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Child sexual abuse is a difficult topic. If you find yourself triggered by any of the website’s content, please stop and take the time you need to talk with someone to get support. If you need help now, please contact one of these resources today.
Whether mandated to report suspected child abuse or not, child sexual abuse prevention is the responsibility of every adult in every community in the Commonwealth. However, many adults have no idea about what to do when they suspect a child is being harmed. Others may know what to do, but are hesitant to get involved or to say anything for fear of being wrong. Whatever the reason, the resulting silence allows the harm to continue, almost always with devastating consequences. Increasing public awareness about the existence of child sexual abuse, how it occurs, and what ordinary citizens can do to prevent or to stop it can help to lay the foundation for community and cultural change where the sexual abuse of children is less likely to occur.
To support this statement, comprehensive child sexual abuse prevention information must be as widespread and available as possible. As stated above, public awareness activities have always been an important part of an overall approach to addressing child abuse and neglect issues because such activities have the potential to reach diverse community audiences: parents, prospective parents, other caregivers, children, youth, and the community at large. Knowledge about child sexual abuse at the grass roots level provides a critical and necessary piece of the foundation for abuse prevention efforts.
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