Stop It Now!
Stop It Now! is an international organization based in Northampton, MA, to prevent the sexual abuse of children by mobilizing adults, families and communities to take actions that protect children before they are harmed. Stop It Now! offers adults tools they can use to prevent sexual abuse – before there’s a victim to heal or an offender to punish. Their network of community-based Stop It Now! programs reach out to adults who are concerned about their own or others’ sexualized behavior toward children. Stop It Now! has a national toll-free Helpline (1.888.PREVENT) for adults to voice their personal fears about their own or someone else’s sexualized thoughts or behavior toward children.
Stop It Now! describes the key premises of their work as:
- Adults Stepping Forward
- “We adults–not our children–must be responsible for stopping the cycle of abuse. Counting on children to recognize and report abuse means waiting until a trauma has occurred before anything can be done. While children must be warned and trained about child sexual abuse, expecting them to bear the primary burden of prevention is unrealistic.”
- People Who Sexually Abuse Children Can Stop
- “Contrary to popular belief, sexually abusive behavior can be treated and people who abuse can stop. Really! Experts in the fields of prevention and treatment agree that many people who sexually offend will stop their harmful actions if they are reached, held accountable and receive proper specialized treatment—the earlier, the better. Specialized interventions with children who act out sexually are particularly effective.”
- People Who Have Sexually Offended Live in Our Communities
- “But the reality is, we haven’t identified most of them. People whose names are on the Sex Offender Registry make up only a tiny portion of the people living in our communities who sexually abuse children. Often, those on the Registry have committed themselves to turning their lives around and to never repeating their offense. In many instances, the greater risk is posed by someone we know and love, who in secret, has horribly lost control of their impulses and needs help to stop. Those who are struggling with sexual thoughts about children must be held accountable for their actions. But just as importantly, they need to be given options and support to get help to stop.”
Many community based programs use the Stop It Now! model to develop programming to empower adults to take action to prevent the sexual abuse of children.
Stop It Now! Main Office