Stop It Now! Georgia
Prevent Child Abuse Georgia received funding through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Collaborative Efforts to Prevent the Perpetration of Child Sexual Abuse. After considering several options, they decided to become a community based Stop It Now! program. Stop It Now! Georgia launched in 2003. Stop It Now! Georgia initially focused its efforts on Clarke, Laurens and Glynn Counties, expanding to statewide in 2006. In 2008, the program transitioned from Stop It Now! to a program of Prevent Child Abuse Georgia that continued to provide trainings created by Stop It Now! Georgia. Prevent Child Abuse Georgia closed in March, 2011 and is now reorganizing under the auspices of Georgia State University’s Center for Healthy Development.
An evaluation of Stop It Now! Georgia shows that the program contributed a decrease in the incidence of child sexual abuse. Researchers from the University of Kansas Community Toolbox tracked activities by Stop It Now! Georgia including training, distribution of materials, public service announcements and helpline services and compared them to a drop in reported child sexual abuse cases in four of the first five years of the program.
- "Promising Prevention for Sexual Abuse", Children's Bureau Express, May 2012
- Schober, DJ, S. B. Fawcett, S. Thigpen, A. Curtis, and R. Wright, "An Empirical Case Study of a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Initiative in Georgia," Health Education Journal, January 18, 2012; http://hej.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/01/12/0017896911430546
Past Advisory Board/Collaborative Partners
- Georgia Children's Trust Fund Commission
- Georgia Department of Family and Children's Services
- Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice
- Georgia Department of Mental Health (MHDDAD)
- Georgia Department of Public Health
- Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges
- Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles Office of Victim's Advocacy
- Georgia Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers
- Children's Advocacy Centers of Georgia
- Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Stop It Now! Georgia also held focus groups with parents of children with sexual behavior problems in 2005 as part of their planning for outreach to this audience. New materials were also evaluated by focus group.
Stop It Now! Georgia developed 2 advertising campaigns. The first in 2004 focused on encouraging adults to take responsibility for stopping child sexual abuse. The call to action: "Who is Responsible for Preventing Child Sexual Abuse?"
In 2006, they created the It’s Your Call Campaign. This campaign challenged adults to pay attention to gut feelings and speak up about worrying behaviors. "It's Not What I Saw, It's What I Felt."
Stop It Now! Georgia was active in public policy advocacy. A key success was the collaboration with the Georgia Federal Bureau of Investigation to post prevention education information on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s sex offender registry website.
Stop It Now! Georgia concentrated its work on community education and training. Their accomplishments include:
- Train the trainer (TOT) course and institute to educate and support community leaders to speak on child sexual abuse prevention.
- One-page fact sheets based on Stop It Now! guidebooks. The tip sheet format proved popular among parents and professionals and were adopted by other sites. See the latest versions.
- Community Events connected to current film or theater dealing with child sexual abuse. Now! Georgia held numerous community discussions around the film “The Woodsman” and the play “Love Jerry”.
- Faith-based community outreach: Now! Georgia led annual seminars on prevention for faith communities.
In 2006 alone, Stop It Now! Georgia held 15 orientations (277 attendees) and trained 78 community trainers throughout the state via 8 two-day TOTs. These trained trainers trained 75 individuals in their local communities. Community trainers varied in background from community volunteers interested in educating within their faith communities and social networks to prevention professionals wanting to include adult and community responsibility for perpetration prevention in their arsenal of community education - and everything in between to include social service, law enforcement, public health child advocacy centeri staff, and more. Additionally, in FY06 staff trained over 4000 people in various conferences and community education events and disseminated over 60,000 Now! GA brochures.
Stop It Now! Georgia's integration of the Stop It Now! philosophy in the training of the Prevent Child Abuse Georgia helpline volunteers & staff was a critical success for both organizations.