Call (or email) the HOTLINE:
|| "Stop It Now!"
Together We Can Prevent the Sexual Abuse of Children
by Bill Murray
EDITOR'S NOTE: Deborah Rice, Exec Director of the "Stop It Now!" non profit, appeared as a special guest on our Internet-based "Stop Child Abuse Now" (SCAN) talk radio show on March 19, 2012. Listed as a "recommended show" it can be found in our Archives, available for "on demand" listening.
The programs of Massachusetts based "Stop It Now!" (www.StopItNow.org) work to move beyond just addressing the impact of child sexual abuse to seek out the root causes and identify ways to prevent abuse before a child is harmed. They also address situations where there is a risk for harm or where harm has likely occurred.
As they say:
|Before a child is harmed…Stop It Now!
When there's risk for harm…Stop It Now!
When harm has likely occurred…Stop It Now!
The "Stop It Now!" web site is chock full of local, national and even international information, program news, calls to action, printed resources and a very full and comprehensive page of Resources and Links, "a wide-ranging listing of resources located in the USA compiled by our Helpline staff for responding to a broad range of concerns."
Among other things, one will find a letter from Deborah Rice, Executive Director of "Stop It Now!", our special guest on our "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk show on Monday, March 19, 2012.
Here's what she writes:
|How Can We Support You to Be a Caring Adult?
I am so glad you found our web site. Whether you are worried about a child or just want to know what you can do to ensure your niece or nephew grows up free of any type of sexual abuse, our goal is to be in conversation with you to support you in being the caring adult in a child's life that makes a difference.
Hold fast in your determination to understand and learn--there is a lot of information here. You are the one who can take this information and make it come alive in your life and the lives of the big and little people you care about.
Let us know how we are doing in meeting your needs. Let us know what works for you. Let us know your ideas for prevention. Over the years, in our conversations with the courageous people who have called our Helpline or written to us, we have listened and learned how to give support and guidance along with useful information and resources.
Join us ...
... as we continue to listen and learn. Give us your time and your support toward the goal of all children being able to grow up healthy, loved and free of sexual trauma.
Deborah Donovan Rice
Here's more from the web site:
Stop It Now! was founded on the belief that adults are in the best position to keep children safe from sexual abuse. By adults, we mean parents, survivors, family members, law enforcement, and professionals of all types. We also believe that people who might sexually abuse a child have an important role to play in prevention. No other prevention program has ever directly challenged all adults to take full responsibility for ending sexual abuse.
Challenging individuals to hold themselves accountable is an important and bold first step towards stopping the sexual abuse of children. But it is not enough. We must broaden the notion of adult responsibility to inspire families and communities to push for a corresponding change in societal attitudes and government policies. As a society, we can't identify effective solutions until we have the courage to face the real problem—people we care about who have lost control.
Stop It Now! relies on the public health model to create programming. Using a combination of research-based public education materials and social marketing campaigns, we seek to change the social climate and foster the prevention of child sexual abuse.
In past public health campaigns, advocates have successfully demanded change in our communities by challenging societal attitudes ("friends don't let friends drive drunk"). Communities have demanded effective public policies which will promote the public health (regulations which prevent smoking in public places). Individuals and communities also have a role to play in preventing the sexual abuse of children.
We believe that sexual abuse of children is preventable. We believe that the best hope for preventing child abuse is by enacting the following policies in our communities:
- Promoting accurate information
- Enhancing services to children who are victims of sex abuse
- Providing specialized treatment programs for sex offenders
- Offering timely sexuality education
- Improving our understanding of behaviors that make children vulnerable
Using the results of interviews and focus groups with survivors, people who have abused children in the past, and the family members of both, we have been developing:
- Sharply focused prevention education materials
- Media messages
- Training tools
- Community-based program strategies
These tools are designed to motivate and support adults to step forward, to speak up, and take action to protect children. With the help of all adults, we have been working to identify, refine and share ways that adults and communities can effectively intervene to protect children and get help for everyone involved.
Stop It Now! has established community-based programs across the US. Together with our sister organization, in the UK & Ireland, Stop It Now! successfully tested the idea that adults will act to prevent the sexual abuse of children IF they have accurate and balanced information, practical resources – and access to support.
Stop It Now! provides a place for adults to voice questions and concerns about child sexual abuse and gives them and their communities the resources to take action. This includes sharing information about setting standards for respectful behavior in our families, with friends and in our communities that promote healthy behaviors that protect children.
We think you'll agree that the efforts of Stop It Now!, founded in 1992 by child sexual abuse survivor Fran Henry, are a wonderful example of how the community can make a big difference in the fight to decrease the statistics of child abuse, and improve the quality of life.