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.
- 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.
Download a printable brochure by clicking HERE. This information has been provided by the Hearts of Hope Education Director, Val Senegal.