It’s never too late to begin the process of recovery.
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.
Find the support you deserve
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse as a child, it is very important to seek professional support and guidance for your recovery. The impact of sexual abuse by another child, teen or adult can change over time. The changes unfold as a young person grows into adulthood and continue throughout a lifetime.
Even if you were offered support and resources earlier in life, if you are feeling the need for support at this time, we encourage you to seek the help you need and deserve. You can find resources and support here.
Are you concerned that the person who abused you will harm another child?
If you feel that the person who abused you currently poses a risk to a child or teen, it is important to share your concerns with others who can be allies to you in taking steps to protect this young person. We can help you find allies who share your concerns.
Perhaps you are recognizing signs of risk in the child or the adult. Maybe this child is near the age when you yourself suffered abuse. We urge you to trust your intuitions and act on your instincts by speaking to other adults who can take steps to protect this child. There are many steps that can be taken before a child is harmed. You don’t have to wait until there is “proof” that abuse has occurred to act.
As a survivor, your experience can help everyone involved.
Learn about the statute of limitations in your state for reporting child sexual abuse. Filing reports about your own abuse (with the support of a counselor) can be a step to take if you believe that the same person who harmed you may have abused someone who is now a minor. If others are already concerned, your coming forward can help ease the burden of disclosure the child or teen may be facing.
I know an adult survivor.
Care enough to take the risk and talk about it. If you are an adult concerned for a friend or loved one who you know or suspect has experienced sexual abuse as a child, your support and understanding can be critical to their recovery.
There are many resources that can help you to better understand what an adult survivor may be experiencing now and how the recovery process evolves over time. Sharing the resources you find here with the person you’re concerned about is a great place to start.
Support resources for family, friends and partners are important as well – by acknowledging how a loved one’s abuse can personally affect you, you are taking a step in becoming a safe adult for those who experienced sexual abuse.
Survivors Lead The Way
Stop It Now!® was founded in 1992 by Fran Henry, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, who recognized that the standard ideas about preventing sexual abuse of children at that time weren't enough.
Stop It Now! believes that all adults must accept the responsibility to recognize, acknowledge and confront the behaviors that put children at risk to be sexually abused.
Stop It Now! provides adults, families and communities the resources and support they need to prevent the sexual abuse of children - before there’s a victim to heal or an offender to punish.
Fran's daring innovation that lead to the creation of Stop It Now! and its signature approach was to create a forum in which the survivors of child sexual abuse, their families, and recovering sex offenders could step forward, "speak up", and work together to end the cycle of abuse.
"You have no idea how much of an impact your actions have on a child, how it can absolutely devastate a person's life, and how much work it takes to reverse the damage done. You must realize that no matter how small you consider the act you have done, it has changed that child and will have lasting consequences. I can only hope and pray that you get help so you will not repeat the offense. It is up to you to stop the cycle now."
- A survivor of childhood sexual abuse speaking to someone who has sexually offended
Join with us to break the cycle of abuse
Keys to Prevention
Worried about the safety of others? Survivors often tell us about the concern they have for other children’s safety. Often, a survivor is in the best position to prevent further abuse.
Keys to Healing and Recovery
Survivors deserve support for healing and recovery. There are many ways to get support, and there are professionals and others who understand what an adult who is a survivor of child sexual abuse has experienced.
- Adult Survivor Resources – Quick Resource Reference Guide
See a full listing of our Frequently Asked Questions.