Enough Abuse Campaign

In New Jersey, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will fall victim to child sexual abuse before the age of 18.  State data reports that 80% of child sexual abuse cases are never reported to authorities. PCA-NJ is leading the statewide effort to educate adults about the nature and scope of the epidemic and equipping them with valuable skills to prevent child sexual abuse. One of the barriers to preventing child sexual abuse is helping parents learn the true facts about child sexual abuse and steps they can take that protect their children. This includes teaching parents that the real risk to their child is someone they know and trust and who has access to their child in a one-on-one situation. It includes information about steps that perpetrators take to find possible victims, called “grooming” and how parents can intervene.

PCA-NJ was selected out of 26 applications submitted by organizations nationwide to replicate the most effective child abuse prevention model in the country, the Enough Abuse Campaign, with support from the U.S. Center for Disease Control. In 2011, the Campaign was selected by US Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect as one of 12 strategic projects in the country working to end child maltreatment. PCA-NJ has taken the lead statewide by launching the first of its kind program which is training volunteers in communities in the state: Bergen County, Mercer County, Gloucester County, Warren/Sussex Counties and Newark. Since 2011, the goal of the project has been to educate thousands of parents throughout these regions on proven ways to protect children from sexual abuse.

We have also brought together the State’s top experts in the field to help design new policies and practices to strengthen prevention of child sexual abuse so we can stop it from ever happening. Ideas include working with pediatric practices statewide to engage doctors in our effort and to provide new training for youth-serving organizations.

Various Trainings Are Described Below

Enough Abuse: Strategies for Your Family and Community

Enough Abuse: Strategies for Your Family and Community is the Campaign’s core training curriculum. This training can be adapted to meet the needs of the audience, level of expertise of participants and time.  The curriculum is divided into three major sections:

  • Understanding child sexual abuse as a public health problem (definitions, statistics, preventing perpetration vs preventing re-victimization, etc.);
  • Conditions that support child sexual abuse (social messages, secrecy tactics, consequences);
  • Preventing child sexual abuse (education, advocacy, communication, etc.).

LENGTH: 2 hours

AUDIENCE: Schools, PTA/Os, Community Groups

Understanding & Responding to the Sexual Behaviors of Children

Understanding & Responding to the Sexual Behaviors of Children is an interactive workshop designed for parents, early education and care professionals and others who have contact with children and/or their families.

Several scenarios are presented describing sexual behaviors of children that participants might witness in their homes, in day care settings, schools and other youth-serving organizations. Small group discussions give participants an opportunity to apply their new knowledge about how to assess and respond to these behaviors in ways that model good communication, empathy and accountability. These responses can help build protective factors in children so that their risks to be victimized or to perpetrate sexual abuse can be reduced.

Attendees will increase their knowledge and skills to:

  • identify “developmentally expected” sexual behaviors of children and youth;
  • distinguish developmentally expected behaviors from those that might be inappropriate, coercive, abusive or illegal;
  • respond to all sexual behaviors in ways that promote healthy development of children and that support bystanders who may be affected.

This presentation is based on concepts developed by Gail Ryan of the Kempe Children’s Center in Colorado. A nominal materials fee will be assessed for larger groups.

LENGTH:  2 hours

AUDIENCE:  Schools, Early Childhood Educators, Youth Serving Organizations

She Did What, He Said What

The training is for Early Childhood Educators who work with children ages 0 to 5. This training:

  • demonstrates a model for responding to sexual behaviors to promote healthy child development and prevent child sexual abuse;
  • draws upon the latest research on child sexual abuse prevention;
  • provides new information and strategies about how to increase early education professionals’ skills and confidence in responding proactively to issues of sexual development and sexual abuse.

LENGTH: 2 hours

AUDIENCE: Schools, Early Childhood Educators, Youth Serving Organizations

It’s Not Just Jenna

It’s Not Just Jenna is an 18-minute video co-produced by Massachusetts Citizens for Children and Alvid Productions to educate middle and high school youth, their parents and other youth-serving professionals. The accompanying 30-slide “Learning and Discussion Guide” presentation promotes and facilitates post-viewing discussion about the lessons Jenna’s story teaches us about child sexual abuse and how to prevent it. A “faith-community” version is also available that includes comments from Jenna’s parents about the role their faith played in addressing the issue.

The learning goals of this video and discussion are to educate participants about:

  • Behavior signs to be aware of in adults that might indicate they pose a risk to children and teens;
  • Ways sexual abusers “groom” or establish trust with potential victims and their families;
  • Behavior signs to look for in children or teens that may indicate they are being or have been sexually abused;
  • Reasons that make it difficult for victims or child sexual abuse to tell;
  • How to respond if we see behavior signs in an adult that indicate they might pose a risk to children and teens;
  • How to respond if we see behavior signs in a child or teen that raises concerns they may have been or are being sexually abused.

LENGTH: 2 hours

AUDIENCE: Schools, PTA/O’s, Community Groups

Youth Serving Organization Curriculum

Every year, an estimated 35 million adults come into contact with more than 70 million children in youth-serving organizations. The missions vary, but the common purpose is to support children while giving them guidance and opportunities. However, the same factors that create a nurturing environment for children may also increase their vulnerability to sexual abusers.

Strategies needed to keep youth safer must be tailored to fit an organization’s circumstances, mission and resources. These include, but are not limited to:

  • legal requirements
  • physical space
  • the children’s unique vulnerabilities (e.g., special needs)
  • the organization’s leadership

For many organizations, knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. This training and accompanying brochure offered by the Enough Abuse Campaign can help you decide how to proceed.

LENGTH: 2 hours

AUDIENCE: Schools, Early Childhood Educators, YM/WCA and CYO Staff, Camp Counselors