Profile: Pam Gillen
In her daily work as a sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, board member Pam Gillen encounters individuals in some of the most vulnerable moments in their lives. Pam is tasked with providing medical care to sexual assault victims, which sometimes includes collecting forensic evidence in the event that the individual wants to pursue a legal case against their attacker.
But more than evidence that can be used in court, Pam knows that the most important part of her job is being there for those individuals in the wake of their trauma and helping them feel safe and empowering them to take the first step of control over both their bodies and their lives.
Though work like this is something that Pam has always been passionate about, she has taken a long and winding road to get here. With a masters degree in Parent and Child Nursing, Pam has spent some time as a research assistant to a children’s neurologist at Kennedy Krieger, a research coordinator, and of course, a full-time nurse.
Pam also spent time as a full-time nurse to care more fully for her child with autism, who is one of her main inspirations in the work that she does. Pam recognizes that philosophically, there are vulnerable populations who are more vulnerable to certain traumas like sexual assault and sexual abuse, and it is in part because of this that she chose to join the No More Stolen Childhoods board.
Pam is an Owings Mills local and was first introduced to No More Stolen Childhoods by its current board president, Michael Fitz-Patrick. In addition to being curious about the work that the organization does, Pam knew that her professional and personal passions for both children and their safety would aid in furthering NMSC’s mission.
Even though most people’s professional work does not directly align with putting a stop to childhood sexual abuse or sexual assault, Pam believes that even the simplest of things can go a long way. Pam puts great importance on having conversations with kids about consent and always telling children to do the right thing, whether this is in the way that they treat others or in telling someone right away if they believe something bad has happened.
“There are people who need our help and need a hand, and I can [give them both],” she says. No More Stolen Childhoods is honored to have Pam Gillen join its team and value the professional lens she has to offer in putting an end to childhood sexual abuse.
Profile: Claudia Remington
It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child, but for Attorney Claudia Remington, in order
to raise a healthy child, you might just need the whole state.
Claudia is the Executive Director of Maryland’s State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect
(SCCAN), and splits her time between Baltimore City, where her office is located, and the
Annapolis area, where she lives and support legislators.
SCCAN is one of three citizen review panels that advise government councils with proposed
policies, and for Claudia, no issue is untouched by child sexual abuse. “People ask why we look at domestic violence or parental incarceration,” she says, “and for a child, it doesn’t matter where their adversity comes from. Their bodies react in similar fashions.”
Before partnering with No More Stolen Childhoods, SCCAN had already established a deeply rooted network of organizations championing the same cause. Among their existing partners are
The Family Tree, Maryland Essentials for Childhood and multiple child advocacy centers (CACs) across the state. Together, they have trained dozens of professionals within various sectors on from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) prevention to litigation. Claudia emphasizes that it is crucial for
government officials and police officers alike to understand the neuroscientific epigenetics of
childhood adversity because it makes for the strongest arguments.
It was this strong network that helped SCCAN band together with NMSC. The Family Tree’s executive director, Patricia Cronin, introduced Claudia to NMSC’s executive director, Vanessa,
last year, and it has been a wonderful partnership ever since.
Claudia is overwhelmed by and extremely appreciative of the dedication that NMSC board members have put into the mission of child sexual abuse prevention, with some even volunteering to testify during hearings down in Annapolis.
“It’s up to us as adults and professionals to look at adversities across systems and work together,” she said. “After all, what happens at childhood can impact a lifetime.”
A crucial component of SCCAN’s mission is to shift the framework around child abuse from asking, “what’s wrong with you?” to investigating, “what happened to you?”
“It’s about not blaming people and [instead] understanding where they came from” Claudia
Through this more holistic and empathetic understanding, Claudia is confident that we can not only raise healthy children, but ultimately, healthy communities, too.