Stop It Now! Vermont

Brief History

Stop It Now! Vermont began in 1992 as the first pilot program for Stop It Now!. The program was developed to answer some critical questions such as:

  • Will abusers and those at risk to abuse respond to our call to stop and reach out for help?
  • Are we willing to look at the warning signs for perpetration in people we love?
  • Can we change the social climate enough to allow each of us to talk about child sexual abuse and ultimately, question sexualized behaviors in our own families when we see them?

A group of dedicated professionals and organizations throughout Vermont worked for nearly three years to develop the media messages and the needed services to encourage families to step forward for help. With the generous sponsorship of the Safer Society Foundation, Inc. and funding for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Inc. Stop It Now! Vermont was publicly launched in September of 1995. 

The program tested the application of public health campaign concepts to child sexual abuse prevention by working with the media and with community-based organizations to reach adults in high-risk situations.  Stop It Now! Vermont gained statewide recognition for increasing the amount of media attention and information available on child sexual abuse.  The model was then adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its RFA on Collaborative Efforts to Prevent the Perpetration of Child Sexual Abuse in 2002 as well as for its CDCynergy Violence Prevention publication.  Stop It Now! Vermont reduced activities in 2001 due to lack of  funding and closed in 2004.


Here is a selected list of publications about the Stop It Now! Vermont program:

  • Stop It Now!,  Evalution of the Stop It Now! Vermont program, 2000
  • Stop It Now!, CDCynergy Violence Prevention Edition, 2005
  • Coffman, Julia, Lessons in Evaluating Communications Campaigns: Five Case Studies, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, 2003.
  • Tabachnick, Joan. Create a social marketing campaign with information learned from abusers, those at risk to abuse, and their friends and families (2003) In National Child Advocate, 5 (2), 1-10.
  • Tabachnick, Joan. STOP IT NOW! An innovative social marketing campaign targeting sexual abusers and the people who know abusers (2003) Social Marketing Quarterly, 9(1), 42-47.
  • Tabachnick, Joan,  Lisa Chasan-Taber, and Pamela McMahon. Evaluation of a child sexual abuse prevention program - Vermont, 1995-1999 (2001) In Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, February 9, 50(05). Atlanta, GA: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Tabachnick, Joan,  Lisa Chasan-Taber, and Pamela McMahon. Evaluation of a child sexual abuse prevention program -Vermont, 1995-1999 (2001) Journal of the American Medical Association, March 7, 285,(9), 114-115.
  • Tabachnick, Joan,  Lisa Chasan-Taber. Evaluation of a child sexual abuse prevention program, (1999). Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 11(4), 279-292.
  • Tabachnick, Joan, Fran Henry and Liz Denny. Perceptions of child sexual abuse as a public health problem (1997) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, August 29, 46(34). Atlanta, GA: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Advisory Board/Collaborative Partners 

  • OUR House
  • Pre-Sentence Alternative Program
  • Prevent Child Abuse Vermont
  • Safer Society Foundation, Inc.
  • STEP program
  • Vermont Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Abuse
  • Vermont Educational Support Associates
  • Vermont Partnership for an Abuse Free State

Market Research

Social Marketing

Stop It Now! Vermont created challenging print, billboard and tv ads that encouraged people at risk to abuse and as well their family and friends to take action to stop the abuse and get help and accountability.   These confrontational ads, although sometimes difficult to place because of the controversial nature, did result in calls to the Helpline.  See the Evaluation for more details.

Community Education & Training

Stop It Now! Vermont hosted the first Community Dialogues between “recovering” sex offenders, adult survivors, and family members who knew both.  Read more about the Dialogues.