The last few blogs posted here have discussed ways to intercept those who have a sexual interest in children before they act on those feelings. Prevention Coalition members Stop It Now! and ATSA are leaders in this field.
“Back to School” time provides a great opportunity to point out other ways to prevent perpetration. A large number of Prevention Coalition members provide cutting-edge resources on ways parents and children can prevent perpetration. Enough Abuse, Stop It Now!, Committee for Children, Monique Burr Foundation and Darkness to Light all provide simple, proactive steps toward prevention on their websites and in their publications and programs.
At minimum, there are three things that parents should know as they send their kids off to school.
- · You can’t recognize a potential perpetrator just by looking or talking with them. Many perpetrators are charming and appear to be caring and attentive. In fact, many offenders are teachers, coaches, and youth leaders.
- · Potential perpetrators often “groom” children. Grooming consists of seemingly innocent behaviors to gain ongoing access and control over a child. Even for adults, it can hard to determine where positive attention leaves off and grooming begins. Once children have been groomed, they often become compliant victims; they feel they “owe” the perpetrator loyalty.
- · To prevent this all too familiar pattern, parents must, at minimum, learn the facts about child sexual abuse. Information is power. Information gives parents the backdrop they need to take simple preventive steps that will better protect their children.
For the best evidence-informed information about child sexual abuse prevention strategies visit the websites of Prevention Coalition members today.