As our founder, Adrianne Simeone said when we first began this mission to end child sexual abuse,
"It doesn't take a complex mathematical equation or weapons of mass destruction. It takes people with big hearts and open eyes ready to stand up for these children when they need us most."
Step 1. Am I Educated?
How many girls and boys? 1 in 100, 1 in 25, 1 in 10, 1 in 4?
Do you know how long it takes for children to tell, on average?
Who are the offenders?
Do you know what 'grooming' is?
Do you know the signs of abuse?
Do you know the difference between a predatory offender and a situational offender?
Do you know what you should say to a child if they disclose?
If not, start here.
Step 2. Have I been Courageous Enough To Talk About It?
If you have children, have you talked about it with your pediatrician, your school, your daycare, and youth program directors?
Have you talked with your kids? Most people think they don't need to start until they're closer to puberty, but the reality is that a significant portion of abuse happens before kids begin school. We talk to parents all the time that were too afraid or just unaware. Equally important - talking to kids so they don't abuse other kids. Ignore that reality and we will never stop the cycle of abuse.
Since over 90% of abuse is perpetrated by people we already know - and often trust - with education and better communication, abuse can be preventable and easier to detect. But it won't be unless we are willing to talk about it- within our families, with our friends, and our community.
Step 3. Am I Willing TO Be A Voice In My Community?
Want to start? Here are some ideas:
1. If you have privately run children's advocacy or rape crisis center near you, contact them and ask how you can help.
2. Check out your local library and see what they have for abuse prevention books for parents and children. Ask if they can bring in some new titles and create a display for this April - Child Abuse Prevention Month. ( We have a letter drafted in our free downloads section you can use.)
3. Reach out to your school's parent teacher organization, local day cares or nursery schools, and see if they would be able to help coordinate a distribution of abuse prevention materials to parents. We offer info for parents of babies up to teenagers.
4. Set up pinwheel gardens in your community this April. Your police department, fire station, town hall and other community groups - like a garden club or historic society may provide permission to do so. Get children involved and see if your local paper will print a story about it!
5. Contact your local State Representative about bringing the Enough Abuse Campaign to your county. EAC is about uniting a community to prevent abuse and establishing a network of trainers to provide free abuse prevention seminars to the community.
6. See if Erin's Law has been passed in your state, or other abuse prevention education, or if there are child safety bills that have been presented and are in need of support. Voting is not the only way we can fulfill our civic duty.
7. Work with us! Organize a group to distribute door hangers in your neighborhood. Hang up some of our free downloadable posters on community boards. Organize a group to walk in a parade or set up a table at a community event and distribute prevention education materials and our "My Body Belongs to Me" bracelets for the kids!
You do not need a degree in social work to change the world. All you need is the desire to make the world safer for our kids, and the courage to try.
Do you have an idea? Share it with us!
We will be donating these toolkits to pediatrician offices, daycares, schools etc.
We have set a goal of $10,000 to raise the money necessary to publish our first set of 20,000 toolkits.