Public Awareness Campaign
Whether mandated to report suspected child abuse or not, child sexual abuse prevention is the responsibility of every adult in every community in the Commonwealth. However, many adults have no idea about what to do when they suspect a child is being harmed. Others may know what to do, but are hesitant to get involved or to say anything for fear of being wrong. Whatever the reason, the resulting silence allows the harm to continue, almost always with devastating consequences. Increasing public awareness about the existence of child sexual abuse, how it occurs, and what ordinary citizens can do to prevent or to stop it can help to lay the foundation for community and cultural change where the sexual abuse of children is less likely to occur.
To support this statement, comprehensive child sexual abuse prevention information must be as widespread and available as possible. As stated above, public awareness activities have always been an important part of an overall approach to addressing child abuse and neglect issues because such activities have the potential to reach diverse community audiences: parents, prospective parents, other caregivers, children, youth, and the community at large. Knowledge about child sexual abuse at the grass roots level provides a critical and necessary piece of the foundation for abuse prevention efforts.
- To enhance public awareness and support potential adult intervention where instances of inappropriate or harmful behavior towards children are observed or child abuse is suspected or disclosed, the Task Force will work to create a child sexual abuse prevention public awareness campaign with an emphasis on recognizing, responding and reporting.
- The campaign will utilize Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on radio, television and the Internet; short videos and educational programming; press releases; public events focused on various aspects of awareness and prevention; and other strategies to reach as much of the state’s adult population as possible.
- Executive Summary
- How to Read This Report
- Mission & Purpose of Taskforce
- A Brief History of How the Taskforce Was Organized
- The Charge of the Legislative Language
- Key Sections
- Section 1: Developing Policies and Procedures for Child Protection
- Section 2: Screening and Background Checks for Selecting Employees and Volunteers
- Section 3: Code of Conduct and Monitoring
- Section 4: Ensuring Safe Physical Environments and Safe Technology
- Section 5: Recognizing, Responding to, and Reporting Allegations and Suspicions of Child Sexual Abuse
- Section 6: Training About Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
- Additional Considerations
- Applying the Framework: A Five-Year Plan
- Definitions, Acronyms, Glossary
- Legislative Mandate
- Taskforce Committees and Membership
- Guest Presenters
- Schedule of Meetings
- Section-Specific Appendices
- Downloadable Resources
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