Stop It Now! relies on scientific research to develop and improve programming and tools that will help people take action to prevent sexual abuse of children and create safer communities. Since its first pilot program, Stop It Now! has used the most current scientific research, original market research, and program evaluation to develop its programs. Using a variety of methods - from focus groups to public opinion surveys to meta-analysis - and cooperating with leading researchers, we continue to build the evidence base needed for practical and effective programs and materials.

Guiding questions

How do we effectively reach adults with the information and support that will help them stop child sexual abuse - ideally before a child is ever harmed? To answer this central question, we also have to know:

  • What steps can adults take that are known to help prevent sexual abuse?
  • What are adults' knowledge, attitudes and behaviors on the issue?
  • What makes it easier for adults to recognize warning sign behaviors and take action?

Since 1992, Stop It Now! and its community-based programs have researched and tested messages and programming to help adults recognize and confront the possibility of child sexual abuse.  We have gathered market data through phone surveys of adults, and through focus groups with all adults impacted by sexual abuse, including survivors of childhood sexual abuse, people who have sexually offended, as well as the family and friends of both. We've partnered with scientists to conduct original research, while also working to bring the latest research and program results to professionals and policy makers. Our policy program relies on the latest research that assesses the impacts of current policies and legislation. We have influenced the field of sexual abuse intervention and prevention by using our communications, publications, and participation in professional meetings and committees maintain a focus on evidence-based approaches. Our most recent report, What Do US Adults Think about Child Sexual Abuse, released in 2010, was an analysis of the results from compiling data from our local market public opinion surveys. 

Research partnerships

University of New Hampshire Prevention Innovations, US

In 2012, we engaged Prevention Innovations to work with us on evaluation of the Circles of Safety training.  Learn more.

A Sample of Stop It Now! Research and Evaluation Publications

Pasura, D., Jones, A., Hafner, J., Maharaj, P., Nathaniel-DeCaires, K. and Johnson, E. "Competing meanings of childhood and the social construction of child sexual abuse in the Caribbean," Childhood: A journal of global child research, in press.

Lessons Learned from Stop It Now!Community-based Programs

Stop It Now!, "Child Sexual Abuse Prevention: Lessons Learned from Stop It Now! Community-based Programs" 2012

Evaluation of Stop It Now! Georgia

Schober, DJ, S. B. Fawcett, S. Thigpen, A. Curtis, and R. Wright,  "An Empirical Case Study of a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Initiative in Georgia," Health Education Journal, January 18, 2012 

What Do U.S. Adults Think about Child Sexual Abuse? Measures of Knowledge and Attitudes Among Six States

Stop It Now!, 2010 

Risk Factors for Perpetration of Child Sexual Abuse 

Whitaker, Dan,  Le B, Karl Hanson R, Baker CK, McMahon PM, Ryan G, Klein A, Rice DD. Risk Factors for First Time Perpetration of Child Sexual Abuse, Child Abuse Negl. 2008 May;32(5):529-48,

Interview research with family members of people who sexually abused children

Stop It Now! Minnesota, Bystander Research Report, 2009

Stop It Now! Minnesota Evaluation

Schober,  Daniel J.  and Stephen B. Fawcett, Ph.D. Jerry A. Schultz, Ph.D.Yvonne Cournoyer, Renee Wright, Collaborative Efforts to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse in Minnesota: An Empirical Case Study, poster, APA Summit on Violence and Abuse in Relationships, Bethesda Maryland, Feb 28-29 2008

Interview research with adults at risk of sexually abusing children

Stop It Now! Minnesota,  Research Summary: Adults at Risk of Sexually Abusing Children, 2005.

Child sexual abuse in African American and Latino Communities

Fontes, Lisa Aronson, M. Cruz and J. Tabachnick, Views of Child Sexual Abuse in Two Cultural Communities: An Exploratory Study among African Americans and Latinos, Child Maltreatment, Vol. 6, No. 2, 103-117. 2001.

Evaluation of the Stop It Now! Vermont program

Stop It Now!,  Evaluation of the Stop It Now! Vermont program, 2000