Child sexual abuse is an adult issue.
One in 10 children in the U.S. will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Darkness to Light believes that adults are responsible for the safety of children and that adults should be taking proactive steps to protect children from sexual abuse. It is unrealistic to think that a child should be responsible for fending off sexual advances by an adult.
The 5 Steps to Protecting Children™ form a framework for preventing child sexual abuse.
They can help you become aware of the scope of the issue, take actionable steps towards both preventing and responding to abuse, and create safer environments for the children in your life. They act as a guide for developing protective behaviors against abuse.
To learn practical ways to effectively implement all five steps, Darkness to Light offers Stewards of Children®, an in-depth training available both online and in-person.
Step 1: Learn the Facts
If we don’t understand child sexual abuse, we can’t end it. It is highly likely that you know a child who has been or is being abused.
Step 2: Minimize Opportunity
Safe environments can help reduce the risk for abuse. More than 80% of sexual abuse cases occur in isolated, one-on-one situations.
Step 3: Talk About It
Talking openly breaks down barriers and reduces stigma. By talking openly about our bodies, sex, & boundaries we can encourage children to share.
Step 4: Recognize the Signs
Signs of abuse aren’t always obvious, but they are often there. Emotional or behavioral changes are often the most common signs.
Step 5: React Responsibly
It’s our responsibility to react appropriately to suspicion, disclosure, or discovery of abuse. Only 4% to 8% of reports of all sexual abuse are false.
5 Steps to Protecting Children
Download the printable 5 Steps poster to post on the fridge, in your office, or anywhere that children are present!
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