The National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation is a collaboration of organizations and experts that exists to:
· Convey positive prevention messaging and communication.
· Advocate for legislation that will effectively prevent abuse and exploitation.
· Encourage collaborative interventions among leading experts and youth serving organizations.
· Support quality research.
· Promote prevention strategies that are evidence informed.
· Strengthen the quality and professionalism of those working in the field.
· Foster funding opportunities for child sexual abuse and exploitation prevention initiatives.
Convey positive child sexual abuse/exploitation prevention messaging and communication.
The Prevention Coalition believes that we must share the message that prevention is not only possible, but doable. The Coalition authored and distributes a highly acclaimed national plan to prevent child sexual abuse in the US. The Coalition is also active in highlighting evidence-based prevention approaches that demonstrate the positive impact of well-designed and tested strategies. The Coalition regularly distributes positive prevention messaging through its social media initiative. Moreover, it strives to support other organizations’ use of this information by making child sexual abuse/exploitation campaigns freely available to organizations and advocates throughout the nation.
Advocate for legislation that will effectively prevent abuse and exploitation.
Legislative changes and government funding are essential to preventing child sexual abuse and exploitation. The Prevention Coalition regularly tracks important legislation and strives to keep its membership and other national organizations informed. The Coalition also endorses key pieces of legislation. In 2019, the Prevention Coalition endorsed three key pieces of legislation.
· The National Child Abuse Coalition’s stance on the re-authorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)
· An appropriation of $2M to the Centers for Disease Control for child sexual abuse research
· The END Network Abuse Act to remove pornography from Department of Defense networks
Encourage collaborative interventions among leading youth serving organizations and experts.
The Prevention Coalition’s members include many of the largest and most influential youth serving organizations in the nation. Our member organizations represent millions of children and families in all 50 states. The Coalition’s membership also reflects experts who have influenced national policy, practice, and prevention through their many years of conducting cutting-edge research, organizational safety consultations, and a broad range of prominent publications (e.g., books, media sources, scientific journals).
The Coalition allows for a very high level of interplay between researchers and representatives of national youth serving organizations. This greatly benefits new directions in youth safety policy. The Coalition’s national experts who conduct research are regularly developing and assessing new policy and prevention approaches to enhance child safety. The Coalition offers a unique opportunity for these researchers to discuss these approaches with representatives of large national youth serving organizations. This interaction often shapes these strategies and at the same time makes them more responsive to the particular needs of youth serving organizations. In some cases, it even leads to national efforts to better understand how we can improve safety.
In 2019, several Coalition experts and organizations completed a foundation-funded study of the types of prevention policies and practices used by some of the largest youth serving organization members. This effort yielded a number of important directions as well as sample policy templates that will soon be made available for use by all youth serving organizations nationally.
Support high quality research that fosters a greater understanding of the problem as well as improved policy, practice, and prevention.
There is still a lot to learn about “what works” in child sexual abuse prevention. To be effective, we must invest in and support quality research.
Currently, the Prevention Coalition is supporting the Centers for Disease Control in their evaluation of prevention strategies in youth-serving organizations.
Promote prevention strategies that are evidence-informed.
The Prevention Coalition believes it plays an important role in communicating high-quality prevention strategies to those in the field. The Coalition is currently partnered with the University of Washington and the Joshua Center to evaluate the perceived effectiveness of evidence-informed prevention strategies in youth-serving organizations. The Coalition prioritizes the sharing of information regarding evidence-based prevention strategies with its membership and the field at large through its regular newsletter and its media outreach efforts.
Strengthen the quality and professionalism of those working in the field.
The Prevention Coalition believes that it is our responsibility to nurture and mentor the professionals that will follow us in the field. The Coalition has initiated a Student Fellows/Internship program to increase student engagement and membership in the Coalition, support student leadership development, and bring in additional voices and perspectives to the field. This program allows a diverse group of promising students a unique professional development opportunity to work in tandem with national leaders on projects consistent with the Coalition’s child safety mission. These projects are broad-based in nature from legislative advocacy and funding to fostering a better understanding of various forms of sexual exploitation/abuse, enhancing professional educations, and encouraging the development of more effective policy and prevention.
The Prevention Coalition’s mission includes advocating for private and government funding of child sexual abuse and exploitation prevention initiatives. In 2019, the Prevention Coalition successfully advocated for federal research funding for the Centers for Disease Control. It’s efforts in 2019 around the CAPTA re-authorization may also result in additional funds for prevention.