Working Upstream: A Public Health Approach to Preventing the Sexual Abuse of Children
Meeting of the Stop It Now! Expert Panel
April 2002, Washington DC
Since its inception, Stop It Now! has campaigned to bring child sexual abuse forward as a recognizable and preventable public health issue. In April 2002, Stop It Now! brought together some of the most forward-thinking experts to discuss a public health approach to child sexual abuse prevention. Participants came from a variety of related fields: sexual violence prevention, child abuse prevention, child welfare, criminal justice, pediatric medicine, sex offender treatment and management, policy and public health, and individuals impacted by child sexual abuse, including survivors, recovering offenders, and their family members.
In a powerful series of personal statements delivered by each participant, the expert panelists and invited guests committed to taking action to advance the prevention of child sexual abuse. Over the two-day conference that took place at the Public Welfare Foundation in Washington DC, people worked together to identify challenges, and develop ways to work collaboratively on child sexual abuse prevention.
Convening the Expert Panel was one of Stop It Now!’s first steps in promoting public health as a means for preventing child sexual abuse. Among the ideas, goals and aspirations discussed were:
- Recognizing that child sexual abuse is a wide- spread social illness, requiring social action and primary preventioni strategies, and is not just the result of individual or family pathologies.
- Developing pro-active, prevention-based models that address the root causes of abuse on a social systems scale as offered by a public health framework.
- Identifying how abuse occurs along a continuum; moving away from strictly punitive and adversarial relationships with abusers; creating coordinated, multidisciplinary responses that offer them opportunities for treatment and restitution.
- Breaking through the “veil of silence” that surrounds the issue of child sexual abuse.
- Creating new ways of opening institutions and families to ongoing dialogue that acknowledges child sexual abuse prevention as an adult responsibility
- Providing families and institutions with pertinent information and places where they can get it, and people they can talk to.
- Offering support and services to people who need to break the silence.
Former Defense Counsel
|Joan and Kent Haskell
Family affected by child sexual abuse
|Judith Becker, Ph.D.
Professor, University of Arizona
Keith Kaufman, Ph.D.
President, Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers
Executive Director, Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs
Executive Director, Public Welfare Foundation
Robert Burakoff Consulting Services
|Wanda K. Jones, Dr. P.H., ex officio
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Department of Health and Human Services
Executive Director, Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc.
East Hartford, CT
|James Mercy, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Science
Division of Violence Prevention
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Ed Carter & Associates
Bala Cynwd, PA
|Gina Ogden, Ph.D.
Visiting Research Scholar
Wellesley College Centers for Research on Women
|Madeline Carter, M.S.
Center for Sex Offender Managementi
Silver Spring, MD
Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center
|David Chadwick, M.D.
Director Emeritus, Center for Child Protection
Children's Hospital, San Diego
La Mesa, CA
|Mark Rosenberg, M.D.
The Task Force for Child Survival and Development
Supervisory Special Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Child Welfare League of America
Coordinator, Child Abuse Program
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Department of Justice
Director, National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse
American Prosecutors Research Institute
|Lisa Fontes, Ph.D.
Psychology Department, Springfield College
|Organizational affilations as of 2002 are listed for identification purposes.|