Together We Can Prevent the Sexual Abuse of Children
What we do today matters for children’s safety tomorrow

April begins Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This month is different from any we have experienced before, and Stop It Now!’s services may be more vital than ever during this time of isolation and anxiety. 

In so many ways, our worries about children’s safety have increased. We worry about their increased time online. We worry about children’s behaviors towards others as their regular supports – educational, physical, and emotional – are less available to them. We worry about youth and adults who are struggling with their own unwanted sexual thoughts and behaviors, and who may become more at risk to cross boundaries as they become more anxious and isolated, and. And we just worry about all the families, who under stress and with limited supports, are managing so many needs and feelings. 

We know that parents are doing everything they can to keep their children safe and to support the safety planning that is already engaged. We want to support families by highlighting the importance of accountability and responsibility for all adults during this time. As we work to help children stay out of harm’s way, we can also speak up when we know about adults or youth who are at risk for causing harm.

For people who themselves may be struggling with safe boundaries and behaviors, and whose own disrupted schedules and structures contribute to their sense of control and regulation, we are available to help you. Our free, confidential Helpline was created to help you plan for safety and find resources that support you in your commitment to safety. We’ve talked, chatted and emailed with thousands of people in your shoes, and we're here for you, too. 

For adults who know an adult or child who are struggling with safe boundaries and behaviors, maybe who is showing warning signs of at-risk behaviors, we’re here to help you speak up safely and compassionately to that person – to offer help and to work together on safety. 

We hope you’ll join us in strengthening our skills and confidence in the conversations we have with ourselves about our own behaviors and those conversations you have with others. We invite you to begin learning more by taking a look at the following Tip Sheets:
Over the next month, we’ll be sharing our latest guidance for families, at-risk adults and providers during this time – all informed by the inquiries coming through our Helpline, the national news and our expert colleagues. Of note, this recent advice column on mindless boundary crossing may help parents and caregivers think through their coping strategies during this time. 

Be sure to follow us on Facebook to see our new video series, coming soon. Our Helpline counselors will be talking through inquiries and providing responses that are particularly germane to our current state of living to help us all navigate safety. 

Please continue to stay safe. We’re here when you need us. 

Jenny Coleman
P.S. We expect an increase in calls in the coming weeks, as this increased isolation puts more children at risk of harm and puts more youth and adults at risk of hurting a child. Please consider supporting our work with a donation – so that we can continue to support you. Your gift will support us through this crisis and sustain the prevention work we do year-round.
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