Salvador Martí Gómez, a local police officer in the Spanish city of Logroño, is known for being the head of the education project “Alexia Teach Us”.
In his talks he uses Alexia, a puppet police officer who now stars in a book titled I don’t like that secret!, that gives children tools to prevent them from abuse.
“We tell the story of Diana and how she discovers that not all the people around us sometimes come with good intentions. The aim of the story remains the same as that of ourworkshops: to educate children, parents and guardians about the importance of preventing child sexual abuse, how to detect it and even how to react to this reality”, says the author.
The book is endorsed by Luis Palao (psychologist, teacher and specialist in comprehensive sexual education), Marien Viyella (legal and forensic psychologist) and Arlet Arrieta (psychologist, psychotherapist, sexologist and teacher), the latter with 23 years of experience in child sexual abuse intervention.
“I always seek guidance and advice on these issues; we have concluded that the ideal age to work with children on this book is between 6 and 8 years old”, explained Martí.
Educate to prevent
“God put it in my heart to make this book; it is essential for children to know the difference between a good and a bad secret. It’s not the same when mum buys a mobile for dad on his birthday and asks to keep the secret as a surprise, than when someone violates your private parts and asks you not to say anything. Children have to learn to distinguish”, explains Martí.
At the end of the story, he added a section called “Information for families”, where he advises what kinds of teachings should be given for prevention, reveals some signs to detect child sexual abuse, and gives 8 recommendations on how to act if it happens.
According to the NGO Save the Children, 44.7% of sexual abuse of minors in Spain occurs between the ages of 13 and 16, although the average age at which children begin to suffer abuse is very young, at 11 and a half years old.
Furthermore, in 78.9% of the cases, the victims are adolescent girls and 84% of the abusers are known, to a greater or lesser degree, to the children.
These are the results of an analysis of 394 court rulings on sexual abuse of children between 2019 and 2020, involving 432 victims.
“Very often in the talks we have with parents, some people break down and at the end they say they were victims of abuse when they were young. I believe that these situations must be treated for a full recovery. God has the power to restore us, but everyone must get treatment”, underlined Martí.
His book is also supported by World Vision, a non-profit organisation that helps children in the most dangerous places in the world. According to this NGO, an estimated 1.7 billion children are victims of violence every year.
Martí emphasises that his main helper and inspirer was God. “I wanted to start, but I was stuck, I was like that for about 7 months; there came a moment when I simply started to pray and the ideas began to flow”.
“When I finished, I asked experts in psychology and they gave me their approval. I also had the support of a businessman for the financing. He prefers to remain anonymous but he is committed to Christian causes”.
Martí dedicates the book to a survivor of child sexual abuse, and quotes what the Bible says in Matthew 18:6: “If anyone causes one of these little ones, those who believe in me, to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone were hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea”.
The book costs 5 euros and can be ordered at the Alexia Teach Us website (Spanish).
“The aim is to use the resources to make other books and to reinforce the activities in Alexia Teach Us. When we finish a talk, we get calls. We have a team of psychologists, sexologists, lawyers, but we need to strengthen our service capacity even more”, concludes the author.
Originally published on The Evangelical Focus
(c) Evangelical Focus, used with permission