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Help & Guidance

Talking about sexual abuse is hard, especially when you care about the people involved. We’ve compiled specialized resources that will help you learn how to speak up about your concerns and take the next steps toward a healthier, happier tomorrow.

Worried About An Adult’s Behavior

Someone you love or care about may be acting in ways that worry or confuse you. Maybe you’ve noticed inappropriate behaviors that have a sexual tone or make others feel awkward, nervous, or embarrassed. Or, you might know of current sexual abuse, possibly involving child pornography that must be stopped. Learn More

Adult’s Behaviors with Children and Youth

Child sexual abuse is almost always a gradual process, not a single event. The more you understand about how and why it happens, the more effective you can be at preventing or stopping it. We can help you make a plan now to step in before a child is harmed or protect a child from further harm. Learn More

Children’s Behaviors

It is often uncomfortable to talk about children and their own sexual behaviors but early involvement and intervention in children’s sexual development ity and sexual behaviors is crucial. Children’s sexual behaviors are most often very different than adult’s sexual behaviors. Learn how to respond to children’s sexual behaviors so that every child is protected, supported and cared for. Learn More

Worried about Your Own Thoughts and Behaviors

At Stop It Now! we receive many inquiries from adults who are worried about their sexual thoughts and feelings towards children, and who want to take responsibility for keeping children safe. Recognizing a sexual behavior problem in yourself can feel frightening and lonely. Being honest with yourself about risky behavior is the first step towards staying safe. Learn More

Adult Who Experienced Sexual Abuse in Childhood

Adults who have had experiences of sexual abuse as children need and deserve a chance to speak about their experiences with those who understand and can help. Survivors of child sexual abuse can also play a critical role in the prevention of further abuse to other children. If you or someone you love needs support to recover, now is the time to reach out for help. Learn More

Community

If you work with children and teens, you have a critical role in protecting children and creating a positive setting for children to be healthy and happy. We can help you with the knowledge, resources and support you need to create safe environments for youth. This includes knowing when and how to step in when you see inappropriate behavior. You may be the only one who recognizes warning sign behaviors and is in a position to take steps to keep a child safe from sexual abuse. Learn More

Frequently Used Resources

Choose from the resource lists below to help with specific situations, as compiled by our helpline.

Get Help Now!

Email the Helpline Now!
Get a response to your questions by email.

Call the Helpline Now!
Talk to someone by calling 1.888.PREVENT.

Visit the Online Help Center Now!
Find answers to your questions.

Schedule an Appointment Now!
Choose a time to talk to someone.

Or choose from the lists to the left for Frequently Used Resources Lists compiled by our Helpline.

Important Note: Resources that are self-help groups online or in person are not professionally managed, and are not a replacement for professional and specialized treatment. If you utilize a self-help group and/or online support community, it is important to review the group or website’s information to see whether their mission and activities match your needs in a healthy and beneficial manner. Any resource referral does not constitute an endorsement by Stop It Now! of the activities or views of that individual or organization.

Healing and Support for Children and Parents

It's important for parents and other adults to provide children who have been sexually abused with the support and resources they need to heal and recover. The sexual abuse of a child can be devastating for both the child and the family, but help is available for both. Children are resilient and not all children who are sexually abused will need therapy. However, a professional experienced in working with children and family members impacted by sexual abuse can often help everyone talk about the experience and find positive ways to move forward.

Often there are questions about a child's concerning behaviors without knowing for certain what is causing those behaviors. Professional counselors can help parents and children assess what is needed and help plan for safety and health.

Help a child who has been sexually abused or has behaviors that raises concerns or questions:

Resources: 

Childhelp (1.800.4ACHILD)

Provides 24/7 assistance in 170 languages to adults, children and youth with information and questions regarding child abuse. All calls are anonymous and confidential. 

Community based and professional assistance through member organizations of the Children's Alliance.  Provides forensic interviews, treatment, medical examinations and more using a team and family

National Children's Alliance

Community based and professional assistance through member organizations of the Children's Alliance.  Provides forensic interviews, treatment, medical examinations and more using a team and family-driven model.

SAMHSA Mental Health Services Locator (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrator)

Resource directory to locate mental health services across the US

Where to Find Help for Your Child: Article

Information on locating mental health and treatment resources for children.

Mothers of Sexually Abused Children

An online resource and support site for mothers whose child or children have been sexually abused.

Parenting a Child who has been Sexually Abused: A Guide for Foster and Adoptive Parents (Child Welfare Information Gateway)

Information to help parents of sexually abused children respond to their children in healthy parenting ways

Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute Reading Resources (Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute)

Books and literature on child sexual abuse

Healing and Support for Adult Survivors

If you are an adult survivor of child sexual abuse, you may face many challenges as you engage in the recovery process and heal. The tasks of daily life may sometimes be a trigger for you. You may experience problems with common activities and relationships that other adults who were not sexually abused don’t face. Here are some resources that can help adults face and overcome obstacles that can often result directly from sexual abuse experienced as a child. 

You can heal.

Any adult who was sexually abused as a child deserves support and professional help to have safe places to talk about his or her experience, and to begin the process of recovery and healing.  Support and professional help is available through online support groups, with community based peer led support groups and through personal 1:1 therapy.

For Partners And Friends

If you are the partner and friend of someone who was sexually abused in childhood, you can be an important part of their recovery, and resources are available for help to you as a supportive adult.

Help is available.

  • Visit the Adult Survivors page in our Online Help Center for more detailed guidance and information.
  • See additional resources below.

Resources: 

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)

 National Sexual Assault Hotline - 1.800.656.HOPE

SAMHSA Mental Health Services Locator ( Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA))

Resource directory to locate mental health services across the US.

1in6.org

Resources and help for men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood.

Male Survivor: Support, Treatment, and Advocacy (Male Survivor)

Support, treatment, and advocacy for male survivors of abuse.

Yes I Can

Online supports for survivors of sexual abuse, including free and facilitated online support groups.

Survivors of Incest Anonymous

Provides support and resources for anyone who has been affected by child sexual abuse.

isurvive

An online forum and support resource for survivors learning to thrive.

Black Sexual Abuse Survivors

National support designed specifically for African-American men and women who were abused as children.

Partners of Adults Sexually Abused as Children

 Peer support for partners of adults sexually abused as children.

Support for Partners

Support and information for partners of an adult survivor of child sex abuse.

Recovery and Support for Adult Survivors and Their Families: Book List (Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute)

Book list on healing and recovery for adults sexually abused as children

Survivor Manual

Resources on healing and recovery.

Children and Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems

You can help a child who has sexual behavior problems.

If you know a child and youth who demonstrates sexual behavior problems, you can help them to learn new healthy and safe behaviors. It's important for parents and other caregiving adults to act promptly to address a young person's sexual behaviors.  Treatment providers who specialize in children's sexual behaviors can help both the child and the family address and change at-risk behaviors, as well as design safety plans to help the family maintain a safe environment.

Children and youth engage in sexual problem behaviors for often very different reasons than adult offenders. Behaviors that are sexual and harmful in youth may be a result of other issues such as impulsivity, social skill deficits, family trauma, etc.  Qualified youth treatment provider can make assessments to help determine the nature of the behavior.  

Besides looking for specialists in children's sexual behaviors, it is important to look for youth treatment providers that are:

  • Accessible
  • Affordable (accepted by guardian's insurance if applicable)
  • Understands child/adolescent development
  • Experienced in working with families
  • Reputable

Treatment for children and youth is dependent on family involvement and commitment. With education, support and treatment, children and youth can learn new behaviors that are healthy and safe. It's important to get children and youth  professional treatment and help.

Learn more:

Many parents also find help and guidance in PARENTtalk, a previous Stop It Now! publication for parents who share the experience of parenting a child with sexual problem behaviors.

Resources: 

NEARI Press (The New England Adolescent Research Institute (NEARI))

Online training workshops.

Children with Sexual Behavior Problems: Fact and Information Page (Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers)

Information about Children with Sexual Behavior Problems.

Understanding Children's Sexual Behaviors: Guidebooks

Guidebooks on healthy sexuality development by Toni Cavanaugh Johnson, PhD, an expert in children's sexual behaviors

Sex-Specific Therapy Referrals (Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute)

Resource listing for treatment providers specializing in sex-specific therapy.

Treatment Referrals (Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers)

Referrals for treatment for adults or youth who have sexually offended.

Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute Reading Resources (Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute)

Books and literature on child sexual abuse.

Sex Specific Treatment for Youth: Article (Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute)

Information on what sex specific treatment can offer youth with sexual problem behavior

Where can I go for help?: Article

Provides description of mental health clinicians and treatment styles.

Where to Find Help for Your Child: Article

Information on locating mental health and treatment resources for children.

Treatment For Adults At Risk To Abuse And Who Have Abused

If you are an adult whose thoughts or behaviors put children at risk for sexual abuse, there is help available for you so that no child is harmed. Stop It Now! asks all adults to be accountable and take responsibility for their behavior. When an adult who is at risk to sexually abuse or who has abused a child is motivated to refrain from and stop any abusive behaviors and gets help, he or she can learn how to live a healthy and safe life.

Specialized treatment for sexual behavior problems is available. It's important that treatment is provided by an experienced specialist in sexual behavior problems. 

Resources: 

Treatment Referrals (Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers )

Referrals for treatment for adults or youth who have sexually offended.

Sex-Specific Therapy Referrals (Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute)

Resource listing for treatment providers specializing in sex-specific therapy.

CURE-SORT (Sex Offenders Restored through Treatment)

 Information, resources and referrals for adults offending or at-risk to offend.

Virtuous Pedophiles

Online site with information and support for pedophiles who are committed to children's safety and to never harming a child. 

Sex Addicts Anonymous

12-step support groups for adults with addictive sexual behaviors.

Sexual Recovery Institute

Information, resources and treatment for adults with sex and pornography addiction.

Internet Behavior Consulting Company

Cybersex addiction and online sex offender resources.

CROGA

Online confidential support and help to address own child pornography viewing.

Reporting Child Sexual Abuse

If you suspect a child is being sexually abused, getting the proper help and support is vital. Typically, the situations that require reporting are:

  • A child and/or adult shows numerous and consistent warning signs of abuse or being at risk to abuse
  • A child has stated that he or she is being abused by an adult
  • A child has stated that another child has been engaging in sexually harmful behaviors with him or her
  • A child states that he or she has sexually harmed another child
  • An adult has stated that he or she has sexually abused a child
  • An individual has become aware of child pornography online
  • An adult is aware of another adult or child who is viewing child pornography

If an adult who is responsible for caring for a child is suspected of sexually abusing a child, then the local child protection services should be contacted.  If an adult who is not in a caregiving position with a child is suspected of sexual abuse, the local police should be notified. Concerns about child pornography can be reported to either the local police or cyber crime tiplines.

  • Learn about what issues you might face and get the steps for Filing Reports
  • Visit the resources below

Resources:

Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Numbers By State (Child Welfare Information Gateway)

A listing of phone numbers by state to call and report child abuse.

Childhelp (1.800.4ACHILD)

Provides 24/7 assistance in 170 languages to adults, children and youth with information and questions regarding child abuse. All calls are anonymous and confidential. 

CyberTipline (1.800.843.5678) (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

National reporting hotline for internet safety.

Homeland Security Investigations Tip Form

Form to report CSE, CSA, Trafficking to Homesland Security

INHOPE: International Association of Internet Hotlines

International directory of resources for reporting concerning online content

Virtual Global Taskforce

Reporting internet sexual abuse crimes against children.

FAQs on the Sex Offender Registry

Discovering that a convicted sex offender is living nearby can stir a range of feelings – fear, anger, lack of safety, loss of control. Often, just having more information can diminish those feelings. 

Don't panic! You can replace fear with confidence. There really are many things you can do to make the situation more manageable. Learn more about how to identify real threats by reading through the below Frequently Asked Questions about the Sex Offender Registry.

What Can I Do About Sex Offenders in My Neighborhood?

Discovering that a convicted sex offender is living in your neighborhood can stir a range of feelings – fear, anger, lack of safety, loss of control. Don’t panic! Sometimes, just having more information can diminish those feelings. There really are many things you can do to make the situation more manageable. Remind yourself and your neighbors that it’s in everyone’s best interest that this person succeeds in becoming a safe member of your community. Truth is, they probably want to succeed as well. Join with others to learn the best actions to take to keep everyone safe. 

How Do I Search the Sex Offender Registry?

Sex Offender Registry Laws have been established as one part of the supervision of individuals who have moved back into communities after being convicted of sex crimes against adults or children. The level of information available varies by state and is posted to the internet. To access available information go to one of the following sites:

To search the national sex offender registry:

US Department of Justice Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website

To search state sex offender registries:

US Federal Bureau of Investigation Crimes Against Children Program

I Checked the Registry and Found Someone in My Neighborhood, Now What?

A neighbor tells you about a “pedophile down the street”, you learn of a “sexual predator” who’s a member of your faith community, the local paper reports on “child molesters hanging around at your kid’s school" –what can you do?

You thought your neighborhood was pretty safe. Suddenly, your sense of security is shaken. Media stereotypes about people who sexually abuse children can make it all seem overwhelming.

You needn’t be overwhelmed. Start by learning the facts. Accurate information about the situation can help you turn fear into confidence that you really can keep your family safe. Here are some other things you can do to help make you feel secure again.

Read more>>

What About People Who Sexually Abuse Children Who Are NOT on the Registry?

The registry lists represent a small proportion of sex offenders in any community, since most sexual abuse, nearly 88 percent, is never reported. So, the police and the courts can't warn us about the people responsible for most of the abuse that is committed across the United States. They don’t know who they are. But most likely, we do. Chances are, those most at risk to abuse our children are people we know in our families and in our community, who have horribly lost control.

It's hard to face that someone we know - and even love - might be sexually abusing a child. Learn the "Warning Signs" for what to look for in adults or in the adult/child interactions that may give you a sense if there is reason for concern or questions. If you have questions or would like resources or guidance for responding to a specific situation, visit our Online Help Center 

How Have Others Responded to Someone on the Registry Living in Their Neighborhood?

Learn how one community member took action to respond to concerns over sex offenders in his community...

"I have an interesting tale to tell about how I brought my work home earlier this year. My next door neighbor told me she had learned from another neighbor there was a Level 2 and a Level 3 sex offender living in the neighborhood. Police had printed up flyers about these two men and given them to the block watch captain. Since both of these offenders had molested kids, the block watch captain distributed them to neighbors on his block that had children. She told me other neighbors were confused and upset about the prospect of having high risk child molesters living in their neighborhood. She’d wondered if I would be willing to help out...."

Read more>>

What is Law Enforcement Doing to Keep Our Communities Safe?

Specialized approaches to sex offender management have been developed around the country. The Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) has identified key elements of sex offender management which focus on the prevention of future victimization and the protection of victims and the community. These include collaboration and frequent information sharing among law enforcement officers, victim advocates, treatment providers and others involved in the supervision of sex offenders. For more information on this approach as well as definitions and facts about sex offenders and sex offender management, go to CSOM's website.