Jetta Bernier serves as Executive Director of Massachusetts Citizens for Children or “MassKids,” the nation’s oldest private, statewide child advocacy organization, established in 1959. For over 30 years, MassKids has served as State Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America and has worked on several fronts to prevent all forms of child abuse.
Regarding sexual abuse, Jetta directs the Enough Abuse Campaign, a citizen education and mobilization effort to prevent child sexual abuse in schools, youth-serving organizations and communities. Launched through a 5-year grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2002 to 2007) and supported by the Ms. Foundation for Women (2007 – 2014), the Campaign has now been adopted in several states and two other countries.
She is developer of numerous prevention resources, including: “Enough! Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in My School”, a one-hour, evidence-informed e-learning course for school personnel; and “Pledge to Prevent™”, a unique online action campaign that educates, empowers and engages citizens to take specific actions to prevent child sexual abuse from ever occurring. She produced the policy report, “Massachusetts Sexual Abuse Safe Child Standards” and two national advocacy reports – “State and Federal Legislative Efforts to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse: A Status Report“(2015),and “A Call to Action for Policymakers and Advocates: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Legislation in the States” (2021).
Jetta served on the 11-member National Independent Schools Task Force on Educator Sexual Misconduct which in 2018 released “Prevention and Response,” with recommendations for the country’s 1,500 independent private schools. She was Co-Chair of the Coalition to Reform Sex Abuse Laws, a grassroots coalition that succeeded, in 2006 and 2014 respectively, in reforming Massachusetts’ criminal and civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse She is currently Policy Co-chair of the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation.
Jetta’s articles published in the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse include: “The Enough Abuse Campaign: Building the Movement to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse in Massachusetts” (2012) and “Advancing Child Sexual Abuse Prevention in Schools: An Exploration of the Effectiveness of the Enough! Online Training Program for K-12 Teachers,” (2018). She produced the video, “A Silent Epidemic;” co-produced the “It’s Not Just Jenna,” video about child sexual abuse and developed its companion “Learning and Discussion Guide” which are now being used to educate parents, youth and youth-serving professionals in several states.
In 1985 Jetta conceived and oversaw production of the first statewide media campaign in the country for television on child sexual abuse prevention. The campaign won international and state awards and was adopted in a dozen states. In the late 80s, she provided the private sector leadership behind development of the nation’s first State Plan on child abuse prevention and co-authored “Child Abuse and Neglect: A Resource for Policymakers and Advocates” acclaimed as an invaluable prevention tool to guide public policy and prevention programming.
Before directing MassKids, Jetta was senior staff at Prevent Child Abuse America in Chicago, where she provided technical assistance to numerous states in the development of State Chapters and their prevention programs and policies. Prior to then, she was Program Director of the Connecticut Child Welfare Association, where she piloted and then directed the statewide 24-hour child abuse reporting and parental stress line, established Parents Anonymous of Connecticut, promoted multidisciplinary child protection teams and parent aide programs, and spearheaded passage of key child protection legislation.
She was a founder and co-president of the National Parent Aide Association and has served on numerous commissions, including the Governor’s Foster Care Commission, the Special Commission on Violence Against Children, and the Governor’s Commission on Sexual and Domestic Violence.
Among her recognitions include: the Voices for America’s Children Florette Angel Child Advocate Award; The Boston Parents Paper “Public Friend of Children” Award and its “Enduring Hero for Families” Award; the first “Woman of Achievement Award” presented by the Miss Massachusetts Organization; the Boston Celtics “Heroes Among Us” Award honoring “individuals who, through their unique commitment and humanitarian spirit, have made exceptional and lasting contributions” to our state; and the Massachusetts Dental Society Allard Award in recognition of her leadership to prevent child abuse in the Commonwealth.
She received her Master’s degree in psychology from Columbia University and her undergraduate degree from New York University.
Lindsay Hawthorne serves as Communications Coordinator and promotes the many prevention curricula and resources that MassKids and its Enough Abuse Campaign provide. She manages the Learning Management System and serves as the liaison with schools and youth organizations that implement the two Enough! e-learning courses on child sexual abuse prevention, the It’s Not Just Jenna video and Discussion Guide, and many more prevention resources. She manages our cadre of dedicated interns and volunteers from several universities and grows the reach of our work through social media platforms, e-newsletters, as well as through strategic outreach.
Lindsay has an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University and a B.A. in International Relations with a minor in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Boston University. Prior to coming to MassKids, Lindsay worked at Northeastern University’s School Health Academy, coordinating professional development programs for school nurses. Lindsay has also served as a Communications Consultant, Intern, and Volunteer for several social justice-oriented organizations, including the Massachusetts School Nurse Organization, SurvJustice, Oak Foundation, The Huntington Theatre Company, and the MA Governor’s Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.
Certified Master Trainer
For over a decade Beverly has been a leader in training citizens and a broad range of child- and family-serving professionals about child sexual abuse and its prevention. She has conducted “Training of Trainers” sessions to equip other vetted community volunteers to deliver the Enough Abuse Campaign’s research-based curricula series including: Strategies for your Family and Community, Strategies for your School, Strategies for your Youth Organization, Understanding and Responding to the Sexual Behaviors of Children, and the “It’s Not Just Jenna” video and facilitated discussion.
Additionally, Beverly is a certified trainer for three developmentally targeted trainings for children and youth including:
- Care for Kids©, an early childhood sexual abuse prevention curriculum for children from Pre-K through 2nd Grade that teaches communication skills, nurturing skills, and an understanding of healthy boundaries.
- We Care Elementary©, a sexual abuse prevention curriculum for children in Grades 3 through 6 that includes six lessons at each grade level on a variety of topics related to building healthy relationships.
- SAFE-T (Sexual Abuse Free Environment for Teens©,) a positive and trauma-informed health education program for youth in 7th and 8th Grades, designed to decrease the likelihood of youth being sexually abused and/or sexually abusing others.
Certified Master Trainer
Tommy has been a Certified Trainer for Enough Abuse since 2013, providing highly evaluated trainings on child sexual abuse prevention for school and youth-serving organization personnel.
He brings over a decade of experience on the front lines bringing public school and community-based programming to underprivileged urban minority youth across central Massachusetts and the Merrimack Valley areas. He has worked tirelessly to help victims of sexual abuse, violence, and neglect receive the care and attention they need.
Tommy’s engaging training style, his expertise in community-based programming and his marketing and advertising skills honed with Comcast New England, make Tommy a sought-after member of our training team.
Board of directors
Brittany Kelley, CPA
Partner, Grant Thornton LLP
Louis C. Zicht, Esq.
Vice President for Income Development; Co-Chair Income Development Committee
Counsel, Gilman, McLaughlin & Hanrahan, LLP Boston (Ret.)
Co-Chair, Income Development Committee
Executive Coordinator, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Jonathan Ellman, Esq.
Secretary; Chair, Board Nominating and Governance Committee
Divisional General Counsel, North America, Worldpay (Ret.)
Alan Boyer, CPA, MS Accountancy/MBA
Treasurer; Chair, Finance Committee
CFO & COO, Inly School; Former Senior Consultant, Accounting Management Solutions (Ret.)
Carmen Durso, Esq.
Law Office of Carmen L. Durso, Esq.
Laura B. Gold, Esq.
Sr. Vice-President, Sr. Relationship Manager, Philanthropic Solutions
U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth (Ret.)
Partner, Spectacular at Work and Founder and CEO, Choose and Become
Beth McArdle, Esq.
Managing Associate, Carney, Sandoe & Associates
Melanie Perkins McLaughlin, Ed.M
Owner, Producer/Director, Project Productions, LLC
Frank J. Riccio, PC
Law Offices of Frank J. Riccio, P.C.
Kathryn Robb, Esq.
Executive Director, CHILDUSAdvocacy
Managing Principal, Abacus Advisory, LLC
Erin Lee Spencer, LICSW
School Social Worker, Cambridge Public Schools
Tricia Wells, LICSW
Private Practice Psychotherapist
Private Equity Associate, Calera Capital, L.P.
Whether you identify as a victim, survivor, or as someone working through the trauma of sexual abuse, know that you are not alone, you are not to blame for what happened, and support is available to help you on your journey to healing.
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