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Child Abuse Education: Can Lead to Happier and Healthier Children and Families

Prevention is a term that is used with many aspects of life. Preventing a disease such as heart disease, cancer. Prevention of storm damage, prevention of cruelty to animals and the list can go on. The webster definition of prevention is 1) to keep from happening or existing, 2) to hold or keep back: HINDER, STOP, 3) to deprive of power of hope of acting or succeeding or 4) to be in readiness for, to meet or satisfy in advance, to act ahead of and to go or arrive before. When we specifically look at the word prevention in the context of child abuse prevention, many of these words speak strongly to the prevention of child abuse such as hold back, HINDER, STOP, deprive of power, etc. When we combine the words prevention with the phrase child abuse, the terms in the definition do bring out what we really want to see happen. Education not only can be about stopping an action from happening but can also promote positive actions to happen. These actions can be seen as steps in reducing risk factors and promoting protective factors. Through both of these avenues we are creating environments within family units that lead to positive attributes that can serve as buffers to assist parents who might otherwise be at risk of abusing or neglecting their children.  

Our community has been working hard for over 10 years trying to promote child abuse prevention education. In 2019, Cumberland County reached Tipping Point. Tipping Point is when a segment of people are trained in a particular subject matter, in this case is was specifically with child sexual abuse prevention, with 5% of their population, they can have what is titled a ‘culture shift.’ At the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) we determined we wanted to have a culture shift in child sexual abuse in conjunction with our mission of working with children and their families in our community who have experienced he trauma of abuse. We met that challenge in February of 2019 by training 12,470 persons. The persons who received this training were equipped to prevent, react and respond to the signs of child abuse.

The CAC offers a variety of child abuse training. See our workshops and descriptions below. 

Stewards of Children 

Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children® is a revolutionary sexual abuse prevention training program that educates adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse, and motivates them to courageous action. The training includes the “5 Steps to Protecting our Children,” Darkness to Light’s core, evidence-based educational tool for sexual abuse prevention. The two-and-a-half-hour program utilizes a video with survivors and professionals, a workbook, and an interactive, facilitator-led discussion. This workshop can be broken down into two sessions of one hour and a quarter each. 

Additional trainings in conjunction with SOC:

Talking with Children about Safety from Sexual Abuse

Learn how to talk with and listen to children about sexual abuse and personal safety. 

Primary audience: parents and caregivers.

Healthy Touch for Children & Youth

Learn guidelines for healthy touch and safe, respectful ways to interact with children at home and in youth serving settings. Primary audience: Parents and caregivers, teachers, and youth-serving organizations.

Bystanders Protecting Children from Boundary Violations & Sexual Abuse

Learn how to make interventions that reinforce boundaries and protect children. Primary Audience: Parents and caregivers, teachers and youth-serving organizations.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Learn about the root cause of sexual exploitation. Sexual abuse makes children more vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Primary audience: Professionals working in the field of sex trafficking and child protection but also beneficial for the general public.

Recognizing & Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

Prepares the learner to recognize other forms of child abuse and neglect and teaches how to      respond as a mandated reporter. Primary audience: Teachers and youth-serving professionals as well as other mandated reporters. Also, beneficial to parents and the general public.

These trainings can be added at the end of a Stewards of Children® session or used as a follow up at a later date. The trainings consist of a short video followed by a group discussion about the content    presented. 

Your organization can become a Partner in Prevention! A symbol of distinction that shows a dedication to child sexual abuse prevention. 


A gripping new documentary from Shared Hope opens hearts and eyes to the tragic dangers of sex trafficking and educates youth to recognize the danger signs. This film tells the story of two young girls who were CHOSEN and is appropriate for youth ages sixth-grade and above. This class is offered as separate sessions for youth and adults and can include males and females.

To request a training for your business, church leaders, school staff, etc. please click here. Someone from the CAC will contact you about setting up a training. 


Faith Boehmer

Prevention & Volunteer Coordinator

Child Advocacy Center