For Families

No one wants to imagine that it could ever happen to one of our children. Educate yourself on the facts and make sure that your child does not become one of the unfortunate statistics. Child abuse crosses ALL boundaries and is not limited by ethnicity, geography, or socio-economic standing. The good news is, that if we as responsible adults arm ourselves with the facts, we CAN end child abuse. 

Personal empowerment helps provide adults with the capacity and momentum to take action against child abuse and neglect. With personal empowerment, we can start the conversation, make choices, take risks, and support each other – the foundation of The 5 Steps (see graphic below).

Start the Conversation

One of the best protections is our relationship with children.  Have open conversations with children about body safety and boundaries.  When we talk to children in age appropriate ways about our bodies, sex and boundaries, children understand what healthy relationships look like.  It also teaches them that they have the right to say "no."  The key is to start these conversations when children are young, and have these conversations often.  How do you initiate the conversation?  Download this fun and engaging poster or the Nine Strategies for Beginning the Conversation and use these as a guide when speaking with children. 

Making Choices

We have the ability, both in our organization and in our families, to make proactive choices that protect children and keep them safe from abuse. If we want our children to be happy and healthy, we have to make choices which support that goal.

Taking Risk

Choices often involve some personal risk that takes us outside our comfort zones, like talking to children about sexual boundaries, redirecting an adult who’s crossing boundaries, or making an actual report. Sometimes we have to take risks, even if we are uncertain or don’t know the outcomes, to make sure a child is protected.

Supporting Each Other

When children take their first steps, ride their first bike, or climb into the driver’s seat for the very first time, there is usually someone beside them providing guidance and support. It’s easier to take big steps when you know you have someone on your side, ready to lend a hand if you need it. As communities, as organizations, and as individuals, we can give support to others’ efforts to prevent child sexual abuse, and we can ask for support when we need it.

This Is Only The Beginning

Child sexual abuse is a very complex problem, and these steps touch only on a small part of it. For more in-depth understanding of child sexual abuse prevention, take Stewards of Children training.

The 5 Steps to Protecting Our Children