Book educates boys on their bodies and what constitutes sexual abuse.

Stacey Honowitz, who has prosecuted sex offenders for 23 years, recently released her second book aimed at educating kids about inappropriate touching.

The name of her latest book makes some so uncomfortable that they refuse to say it out loud, author Stacey Honowitz said.

But Honowitz, who has spent 23 years prosecuting sex offenders at the Broward state attorney's office, is unapologetic about the title Genius with a Penis, Don't Touch, a book she wrote to educate young boys about sexual abuse.

"It's a body part. It's a penis. That's what's being touched and that's what being abused," said Honowitz, an Aventura resident, who is a supervisor with the Broward Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit.

In 2010, Honowitz's self-published book, My Privates are Private, used a cartoon character named Betty Boodle to talk to girls about abuse. Told in limerick form, the book was geared to 3 to 11 year-old.

The new book, geared to boys of the same age, aims to educate youths about their bodies and what constitutes inappropriate touching by others. Also told in limerick form, the book's main character is a boy named Bobby Boodle.

The book is not about a child who has been molested, Honowitz said, and it is not targeted to sexual abuse victims.

"This is a little book with a big message that could really help a child," she said.

Boys are less likely to report abuse than girls, Honowitz said, because most often boys are abused by other males.

"It's a lot more embarrassing for them because they don't want to talk about it with their friends," Honowitz said.

She cites a recent case, in which Tamarac music teacher David Leyman was prosecuted for fondling boys, some as young as 7.

"By the time it went to trail, the boys were about 12, and nobody wanted to talk about it," Honowitz said.

A frequent lecturer on the topic, Honowitz has provided legal commentary for 48 Hours, CNN Headline News, Good Morning America and other news outlets. When she speaks to groups, parents often tell her they don't know how to broach the subject, Honowitz said.

"People are still in the dark about this. They are naive," she said. "Nobody ever thinks it's going to be their kid, but even if they're rich, it could be the nanny, the butler or the gardener."

One in six boys and one in four girls will be sexually abused by age 18, Honowitz said. Of the victims, half will be abused by someone they trust outside of their family. Thirty to 40 percent will be abused by a family member. Only 10 percent are abused by strangers.

"People are so focused on the Internet and the potential for abuse there, that they forget the basic stuff," Honowitz said "The 6-year-old is not surfing the Web. He's at school or at a friend's house. Pedophiles are prevalent. This is the society we live in. Better to have an uncomfortable discussion now than to spend five years in a prosecutor's office trying to get to trial."

back