Stories of sexual abuse in our community can leave us feeling fearful and powerless. But we can turn our outrage into action. Prevention is the answer.
One of the best ways to reduce child sexual abuse is the education of responsible adults. Imagine a community where adults are working together to change a cultural norm – from one where child sexual abuse is shrouded in fear and denial and children are easy targets to one where every child is better protected through openness and education. Now is the time for our communities to be intentional and steadfast in their protective behaviors, so that all children can grow up healthy and whole.
A successful initiative includes increased awareness, sustainable funding, and ongoing education. Initiatives are different from community to community and should reflect that community’s needs. For the broadest impact, all geographical areas, demographic groups, and all types of youth-serving and other civic and community organizations should be given the opportunity to participate in the prevention efforts.
Successful Initiatives Typically Include:
- A lead organization spearheading the prevention initative
- A full time paid prevention specialist at the lead organization dedicated to the success of the effort
- A community coalition of professionals and other concerned individuals who “make it happen”
- Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children® training program and a network of facilitators who carry out the training
- An exciting and inspiring goal that can engage and motivate the community
- Funding necessary to carry out and sustain the initiative
- Public awareness programs including media and other special events
Five Core Groups:
- Schools & education (K-12 and Higher-Ed, public and private)
- Faith centers
- Youth serving organizations
- Youth sports organizations