Protecting the Sexual Innocence of Children In Youth-Serving Organizations


How do you help your students tell when they don't have the words?

Use the analogy of a stoplight as a conversation starter. This comparison gives your students a means to tell you if someone makes them feel safe, uneasy, or scared without even having to use words. Then you can continue the conversation and limit access appropriately.

Using the concept of a stoplight is a great way for you to start a conversation with your students about how they feel when they are with people and empower them to use those feelings to make choices. It's a positive and light hearted way to give your students permission to tell you or another trusted adult about potential danger when they may not have the words to explain.

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Prevalence of Childhood Sexual Abuse

The prevalence of child sexual abuse has been the focus of researchers for decades. The numbers have been fairly consistent over time, considering the differences in methodologies used and the specific definition of sexual abuse. Studies in the United States report:

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Jaime's Story of Childhood Sexual Abuse

This episode of Survivors With a Purpose (SWAP) features Jamie Romo's inspiring story of overcoming clergy sexual abuse, his journey to spiritual wholeness, and the results of his journey in his book Healing the Sexually Abused Heart.

Read more: Jaime's Story

Cultural Barriers to Protecting Kids

Youth- serving organizations may face many cultural barriers when making a decision to implement a child sexual abuse prevention program or in getting their staff members to report suspected abuse. It's important to recognize these barriers so that you can address them through open discussion with your team. I've provided a list of common barriers below for you to consider. Make note of the ones that apply to your organization, ask others what they think, and begin the dialog about how to overcome these barriers so that you can effectively protect the children in your care.

Read more: Cultural Barriers to Protecting Kids