Stop It Now! prevents the sexual abuse of children by mobilizing adults, families and communities to take actions that protect children before they are harmed.
We provide support, information and resources to keep children safe and create healthier communities. Since 1992, we have identified, refined and shared effective ways for individuals, families and communities to act to prevent child sexual abuse before children are harmed - and to get help for everyone involved.
Adults engage in respectful, caring behavior with children and other adults to create safe, stable and nurturing relationships for all children. Children grow up free of trauma from any form of violence including sexual abuse and exploitation.
Help Services - Provides direct help to individuals with questions or concerns about child sexual abuse. We offer help for specific situations through a confidential national prevention Helpline (1.888.PREVENT) and email service, an interactive Online Help Center, and a new advice column called Ask Now!.
Prevention Advocacy - Advocates for the sexual abuse of children to be addressed as a public health priority, encourages increased investment in a full range of prevention strategies, and provides evidence-based information to media, policymakers and advocacy groups.
Prevention Education - Develops, assesses and distributes educational materials through our website, publications, trainings, events and media campaigns. These help laypeople and professionals recognize harmful behavior and know how to take action – including where to get resources for action.
Technical Assistance and Training – Provides consulting and training services to professionals, organizations, coalitions, and community-based programs on strategies, policies and practices for preventing child sexual abuse. As part of strategic partnerships, we consult long term with groups that are adapting key elements of our adult-responsibility, community-based program model.
Stop It Now! was founded by Fran Henry, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who learned first hand that standard approaches to keeping children safe from child sexual abuse at that time did not respond to the complex relationships surrounding most abuse.
Her vision? To have the sexual abuse of children recognized as a preventable public health problem, to make helping adults take responsibility to prevent and stop sexual abuse of children a main focus of prevention, and to create effective programs based on these principles.
This vision has been realized through the work of Stop It Now! and its 20 years of innovative programming has shown that:
- Adults will act to prevent abuse, if they have access to accurate information, practical tools, guidance and support
- Communities will mobilize around prevention initiatives, including efforts that address the complexities of abuse closer to home.
Stop It Now! has made significant and permanent contributions to the fields of public health, child abuse prevention, and crime prevention. These include pioneering a focus on adult responsibility for child sexual abuse prevention, successfully developing and replicating community-based prevention program, and collaborative work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Learn more about our accomplishments.
Our Approach: using research to inform practical, balanced solutions
Stop It Now! has a unique, steadfast commitment to the input and involvement of all adults impacted by childhood sexual abuse. Our approach is developed and refined through market research. We conduct interviews and focus groups with sexual abuse survivors, adults in treatment for sexually abusing children, family members, and professionals who research and work with both victims and offenders.
Stop It Now! does not fall back on easy, black and white solutions to what is perhaps, our society’s most taboo yet widespread issue. Instead, our strategies, messages, materials and services attempt to balance the rights of victims and their families with appropriate and effective accountability and help for people who harm children – over 30% of whom are other minors themselves.
Our efforts are guided by this understanding: to truly prevent harm to children, all adults need to accept responsibility for recognizing, acknowledging and confronting behaviors that lead to abuse. More importantly, any long-term prevention strategy must change societal norms, so the sexual abuse of children is not tolerated and appropriate forms of help, support and accountability are provided to child victims and adult survivors, those who sexually abuse children, and the families of both.
Read more about our approach.
Consistent with a public health approach, Stop It Now! uses current scientific research, original market research, and program tracking and evaluation to develop its programs. Using a variety of methods - from focus groups to public opinion surveys to meta-analyses - and cooperating with leading researchers, we continue to build the evidence base needed for practical and effective prevention programs and materials.
Read more about our research.