Aug 23, 2018 | Child Sex Abuse, Sexual Exploitation

A Note from our Acting Director:

In recent news out of Pennsylvania, continued allegations of sexual abuse have erupted in the Catholic church. Our hearts go out to the victims, families, and parishes involved in these situations. Acting as the Nation’s Voice for Children, the American Society for the Positive Care of Children strongly believes that a foundation of attentiveness, caring communication, and constructive discipline can help positively shape a child’s life trajectory. It may sound simple, but we do believe there is truth to Mother Teresa’s quote “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

With that said, we can’t ignore the fact that U.S. authorities respond to a report of sexual abuse about every eight minutes. The unfortunate reality is that we, as parents and caregivers, need to go on the offensive to help prevent these tragic situations.

Here, we share with you several resources to assist you as you navigate these efforts in your own families and communities.


  1. American SPCC advocate and volunteer, Dr. Laura Coleman wrote a great post, “11 Things You Can Do to Make Your Children Safer from Abuse”.  This article shares some solid, common sense advice.
  2. Here’s a link from our resources pages that highlights some safety strategies to help teach your children to protect themselves against sexual abuse. It also calls out a new book by Dr. Elizabeth Jeglic and Dr. Cynthia Calkins, Protecting Your Child from Sexual Abuse: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Kids Safe.
  3. Darkness to Light, a national non-profit with the mission of ending child sexual abuse, shares five steps we can take to protect our children from sexual abuse: 1) learn the facts, 2) minimize the opportunity, 3) talk about it, 4) recognize the signs, and 5) react responsibly.  Step three may be one of the most difficult because many parents want tips for conducting age-appropriate conversations. If you’re looking for ideas, check out this short, educational video from Darkness to Light: https://www.d2l.org/education/5-steps/step-3/


I encourage you to talk with your children about sexual abuse and keep communication lines open, even if it feels awkward. The American SPCC is here to help by providing free educational and preventative resources for parents and caregivers.  Our organization is dedicated to helping parents and caregivers develop a positive, nurturing environment where all children can have the opportunity to thrive.  We invite you to join the conversation on our Community & Support Forums. Together, as a nation, we can give children a voice and speak up for their right to be safe and protected.

We’re right here, cheering you on!

Yours truly,

Tina McMechen
Acting Executive Director
American SPCC

This disclaimer informs readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.

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