After a riding coach abused her daughter, Woodsider creates nonprofit for young athletes | February 18, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 18, 2022

After a riding coach abused her daughter, Woodsider creates nonprofit for young athletes

We Ride Together offers help to those who have survived abuse

by Sue Dremann

When Portola Valley resident and equestrian coach Michael Traurig was recently arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a minor, the story was only too familiar to Woodside resident Carrie Kehring. Her own daughter had come forward saying she had been groomed and abused by a different instructor, an Olympic athlete of high standing, Kehring said.

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Email Staff Writer Sue Dremann at [email protected]

Comments

Posted by vmshadle
a resident of Meadow Park
on Feb 19, 2022 at 9:20 am

vmshadle is a registered user.

I am so sorry for what this girl and her family and friends had to endure. Let's keep talking openly about sexual predation, keep exposing the predators, and most importantly, make sure the victims have what they need to get past this trauma and live the life they deserve.


Posted by Judith Wasserman
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 22, 2022 at 10:36 am

Judith Wasserman is a registered user.

It's important to learn how to recognize grooming because it's so seductive. It feels so good at first that it's hard to realize what's really going on.


Posted by Jon Keeling
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 22, 2022 at 10:48 am

Jon Keeling is a registered user.

What this group is doing is really important and I hope we/they can help this movement spread further. I'll reach out to them directly to see how I can help.

My life is about keeping people safe, healthy and happy. Whether volunteering with CrisisTextLine, teen mentoring, parent coaching, disaster preparedness, or in my professional life as a Karate and self-defense instructor, I am always keeping safety and physical & mental health in focus. So reading about what this group is doing really warms my heart. I have heard so many similar stories about this sort of abuse that it makes me sick sometimes. My father ran a state-wide suicide and child abuse hotline when I was a teenager. And I've dealt with many of these incidents as a CrisisCounselor. I've also talked with parents of some of my students about experiences their kids have had with other people they made the mistake of trusting.

When a parent asks me to teach their child privately, I make it very clear that I prefer them to be present for the lessons. In my opinion, every teacher/coach should welcome parents to observe lessons with their kids and I caution against those who do not. In the therapy sessions that take place at the horse ranch my wife & I own in Soquel, I never see a child and trainer together alone and a parent is almost always nearby.

Parents: PLEASE talk often and openly with your kids about what they are doing in their various clubs, sports and other activities. Let them talk and be careful to not just listen to their words but also their facial expressions and body language. They may not be telling you everything. And parents of my students: Please come to class and watch your kids anytime you want.


Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2022 at 4:44 am

Citizen is a registered user.

What else can community members do to respond better? The trouble with people like Nassar is that they use a complaint to further undermine the victim and separate them from help in their common communities. No one wants to further a false allegation, but disbelieving a child who is being abused is terribly damaging.


Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2022 at 8:47 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Teach your children to recognize grooming behavior. The best way for your child to avoid being a victim is to educate them about what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behavior between children and adults. Sadly, pedophiles exist. As parents, be proactive before it's too late.


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