Stuff we love to do
Does it work?
How can we measure prevention?
After hearing "Stories that aren't just stories", a three-year old's father told us: "I was tucking my shirt into my pants and still had my zipper down. Our daughter pushed her palms at me and, with quite an attitude, said, 'No, daddy! You're not supposed to do that!' What was I supposed to say?"
With a big grin, the father said, "I told her, 'You're right, honey. Sorry.'"
After the first distribution of our workbook to help pre-teens navigate pressure from sexual predators, an eight year old told his Mom he thought a teacher at school was approaching him inappropriately. Following the tips in the workbook, Mom reported this to the proper authorities.
It turns out several other parents had been told similar stories. Following due process, the teacher today is serving time in prison.
Her children were invited to a Saturday afternoon "fiesta" at the small church down the street. She went along. There were balloons, music, games and stories. The story today was about a Grandma who helped her grandchildren understand they had a right to protect themselves.
Following the presentation this mother approached our team lead. "I ran away from home at the age of nine to escape being raped by my Dad. I spent eight years in prostitution. I'd like to help you make sure not one more child goes through what I did."
Research indicates that an offense is more likely to occur, all things being equal, when the commission of the offense requires the offender to expend little effort, when the risk of detection is low and the offense promises a highly desired reward for the offender. (Cornish and Clarke) Protect Me Project teams equip communities to create an atmosphere where these factors never converge.
I've never presented a "Parents' School" where someone didn't approach our table and tell us, "I was sexually abused as a child and I've never told anyone."
These are people who've lived with this burden for over fifty years. Today, in broad daylight, they heard for the first time it wasn't their fault. It should never have happened. It doesn't have to continue.