Step 1: Learn the Facts and Understand the Risks
|Step 2: Minimize Opportunity | Step 3: Talk about It | Step 4: Recognize the Signs | Step 5: React Responsibly
Realities, Not Trust, Should Influence Your Decisions Regarding Children
"We live in a beautiful, safe neighborhood. None of these children could be victims of sexual abuse, right?"
It is highly likely that you know a child who has been or is being abused.
Sexually abused children who keep it a secret or who "tell" and are not believed are at greater risk than the general population for psychological, emotional, social, and physical problems, often lasting into adulthood. It is also likely that you know an abuser. The greatest risk to children doesn't come from strangers but from friends and family.
People who abuse children look and act just like every one else. In fact, they often go out of their way to appear trustworthy, seeking out settings where they can gain easy access to children, such as sports leagues, faith centers, clubs, and schools.
“It can't happen in my family. I could tell if someone I know is an abuser.”
Yet, in more than 90% of sexual abuse cases, the child and the child's family know and trust the abuser.29, 33