We know that child sexual abuse can be prevented—so our approach emphasizes prevention by establishing an understanding of what abuse is, how to recognize it, and how it occurs. We begin with a basic tutorial on the numbers and types of child sexual abuse victims—both nationally and in Massachusetts—and provide state-specific definitions of the different kinds of child abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
Then, we highlight the physical and behavioral symptoms exhibited by children/youth who are being subjected to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Since the onset of these symptoms typically occurs when abuse has already taken place, prevention strategies must account for precursor or “grooming” behaviors exhibited by those who would harm children and youth—a prime focus for intervention.
About Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
A comprehensive child abuse prevention framework is a proactive one. It aims to identify and prevent child abuse before it occurs, or ensures its earliest possible detection and reporting.
Our Safe Kids Thrive Framework
The elements of a proactive framework include:
- Policies and Procedures
- Screening, Hiring and Criminal Background Checks
- Codes of Conduct
- Monitoring Behavior
- Safe Physical Environments and Safe Technology
- Responding and Reporting
- Education and Training (for Adults and Children)
Safe Kids Thrive provides details on how these elements prevent child maltreatment, requirements and best practices that make them effective, strategies and tools to create and sustain them, and ways to maximize their effectiveness by tailoring them to meet the needs of Massachusetts’ youth-serving organizations of every type, size, and population.
Our framework is supported by additional elements that contribute to the effectiveness and sustained success of prevention, including:
- Child protection teams
- Community partnerships
- Measurement, analysis, self-audits, and organizational sustainment actions
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Customized child sexual abuse prevention guidelines to meet the unique needs of any organization that serves children.
- Evidence-informed guidance
- Actionable prevention steps
- Keeps track of your progress
- Tailored learning tracks