Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

 

Through a grant from the Child Victims Trust Fund (CVTF), Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky is working with key stakeholders to move child sexual abuse prevention forward in the Commonwealth. Professionals from Child Advocacy Centers; Rape Crisis Centers; Family Resource and Youth Services Centers; the Department for Community Based Services; the Department of Juvenile Justice; and, Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky Partners in Prevention convened during four regional trainings which exposed participants to the evidence-based Stewards of Children curriculum and the goal of the project. Participants were asked to fill out a Community Readiness Assessment, designed to assess the current status of child sexual abuse prevention in local communities. Based on feedback from the initial meetings and data gathered via the Community Readiness Assessment 15 focus groups have formed, one for each Area Development District throughout the state. Each group designated a point person who has been working with group members to develop a collaborative action plan designed to engage key stakeholders and the general public in child sexual abuse prevention efforts. A series of technical assistance calls continue to draw participants together to maintain communication and provide a forum for idea sharing.

The Community Readiness Model is a model for community change that integrates a community’s culture, resources, and level of readiness to more effectively address an issue.” The Community Readiness Model:

·         provides an empirically based process for assessing the level of community readiness for change

·         outlines action steps to increase readiness and action.

·         can be used with communities of any size and level of readiness.

·         creates a picture of where the community currently stands on an issue.

·         creates an environment supportive of change.

Community Readiness Scores range from 1-9 and communities with advance prevention campaigns rarely score above a 7.

56 Community Readiness Assessments have been completed statewide.

 

Overall Stage of Readiness Score

Nine of fifteen groups organized by Area Development District scored at the Vague Awareness level. This means, as reported by key stakeholders in the group, most of the community feel there is a local concern within the general public regarding child sexual abuse prevention, but there is no immediate motivation to do anything about it.

Six of fifteen groups organized by Area Development District scored at the Preplanning level. This means, as reported by key stakeholders in the group, there is clear recognition that something must be done to prevent child sexual abuse, and there may even be a group addressing it.  However, efforts are not focused or detailed.

 

What are we seeing:

Preliminary analysis highlights the following trends:

·         Many areas across the state view prevention as improved identification or treatment after Child Sexual Abuse has occurred.

·         Some areas have advanced collaborations already in place which can be used as a foundation for Child Sexual Abuse.

·         Statewide Rape Crisis Centers and Child Advocacy Centers are involved in primary prevention efforts at varying levels often dependent on funding.

·         Child Abuse Prevention Month (April) is considered a primary prevention tool which impacts the community—the focus is typically on child maltreatment as a whole.

·         Communities vary in their level of support.

o    Prevention advocates would be open to more primary prevention with additional coordination, funding, manpower and tangible resources/action steps.

o    Prevention advocates state CSAP is often not viewed as a priority for leadership or the general public.

·         Some areas of the state have cultural acceptance of adult men dating underage girls.

·         A prominent cultural belief that abuse is a family issue and not to be discussed.

·         The general public lacks knowledge regarding the impact of Child Sexual Abuse on victims and community.

·         Child Sexual Abuse is a taboo subject or is denied as pertinent to the local community, organization, etc.

·         The general public do not want to report cases of child maltreatment to child protective services or resist getting involved in prevention efforts.

Common challenges which communities across the Commonwealth face include:

·         Lack of funding for prevention programs

·         Lack of people power to implement prevention programs

·         Lack of coordinated efforts

·         Lack of tangible actions/tools to use to engage the general public in child sexual abuse prevention

·         Lack of joint investigations or uniform protocol for law enforcement regarding investigations of child sexual abuse cases

·         Resistance from schools in allowing students to hear presentations on child sexual abuse prevention

For more information about the project or to get involved, please contact Joel Griffith- jgriffith@pcaky.org.


Additional Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Resources, click HERE