A milestone is fast approaching for Praesidium as it celebrates its 25th anniversary on March 16, 2017.
Praesidium was founded in 1992 in Dallas, Texas after a volunteer coach at a local youth-serving organization repeatedly sexually abused a 9-year-old boy. Frustrated and angry, board members demanded to know what could be done to prevent such a terrible tragedy from happening again.
To find the answer, a team of researches and doctoral students completed an exhaustive review of the scientific literature, only to discover that not much was known about the prevention of sexual abuse in organizations. Most of the research focused on psychological testing to screen out potential offenders – but that doesn’t work.
Using root cause analyses of hundreds of cases across a diverse range of organizations, Praesidium identified eight organizational operations that provide opportunities to decrease the risk of abuse by employees, volunteers, or other program participants. Armed with a scientific approach, Praesidium began consulting with organizations serving youth and vulnerable populations.
Today, Praesidium has reviewed well over 4,000 cases of abuse within organizations and Praesidium employs more than 40 staff, which includes licensed social workers, lawyers, psychologists, health care researchers and other experts. Praesidium now has a broad range of products and services to aid organizations in preventing abuse including online, instructor led, and DVD trainings; organizational risk assessments; model policies; a 24-hour helpline; onsite and remote crisis and media management; incident investigations; and litigation support.
Over the past 25 years, Praesidium has served over 5,000 clients and trained more than one million people online and hundreds of thousands in person, making it the largest and most comprehensive abuse risk management firm globally.
Aaron Lundberg, President and CEO says, “Sexual abuse is a preventable risk and organizations are in a unique position to fight this problem. Preventing abuse takes a commitment to raising the standards for how youth and vulnerable adults are cared for within organizations. Over the last 25 years, our clients have made this commitment and are making a difference in millions of lives, and that impact is immeasurable. We work diligently towards a world where all organizations are safe-havens for youth and vulnerable adults. We believe that it will happen.”
See our leadership team talking about the importance of this milestone and the continued dedication to preventing abuse here.