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

Stop It Now! has been busy. As life is ever shifting, and as we all continue to think about our connections to each other – through the COVID pandemic, through the US political landscape, and through the impact of race, power and privilege – we grow even more aware of how we need to speak up to prevent harm. We remain committed to encouraging and deepening the difficult conversations we still need to have in order to create the safest environment for all of us, and particularly for our children and youth. 

This week, we kicked off our first Circles of Safety virtual classroom series with Awareness to Action. We’re thrilled to see folks from around the globe joining us to learn how to practice prevention in their youth serving environments – from the Virgin Islands to Iceland. While COVID has wreaked havoc on our lives in so many ways, it has pushed us to expand our pathways to information and guidance. Offering remote training allows more people from farther away to engage in these trainings, and we can’t wait to report on how it goes!

Take care and be well,

Jenny Coleman
Director, Stop It Now!
Newly Updated Resource: Let's Talk
Our guidebook Let’s Talk, first published in 2004, has served as one of our most significant contributions to helping adults have difficult conversations about sexual abuse with people they care about. Specifically geared to helping people bring up concerns about someone’s behaviors towards children, this guidebook has supported thousands of people over the years to talk about concerns they have in compassionate and non accusatory ways that make it clear that children’s sexual safety is a priority and that risks to that are everyone’s responsibility. Elaine Spangler, whose story as the spouse of a man convicted of sexual abuse we've shared, supported the revision of this guidebook and we were grateful to engage the original author, Joan Tabachnick, for the revision work. The new Let’s Talk has more guidance to prepare folks to have these conversations, including practice language and communication tips. We hope you’ll share this resource widely.
FY20 Annual Report
We invite you to read our FY20 annual report. From numerous conference presentations to our Rapid COVID Response, we made it our goal to share our experience, knowledge and information when people needed it most. A special thank you to all our donors and funders whose contributions made all the work of FY20 possible.
Quote of the Month
“This was so much help. Thank you for helping me direct my racing thoughts! I want to be an advocate for both my children, and this helped me get started on that path.” - A parent concerned about behaviors between her sons
Spotlight: Ad Campaign Results
In the initial days of the COVID shutdown, we enhanced our reach to focus on adults who needed support and help to prevent their own potential abusive behaviors, with increased efforts to support this group through the isolation and stress of the ongoing pandemic.

In June, we launched an ad campaign to reach people who are concerned about their own thoughts and behaviors. This project was funded by an individual donor with specific requests to reach this audience with additional resources, and we chose to advertise on porn websites, targeting adults at the moment they may be concerned about the sexual thoughts and behaviors they were having about children and teens. With modest funding, we were pleased by our results. The ads were seen 2,266,356 times (impressions) by people who searched for porn terms, and subsequently, the ads were clicked 8,188 times. 

Our goal is to “catch” people early, who are struggling with their behaviors, including their thoughts and feelings towards children, but who are still on a precipice – deciding what to do. We want to be there to help them make safe and harm-free decisions and introduce them to the options for support and responsibility.
Conversations to Share
Prevention requires accurate information and resources

Protecting a child from sexual abuse shouldn’t be controversial; it’s safe to say that good people want children safe from sexual harm. What becomes controversial is how we perceive what words and actions are helpful to keeping children safe. We have observed the QAnon fostered notion that there is a plot to cover up a vast child sex trafficking plot and pedophile ring. A trending hashtag - #SaveTheChildren - has been shared and posted by many followers of QAnon. 

While encouraging all of us to speak up and become aware of opportunities to prevent sexual abuse, this hashtag and method is being used to foster fear, promote incorrect information and for purposes other than prevention. It is using children’s safety to gather support for other beliefs and behaviors for separate personal gains. It also risks sabotaging organizations who are trusted allies in ending child abuse and exploitation. Organizations and groups who are reputable and who promote evidenced based prevention practices, policies and behaviors do not support this campaign.

The Save the Children charity is not affiliated with this QAnon encouraged movement and has issued this statement. Please also look at these statements from KidSafe Foundation and from to learn more. We also invite you to read the following commentaries, knowing that while this may contradict some of our prevention community members’ understanding and beliefs, we feel it’s important to offer up these viewpoints: The truth behind QAnon and Performative Rage Over Pedophilia Doesn't Protect Kids. Please promote safe and accurate prevention strategies - pass this information on to others committed to children's sexual safety. 
Conversations We're Having
Registration is open!
We'll be hosting another Virtual Classroom Series - Circles of Safety: Awareness to Action and a Training of Trainers for youth-serving organizations next spring. We'll be offering two sessions of the Awareness to Action training, and one Training of Trainers session:

  • Awareness to Action Session 1 Dates: 3/24, 3/31, 4/7, 4/14 (all Wednesdays), 10am - 1pm ET
  • Awareness to Action Session 2 Dates:  3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/15 (all Thursdays), 1pm - 4pm ET
  • Training of Trainers Program Dates: 4/22, 4/29, 5/6 (all Thursdays), 1pm - 4pm ET
Bring Circles of Safety to your organization
Circles of Safety provides professional caregivers and youth-serving organizations with the tools, support and training to create safer environments for both the children and families they serve, and for their staff and programs. Adaptable to any youth-serving environment, Circles of Safety brings education and information together with confidence and skill building activities to prepare adults to speak up and prevent sex abuse.

For information on how to bring Circles of Safety to your organization or host a Circles of Safety Training for your professional network, email
New Advisory Council Member
Stop It Now! is pleased to announce Nicole Epps as our newest Advisory Council member. Nicole joins us from the World Childhood Foundation USA, where she will be assuming the role of Executive Director in 2021. Welcome to the Stop It Now! team, Nicole!
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