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Prevent Together Blog!

  • 19 Jul 2018 11:08 AM | Catherine Townsend (Administrator)

    This week Linda Johnson, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, emphasizes how critical it is that child abuse prevention and treatment be nuanced and comprehensive.

    She and the staff at PCAV have successfully approached their Healthy Relationships Project programs with this consciousness. The Project’s three phases of curricula each target and involve a developmentally-distinct child age group within the range of 3- to 14-year olds. The trainings build preventative knowledge and skills through age-appropriate interactive lessons on healthy sexuality and relationships. Their child-focused nature is complemented by resources designed to prepare and connect parents, educators and other community stakeholders to prevent abuse as responsible adults.

    While skills fostered by the Healthy Relationships Project aim to proactively “strengthen children’s empathy, form the foundation for consent,” highlight communication techniques and guide participants to generate lists of people in whom they feel they could confide, Johnson expresses that “we also make it clear that they may choose not to tell, for many different reasons.”

    A trauma-informed understanding of disclosure acknowledges that it’s important that harmed children and teens know, regardless of their decision to vocalize their experience(s), that “it is nonetheless not their fault that sexual abuse has happened to them and/or to others [they know].” By reinforcing the fact that they cannot be blamed, Johnson says the care community works to “prevent guilt that may develop for not telling and [minimizes the growth of] a sense of responsibility for it happening in the first place.”


    In schools receiving Healthy Relationships programming (and representing a total participant population of 623,000), Johnson reported a 64% decline in the sexual abuse of children and youth, across victim age and relationship to perpetrator. Further, over a twenty-four year project lifespan, the number of youth found to have perpetrated sexual abuse year-by-year dropped from 260 in 1992 to 99 in 2016, a 60% decrease.

  • 12 Jul 2018 11:25 AM | Catherine Townsend (Administrator)

    The Six Pillars of Prevention: Preventing Perpetration

    The “Six Pillars of Prevention” is a framework for the prevention of child sexual abuse.

    In July and August 2018, the Prevention Coalition is featuring Pillar #6 on preventing initial perpetration of child sexual abuse and exploitation. This Pillar focuses on recognizing and responding responding to inappropriate behavior by adults and other youth. It also emphasizes community response in the form of bystander intervention. There is an emphasis on intervening with those who are inappropriately attracted to children. This Pillar is especially important as children prepare to go back to school.

    Prevention Coalition member Stop It Now! is featured in July and August 2018 because of its leadership on the tenets of Pillar #6.  Stop It Now! is the only organization that offers an email, chat, and telephone helpline for those at risk of abusing children. The helpline services they provide are excellent for any adult seeking guidance, support and resources to prevent sexual abuse. Visit www.stopitnow.org for more information.

  • 05 Jul 2018 3:16 PM | Catherine Townsend (Administrator)

    The time is now. It’s on all of us to end child sexual abuse before a child is harmed. Prevention must be our focus. And prevention-related policies are vital to changing the way systems work, influencing how people behave, and creating accountability that it will happen.  

    Yet no one policy can do it all. A wide range of policies are needed. That’s why the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation developed Six Pillars for Prevention – to articulate important elements of a comprehensive policy agenda as a tool for communities to use to expand this conversation.  

    Prevention policies should focus on:

    1. Strengthen Youth Serving Organizations (YSOs) Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Capacity

    2. Support Healthy Development of Children

    3. Promote Healthy Relationships and Sexuality Education for Children and Youth

    4. End the Demand for Children as Sexual Commodities

    5. Sustainable Funds for Prevention

    6. Prevent Initial Perpetration of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

    Join us and learn more about ways to expand the conversation and strategic planning around prevention-related policies in communities across the country!

  • 03 Apr 2018 12:28 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Committee for Children is urging families to talk with their children in an age-appropriate way about child sexual abuse through the Hot Chocolate Talk and guiding families through this conversation with easy-to-use, research-based materials. Additionally, Coalition members are invited to use CFC's messaging toolkit to help get the message out about the importance of having this kind of conversation.
  • 25 Aug 2017 8:42 AM | Julie Patrick (Administrator)
    Check out this blog by By Dawn Doran, Acting Director, Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking!

    Read more!

    Recognizing the ever-growing body of research on sex offenders and sexual offending, the Department of Justice's Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) Office developed the Sex Offender Management Assessment and Planning Initiative (SOMAPI). SOMAPI summarizes the current state of sex offender management research and practice and recommends steps to bolster the evidence behind certain strategies used to contain and manage this population.

    The SOMAPI report provides an overview of the extent of sexual abuse in the U.S., explains what we know about the causes of this behavior and how we classify sex offenders, gives recidivism rates for different groups of offenders and reviews what we know about assessing, treating and managing adults and juveniles who commit sex offenses. Adults and juveniles differ significantly in their capacity to weigh the consequences of decisions and control their behavior — as well as their likelihood to reoffend — so the report is divided into two sections: what we know about adults and what we know about juveniles who commit sex crimes.

    Highlights from the SOMAPI report show that most sexual offenses are not reported to law enforcement and, therefore, most sex crimes are not accounted for in official arrest and conviction rates. However, we do know that different types of sex offenders have markedly different reoffense rates. Overall rates of sexual recidivism range from 5 percent after three years to 24 percent after 15 years.

  • 28 Jul 2017 2:44 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Circles of Safety: Safety Planning Through Healthy Sexuality Education Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Chicago, IL

    Join ChicagoCAC for a full-day symposium on preventing child sexual abuse through the lens of healthy sexual development. Registration is limited and expected to sell out!

    Protecting children from sexual abuse means understanding healthy sexuality across all stages of childhood. Through this training, you'll learn about sexual development in children and youth so that you can better discern expected and potentially concerning behaviors. We as providers, parents and caregivers are better able to foster safety and prevent child sexual abuse with this important knowledge.

    This workshop focuses on preventing the sexual abuse of children through:

    • discussion of developmentally expected sexual behaviors in pre-pubescent children
    • raising awareness of the scope of sexual abuse and keys for prevention
    • coaching participants on how to respond to behaviors and promote healthy relationships
    • teaching valuable tools to take back to the children and families you serve
  • 28 Jun 2017 3:45 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)
    Where Is Dylan? is a new tool for preventing the sex trafficking of children in the form of a educational comic book. It was launched in April in New York City by ECPAT-USA in partnership with the Administration for Children’s Services, CauseVision and JCCA. Fifteen thousand copies will be distributed to at-risk youth throughout the City. 

    The comic book focuses on the stories of two young people, a boy named Dylan and a girl named Ashley. It delivers a trafficking prevention message to them in a child-friendly format of pictures and simple vocabulary to capture their attention and make the material accessible to a wide range of reading levels. It is a mechanism for the engagement of NYC youth with a tough topic in a way that is empowering, thoughtful and educational. 

    An educated child is the most practical and immediate deterrent to child sex trafficking. By providing preventive information in this format, the comic book can teach children and youth how to identify traffickers, identify recruitment techniques, and where they can get help. Most of the distribution will take place through New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services but copies are also available through ECPAT-USA. 

    Contact ECPAT-USA at info@ecpatusa.org to inquire about how to receive copies.

  • 31 May 2017 9:16 AM | Julie Patrick (Administrator)

    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health hosted the 2017 Moore Center Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Symposium was held on Thursday, April 27. Catch what you missed now via recordings!

  • 31 May 2017 9:11 AM | Julie Patrick (Administrator)

    Survivors and broader communities want the same things - safety in their homes and neighborhoods. Addressing sexual and domestic violence as a community problem can help shift norms away from victim-blaming and promote the role of communities in prevention. This web conference will explore the role of strong social networks, inclusion and community accountability in sexual and domestic violence prevention and highlight innovative local efforts. Join us to discuss how community level efforts to shift norms and practices for responding to incidents can also support prevention.

    Register for this event at 2pmET/1pmCT/12pmMT/11amPT

    HOST: Ashleigh Klein & Meghna Bhat, PreventConnect and CALCASA

    FACILITATOR: Lisa Fujie Parks & Alisha Somji,  Prevention Institute

  • 31 May 2017 8:42 AM | Julie Patrick (Administrator)

    In this podcast, Anne Kirkner, Katherine Lorenz, and Shannon Harper  from the University of Illinois at Chicago talk about the role of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ breakups among adolescent relationships as possible risk and protective factors and presents teen dating violence prevention implications.

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