The 2019 Helpline Report
Our Helpline is a window into the real-life conversations, situations and experiences that represent the majority of child sexual abuse cases, but that are rarely spoken aloud. We talk with spouses concerned about their partner’s behavior with their children. We counsel parents who are unsure about behaviors a child exhibited toward another. We help people at-risk to harm children to identify resources and connect with therapy before they harm a child – and without fear of imprisonment just for asking for help. We have a unique 360-degree view of child sexual abuse from bystanders, survivors and people at-risk to harm – all helped free and confidentially.
We’ve recently completed an ambitious project – telling the story and impact of this Helpline through the non-identifying demographic and situation data that we’ve collected over 23 years of the Helpline’s operation. Combined with real stories and quotes from real people who have visited the Helpline for help in a personal situation concerning child sexual abuse, this data and these stories demonstrate the importance of having resources for every adult seeking support and guidance to protect children before sexual abuse happens. Additionally, the findings from examining the data and stories provides us with insights into both the hidden population of individuals at-risk to abuse, those who have abused, as well as their friends and families who are seeking support. This Helpline data was also used in a reseach article entited, "I Didn't Know Where to Go": An examination of Stop It Now!'s Sexual Abuse Prevention Helpline," published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence in October 2019. This study additionally reinforces the importance of child sexual prevention helplines that focus on reducing the isolation and secrecy that creates conditions which make children more vulnerable to abuse.
We’re sharing both this report and the research article in the hopes of guiding further conversation about child sexual abuse. From these, we hope you’ll glean new insights into the places where abuse happens most – in homes and other private settings – and the individiauls who know about potentially harmful situations and have the power to intervene and protect children. We hope these will inspire you to reach out for help whenever a child’s safety is a concern.
The Stop It Now! Helpline Report
23,000 hopeful conversations about child sexual abuse and prevention
“I Didn’t Know Where To Go”: An Examination of Stop It Now!’s Sexual Abuse Prevention Helpline
Billie-Jo Grant, PhD., Ryan T. Shields, PhD, Joan Tabachnick, MPPM, and Jenny Coleman, MA, LMHC
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume: 34 issue: 20, page(s): 4225-4253
Article first published online: September 5, 2019; Issue published: October 1, 2019
Click here for the abstract.