Allison Wedell Schumacher is a freelance writer, editor, and mom whose diverse work focuses on child abuse prevention, bullying prevention, social-emotional learning, fitness, and theater/acting. She is the author of Shaking Hands with Shakespeare: A Teenager’s Guide to Reading and Performing the Bard (Simon and Schuster, 2004) and her work has been featured here and by BabyCenter.com and Committee for Children. You can find her on LinkedIn.
Blog Post List
October 6, 2015
The Popemobile no longer plies America’s streets, and the crowds have long since dispersed from the grounds of the Philadelphia Art Museum after his last mass here, but Pope Francis likely remains top-of-mind for many people. For some of those people, it’s because his visit was a painful reminder of sexual abuse they experienced at the hands of Catholic clergy. Take, for example, Pennsylvania State Representative Mark Rozzi, who was sexually abused by a priest at his parochial school as a teenager. In an interview leading up to the Pope’s American visit, Rep. Rozzi said, “Child sex abuse is...
August 11, 2015
Let’s see: Shop for school supplies…check. Make sure immunizations are up-to-date…check. Sign up for sports and music lessons…check. Talk about sexual abuse prevention…wait. What? I feel like such a grownup when I say it, but the summer has really flown by. We’re starting to make sure all the books we read over the summer are written down, transitioning to an earlier bedtime, going through my daughter’s closet to see which clothes still fit and which ones need to be replaced. Talk to everyone And somewhere in all this flurry of back-to-school preparation, my husband and I will have to find...
July 10, 2015
One thing I’ve learned in the time I’ve been blogging about child sexual abuse prevention is that it brings out stories from people in a way nothing else has—not for me, anyway. Friends old and new have approached me to tell me stories from their pasts that break my heart. In one case, I was emailing back and forth with my friend Grace (name changed), tears streaming down my face as I read about how she was blamed for her own sexual abuse at the hands of her brother (something she endured for 15 years) because she “wore the pajamas in the living room, after all.” Pajamas. In the living room...
June 23, 2015
I’ve been in the child protection business for 11 years and a mommy for 8, so there’s not much that fazes me. I’ve always had what my mom calls an “iron stomach”—I’ve had stomach flu exactly once, and food poisoning never—and remain completely undaunted by the spectacular range of grossness that comes with being a parent (which I’ll spare you by not enumerating here , because I’m sure you already know it ). Green around the gills But every once in a while something comes along that makes me feel physically ill to think about. Like this news story from last week. It’s short and won’t take you...
June 1, 2015
What is it about being a parent that makes you feel like one of those circus performers on a unicycle, teetering on a high wire while holding one of those long balancing sticks? On a daily basis, we parents have to strike just the right balance between work and play, discipline and permissiveness, or—in the case of the subject at hand—paranoia and confidence. We’ve already agreed that none of us wants to believe that our child has been—or could ever be—the victim of sexual abuse. And certainly, it’s exhausting to worry over every tiny thing—every possible sign that something could be very,...
May 19, 2015
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not (and please pardon me for hearkening back to yuletide when your azaleas are finally blooming), you’ve probably heard that famous line of Scrooge’s from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” That line was on my mind in the last days of April, which was Child Abuse Prevention Month. I realize that we need to have days, weeks, and months like this to raise awareness about important issues, but the fact is that child predators won’t conveniently wait until next April to abuse children. So if children are at risk of abuse year round, we adults must have their protection at the forefront of our minds year round.