Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

These program teach children to identify potential child sexual abuse, learn strategies to escape those situations and define resources for children to get help.

Prevention Child Sexual Abuse: A guide from vawnet.org

"This collection of online resources provides information and tools for caretakers, organizations and communities assuming the responsibility of preventing child sexual abuse. Through basic information on child sexual development, defining sexual abuse, and learning effective strategies we can prepare to take action steps toward prevention."


The National Plan to Prevent the Sexual Exploitation of Children by The National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Exploitation (March 2012)
Excerpt: “All children deserve childhoods free from all manner of sexual abuse and exploitation. Without this safety, we put our future as a society at risk. Fortunately, when we focus on innovative programming and policies, such as those presented in this plan, we lay the foundation for children’s healthy growth and development into adults capable of having healthy relationships and thus reduce the potential for child sexual abuse and exploitation.“ In developing a National Plan to prevent child sexual abuse and exploitation, the National Coalition intends to ensure that the prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation of children gets needed attention not only in legal venues, but also in the medical, faith, business, media, and civic sectors. The National Coalition supports comprehensive prevention strategies, but the National Plan pays special attention to primary prevention and positive youth development—actions that take place before child sexual abuse or exploitation has been perpetrated.”


Concerns Regarding Educating Children About Child Sexual Abuse

Some advocates believe that program that provide education directly to children risks placing the responsibility too much for prevention of child sexual abuse on children themselves. Other programs highlight the role that adults play to prevent child sexual abuse. Programs such as Darkness to Light highlights adult roles, and Stop It Now! highlights different community based perpetrator prevention strategies.



Resources for Preventing and Addressing Child Sexual Abuse

The Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA has developed the resources below as model components for preventing and addressing child sexual abuse. These resources may be helpful in developing a training program for professionals working with children; educating parents, family members and other caretakers; and supporting effective and compassionate responses to reports of child sexual abuse.

Creating Safe Environments: Working to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse: Protect children from grooming behaviors and sexual abuse through education and awareness.

Behaviors of Sexual Predators: Grooming: Understand the stages of grooming to protect children early on from potential sexual abuse.

Incidence of Child Sexual Abuse: Focus on Maryland: Learn about the numbers of children being abused in Maryland and nationwide.

Early Warning Signs and Symptoms of Child Sexual Abuse: Know the physical and emotional signs and symptoms a child may exhibit when they are being groomed or sexually abused.

Appropriate Responses to a Child Reporting Sexual Abuse & Available Resources: Access tips on how to respond to a child reporting sexual abuse and resources in Maryland to help you make an official report, access legal help, and seek support.

MCASA’s Sexual Assault Legal Institute: SALI provides free legal services to survivors of child sexual abuse.

Understanding the Legal System When Your Child Has Been Sexually Abused Booklet: This booklet by MCASA’s Sexual Assault Legal Institute provides basic information about how the legal system responds to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Bullying Resources

Anti-Oppression

  • "Opening Minds to Equality: A Sourcebook of Learning Activities to Affirm Diversity and Promote Equity" by Nancy Schweidewind and Ellen Davidson, http://www.rethinkingschools.org It's not solely focused on violence prevention but on all social justice issues and is very adaptable to be appropriate for all age groups, including early childhood. There just isn't all that much out there for pre-K and elementary school age children that focuses specifically on prevention of gender violence. I've gathered from the school-based prevention work being done in NY State that early childhood administrators and teachers are sometimes more receptive to a prevention curriculum that also addresses race, class, equality and cultural norms rather than one that focuses only on violence. I highly recommend this book as a resource. It goes well beyond what we usually expect from a curriculum. The only criticism I've encountered is that it's actually too much, as in too comprehensive. (Lórien Castelle New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • video Mickey Mouse Monopoly It deals with gender, race and homophobia in Disney films. I know some teachers who have used the film with first and second graders -- just parts of it, guiding the discussion about what the kids were seeing. (Karen Heck, The Bingham Program)
  • Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children (Naeyc (Series), #242.) (Paperback) by Louise Derman-Sparks (Author)