7 STEPS TO PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN IN OUR COMMUNITY

1. Learn the Facts

-It is likely that you know a child who has been or is being abused.
-It is also likely that you know an abuser. The greatest risk to children doesn’t come from strangers but from friends and family.
-70% of all reported sexual assaults that occur are children under the age of 17.
-Most child victims never report the abuse.

2. Minimize Opportunity

-Eliminate or reduce any 1 adult/1 child situations.
-Teach boundaries.
-Monitor internet use & keep the computer in the family room.

3. Talk About It

-Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it.
-Understand why children are afraid to “tell.”
-Know how children communicate.
-Talk to other adults about child sexual abuse.

4. Stay Alert

-Watch for physical and emotional signs (listed above).
-Behavioral or emotional signals are more common than physical signs.
-Be aware that in some children there are no signs ever.

5. Make a Plan

-Don’t overreact.
-Support.
-Report incident.

6. Act on Suspicions

-Trust your instincts – very few reported incidents are false.
-Call the Children’s Advocacy Center in your area if you have questions or concerns about making a report.
-Call Law Enforcement or the Department of Child & Family Services to make a report of child abuse.

7. Get Involved

-Volunteer or financially support organizations that address child sexual abuse.
-Call or write your Congressman.
-Support legislation.

For more information on the "7 Steps to Protecting Our Children", visit: www.d2l.org

To schedule a staff training or continuing education session, please contact our education Director:

Val Senegal,MA  val.senegal@theheartsofhope.org