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Circles of Safety©

Confident, comfortable and ready to act, not words generally associated with the topic of child sexual abuse.

And yet, this is exactly what participants from universities across the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) tell us upon completion of the Circles of Safety© trainings.  To find out more, visit our Circles of Safety© in Higher Education section.

About Circles of Safety©

Core to the Stop It Now! holistic approach to prevention is conversation--direct communication about sexual victimization of children and how to prevent or stop it. For 22 plus years, Now! has been talking with adults and assisting them to take action on behalf of a child whether through our Helpline services, our website or through training and technical assistance. 

Now! knows that adults need to be accountable for keeping children safe--adults are the ones who can make changes in environments to make them safer. Circles of Safety© addresses the need for system-wide, proactive prevention, by calling on decision-makers to acknowledge the need for effective, practical tools to safe guard children whether on a college campus, in an after-school program or other setting where adults and children interact.

Colleagues leaving the training will become highly informed individuals who will be prepared to integrate this 'new information' within their sphere of influence both on and off campus. - Kathleen Howley, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic & Student Affairs, PASSHE

How Circles of Safety© Works

The Circles of Safety© program prepares multi-disciplinary teams to have the know-how and the commitment to prevention that lead to policy and practice changes which imbed effective prevention into their settings. Our curriculum is designed to help adults increase their own confidence and comfort level in taking  preventive action steps, while supporting and guiding teams and individuals in developing safety  plans, codes of conduct, and institutional cultural changes. Circles includes a pre-training orientation and preparation for organizing the team, a two-day training session customized to the setting and a follow-up consultation. To find out more, visit our Circles of Safety© in Higher Education section.

Effectiveness

With the stated goal of bystander mobilization, Stop It Now! and Prevention Innovations Research Center of the University of New Hampshire joined in a collaboration to customize and evaluate Now!’s Circles of Safety© curriculum for utilization with higher education community members. Preliminary evaluation results, provided by the researchers, show statistically significant positive outcomes reported by training participants on a number of knowledge and attitude changes.

These include:

  • Statistical knowledge relating to victims of child sexual abuse (CSA)
  • Knowledge about who can be a perpetrator of CSA
  • Feelings of certainty and comfort level in abilities to prevent or intervene in situations where a child is at risk for sexual abuse on campus
  • Overall levels of confidence, comfort, and knowledge about recognizing the warning signs of adults’ behavior that could indicate that an adult may have sexual interest in children or has inappropriate boundaries with children
  • Reporting of the intent (likelihood) to engage in behaviors to prevent and intervene in situations of CSA on campus
  • Agreement with statements choosing to say to or do something about someone acting inappropriately around a child or children

Preliminary results of behavior changes are expected in late spring of this year. Please check back for new information.