Center for Christian Virtue fighting bipartisan sex abuse education effort in Ohio: report
Center for Christian Virtue on Facebook.

The Center for Christian Virtue is fighting bipartisan effort to combat child sexual abuse in Ohio.

"Springboro families were shaken to their cores in 2019 when they learned a former gym teacher had been accused of inappropriately touching first-grade girls. John Austin Hopkins was ultimately sentenced for 34 counts of gross sexual imposition involving 28 students, whom he would pull onto his lap or hold between his legs. The children didn't know they were being abused, prompting parents to speak out in favor of efforts to bring sexual abuse prevention to classrooms, the Dayton Daily News reported. Lawmakers got the message," The Columbus Dispatch reports.

The Ohio state House has approved a bipartisan bill to prevent sexual abuse and violence.

"Who would not want to protect children?" Republican Rep. Scott Lipps wondered.

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The answer is the Center for Christian Virtue.

"Policy director David Mahan said the bill should allow parents to opt their children out of the curriculum altogether and argued it lacks a clear definition of what 'age-appropriate' instruction means. Mahan also contends the measure violates state law because it does not emphasize abstinence," the newspaper reported. "Allowing parents or guardians to remove their children from the program raises red flags for advocates. One in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under 18 are sexually abused by an adult, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, and one-third of the perpetrators are family members."

Rosa Beltré, president of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, warned that the Center for Christian Virtue's policy prescriptions empower sexual abusers.

""Any effort to attach parental consent to this law is another layer of perpetuation of violence, removing power, control, agency and autonomy from the victim," said Beltré. "The vast majority of survivors of child sexual assault express that their victimization occurred at the hands of a caretaker, an adult they trusted, a parent."

Lipps, the GOP legislator, warns that the Center for Christian Virtue's counter-legislation "absolutely guts Erin’s Law."

"There’s no reason that we would pass this bill," he said.

In November, the newspaper reported the Center for Christian Virtue bought a 15,000-square-foot building overlooking the Ohio Statehouse.

Read the full report.