable position just by being in a bathing suit. Kelley Currin, who trained with Curl as Kelley Davies in the 1980s, has stated that her abuse began during her middle school years — a time when children begin the transformation into young adults. This is prime time for a potential predator to manipulate a child.

We know that 80 percent of all sexual abuse occurs in one child-one adult situations. I encourage parents to refuse to allow their child to be in one child-one adult situations that are not observable or interruptible. I recommend that youth-serving organizations prohibit these situations entirely. I tell adults to talk with the children and teens in their lives about protecting each other and to speak up when they suspect something isn’t right. 

Sharon Crilly, Alexandria

The writer is a community educator for Stop Child Abuse Now of Northern Virginia.