Help for Adults to Stop Abusing

You can stop

Treatment for sexual behavior problems is available. If you are motivated to stop abusive behaviors and to get specialized treatment, you can learn to change their behaviors and to live a healthy, productive life. Having the support and "tough love" of friends and families can also help you through the process of completing treatment and living an abuse-free life.

Safety planning and immediate help

When there’s a child who is at immediate risk

Stop all contact with that child. Leave the situation and if you’re that child’s caretaker, find someone else to care for the child. If you feel able, tell another adult why you need their help. If you’re not able to explain the truth, give a more general reason for the time being; tell them there is more, but you can't explain the full story right now. For example, “I need to take some time alone right now, and I realize I’m not telling you the whole story – please understand that this is what I need to do right now.” The most important thing to do first is to eliminate the opportunity to harm a child. Then, from a safe place, create a more complete plan with the assistance of other adults and professionals.

Some other suggestions for safety planning:

  • Seek a trusted adult or professional and find a way to talk to them as directly and honestly as you’re able
  • Avoid any substance use or abuse.
  • Avoid the internet if illegal images are too tempting. Unplug, if necessary.
  • Stay busy. Stay productive. If you have a job that doesn’t involve children, attend work.
  • Don’t isolate yourself. Spend time with adult friends.
  • Do something each day that makes you feel good about yourself.
  • Let another adult know what is going on. Avoid being around any children alone.
  • If needed, find a safe place to stay temporarily while you sort things out.
  • A good treatment provider will help you figure out how to best set up a personalized safety plan for the long-term, and help you learn how to stick to it.