Together We Can Prevent the Sexual Abuse of Children
Conversations in Prevention
Dear Prevention Community,

Whenever I speak about prevention, I put a strong emphasis on hope . I weave it throughout my presentations and trainings , and it is both the beginning and the final step in our list of prevention strategies. I think Now!’s inclusion of hope in child sexual abuse prevention is a significant part of what drew me to this work eight years ago. 

The idea that we’re not powerless against sexual abuse is in itself profound; our dreams of children living free of sexual harm and abuse can be a reality.

Hope is seeded when the idea of powerlessness is challenged. The possibility of change inspires real change in our own behaviors, our own relationships, our own beliefs even. 1 Hope promotes optimistic thoughts and beliefs about overcoming challenges to successfully meet a desired goal. 2   

To be honest, I struggled with what to write in this E-News edition. The seemingly never-ending news of children being hurt – children in detention camps, decades of abuse by powerful people, and so much more – impeded my own sense of hope. I know I’m not speaking only for myself when I say that the times we are living in are challenging, sometimes scary. I find myself wondering how the safety and well-being of children is not treated as a priority, and how the events we hear on the news don’t serve as catalysts for adults to come together to create healthy, safe environments for children. 

My hope falters from time to time, especially these days. But I am re-inspired knowing that asking for help is a demonstration of hope. Hope is a mother asking for help for her daughter, a victim of sexual abuse, so that she can again comfortably hold hands with her friends. And the request for help from the wife of a man who disclosed to her his feelings of attraction for children. And the father who wants to know what to do about warning signs of abuse in his young son. These people reach out for help, all hoping to be agents of change and do the right thing by the children and adults they love. 

Hope persists, even quietly. Asking for help is asking for hope. Participating in training is promoting hope. Learning how to calmly and consciously plan for children’s safety is hope in action. Creating dialog shares and expands hope. 

There wasn’t a big AH-HA! moment when I remembered the importance of hope, and chances are that I will (as so many of us are) be again challenged in my hope that we can create a world where we instinctively and passionately protect children. But today – and tomorrow – my hope continues my work to end child sexual abuse and to bring adults together to courageously and honestly speak up and take actions whenever a child is at-risk. And I continue to hope for kind, compassionate, informed and collaborative approaches to keeping everyone and anyone safe from sexual violence. 

Thank you, as always, for speaking up to keep children safe. With your help, we continue to share the hope that children are protected from any type of harm.

In gratitude,

Jenny Coleman
Quotes of the Month
Thank you for responding so quickly. You not only helped with my concerns about a precious child in my life but you showed concern for me as well. I am feeling scared and overwhelmed. I am determined however to do what needs to be done to stop the abuse. Thank you again. - a worried family member

This was SO helpful!!! I feel so helpless and alone in dealing with my child’s inappropriate behavior and wasn’t sure how to reach out to or where to start. I was reassured that we are on the right path and have resources to help us going forward. And I felt compassion and connection that I so desperately need right now. - a concerned parent
Spotlight: FY 2019 Highlights
June marked the end of our 2019 fiscal year, and we're thrilled to share some of our accomplishments – which you made possible. A few highlights include: 

  • We helped 1,933 people who contacted our Helpline via phone, chat, email or social. These callers committed to a total of 1,435 safety actions to protect children and help the adult and young people who need it. 
  • We published new role-playing videos to model difficult conversations with the adults we love. These videos are the first in a renewed effort for us to expand our video library. 
  • More than 1 million people accessed our online resources, including our revised tip sheet of Fifteen Questions About Your Thoughts and Behaviors that Only You Can Answer, our on-demand training videos and other resources
  • A research article about our Helpline was accepted for publication by Journal of Interpersonal Violence in a special edition on cutting-edge child sexual abuse prevention tactics (due out 10/19). 

Thanks to everyone who liked, shared and donated to support our work! 
We want to hear from you!
How do you stay hopeful about children’s safety?
Conversations to Share
Prevention takes many forms

Three recent papers, from our Canadian colleagues promote the importance of primary prevention, making treatment accessible for individuals with pedophilia and that providing treatment is an ethical issue.
The first, Primary and secondary prevention of child sexual abuse , argues for a public health approach, reviews primary and secondary (both before abuse happens) prevention models – promoting that “The safety of children requires that society stops merely reacting to sexual offences, and instead begins implementing proactive evidence-based strategies that can prevent even initial incidents of child sexual abuse.”
Next, Bioethical issues and Secondary Prevention for Nonoffending Individuals with Pedophilia , address the significant consequences of mandated reporting (referencing Canada’s mandated reporting laws) through a lens that promotes “engaging in secondary prevention programs for people with pedophilia, in order to prevent child sexual abuse, is an ethically responsible and necessary practice”. (Note: in Canada and other non U.S. countries, secondary prevention addresses specific individuals and situational risks before sexual abuse has occurred). 
In the 3rd article, Legal and Ethical Issues in Treating Clients With Pedohebephilic Interests , the authors address the complex ethical and legal obligations, again specific to mandatory reporting laws (and to Canadian laws) and include case vignettes for dialog on practice and “ethical decision-making”.
New resources on adolescent sexuality
The American Academy of Pediatricians has a new site featuring FREE resources to improve awareness and knowledge of sexual and reproductive health care for adolescents and young adults, co-developed with the CDC. Check out
Conversations We're Having
We're presenting. Come see us if you can!
August 27-30, 2019; Orlando, FL
September 16 – 18, 2019; Milwaukee, WI
Stop It Now!’s presentation – 9/17, 3:30pm CT - “I Didn’t Know Where to Go”: A Review of Stop It Now!’s Sexual Abuse Prevention Helpline
New fundraising kit!
Wondering how to get involved? How to support prevention work? Consider fundraising for us. While this may seem to be the least interesting and personal work, it is critically important to us – and fundraising actually is about building awareness about prevention. We’ve put together an online kit with tools and information to build your confidence to both talk about sexual abuse with a prevention lens and to help raise needed support to continue our free Helpline and resource development.
Upcoming Now! Trainings
October Training:
Join us October 29 th and 30 th in New Britain, CT for Circles of Safety: Awareness to Action for Professionals Working with Parents and Professional Caregivers and Train the Trainer for Youth Serving Organizations.
Upcoming webinar:
"Dear Stop It Now! Helpline...I’m afraid my brother is grooming a child." This webinar will share letters from Helpline inquiries about loving someone who is demonstrating at risk warning signs and need next steps. Tuesday, September 10 th, 2019, 2pm – 3pm ET.
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