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Creating a Conversation for the Prevention of Childhood Sexual Abuse


The experience of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has been correlated with poor health-related quality of life for adults.  One particular study noted an increase in poor health outcomes for those that experienced for violent forms of CSA.  We also know that CSA often cooccurs with other adverse experiences in the home.   

We know that a large percentage of CSA goes underreported or completely unreported.  CSA is largely committed by the hands of a known adult or older child to the victim.

We also know that how we responds matter.  There needs to be a concerted effort to create a space for children to feel safe enough to share their experience with a trusted adult. That starts by adults who are initiating safe conversations around these topics.   

The Enough Abuse Campaign, a program researched by the CDC and a curriculum grounded in the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, outlines specific steps that can be preventative to creating safety for children in our families and communities.

1. "All parts of our bodies are good and we can speak about them respectfully." Use the appropriate names for all body parts, especially identified private parts.

2. "Grown-ups have 'no business' playing with your private body parts."  We can discuss with children that even if an adult, like a caregiver or medical professional needs to look or touch their private part, it's never a secret.

3.  "Grown-ups and older children never need help from children with their private parts."

4. "It's important that you do not touch anyone else's private parts."

5. "Surprises are fun for children, but secrets are never okay."

To learn more about how to start these important conversations visit

To purchase a set of "What if...?" Cards to aid in the conversations please visit

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