Community Awareness Programs

Community Awareness

Defend A Child encourages every community to come together and promote awareness to prevent child sexual abuse.

In Centre County, our Child Protection Collaborative secured a JAG grant in 2012 to train facilitators, to pay for workbooks, and to offer Stewards of Children for 3 years.  The YMCA's connection to Darkness to Light (D2L) (via Redwoods Group) made Stewards of Children a cost-effective choice.  In July 2013, Penn State donated another $94K via United Way to local Steward's of Children efforts.  While PA's YMCA State Alliance is rolling the program out throughout the state, another $115k was donated by Penn State in June 2014.

PA YMCA State Alliance

Stewards of Children "Stewards seems to move people from awareness to action when some other programs focus strictly on awareness", said an organizing member of the collaborative. The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare rates this program as promising research evidence.

Childhelp "Childhelp Chapters and Auxiliaries create a way for community members to join the fight against child maltreatment, make their voices heard and their actions matter. They work hard to bring awareness to the issue and raise funds that will directly benefit the lives of children."

Speak Up Be Safe is a school-based child abuse prevention education program that focuses on child safety. It is an evolution of Good Touch Bad Touch.

Stop It Now! "Stop It Now! has established community-based programs across the US after successfully testing the idea that adults will act to prevent the sexual abuse of children IF they have accurate and balanced information, practical resources – and access to support. "

Project Youth Safety Funded through a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Project Youth Safety is a comprehensive multimedia, multicultural public awareness initiative promoting child and youth safety at the community level.

The Green Dot Social Diffusion Theory demonstrates the power of identifying socially influential individuals to endorse and exhibit targeted behaviors.  Bystander research provides the targeted behavior we want endorsed.  These behaviors include actively intervening in situations that are imminently or potentially high-risk.  Effective means to elicit targeted behavior are also discussed. This body of research provides specific strategies to increase the likelihood that the trained participants will actually intervene when they are in the role of a bystander.

The World Cafe A group of community volunteers employed this discussion method to facilitate child sexual abuse education in Centre County, Pennsylvania

If you are an expert or have experience adopting other prevention programs or workshops that a community should consider, please send us your recommendations.

If you support Erin's Law for your State, the goal is to provide all grade school children with age-appropriate education.

Professionalization of Care

The most significant development transforming America  since  World War  II  has  been  the  growth  of  a  powerful  service economy  and  its pervasive serving institutions. Those institutions have  [commoditized] the care of  community  and  called that  substitution a service. As  citizens  have seen the  professionalized service commodity invade  their  communities, they have grown doubtful of  their common capacity  to care, and  so  it  is  that  we  have  become a careless society, populated by  impotent  citizens and  ineffectual communities dependent on the  counterfeit of  care called human services.

- McKnight (1995)(pp. ix-x)

Peter L. Benson , Nancy Leffert , Peter C. Scales & Dale A. Blyth (1998): Beyond the 'Village' Rhetoric: Creating Healthy Communities for Children and Adolescents, Applied Developmental Science, 2:3, 138-159 #Research

#DefendAChild was created to raise awareness
 and encourage the prevention of child sexual abuse in the United States.