What we believe
Stop it Now! believes and acts on the principle that all adults are responsible for protecting the most vulnerable in society. Children can be protected from sexual abuse if adults are aware of how abusers operate, including those who abuse via the Internet. Adults also need to feel confident about what to do if they are worried that abuse might be occurring.
In recent times we have come to understand that children are more likely to be sexually abused by people they know. These are not the ‘monsters’ often portrayed by the media, but familiar and trusted adults, which can make disclosure far more difficult. For some children, whilst they want the abuse to stop, they also want the abuser to get help. All children must be able to tell, to be heard and be protected.
For the families of abusers or those close to them, understanding what has happened and dealing with the consequences of a loved one’s actions is a lengthy and difficult process. Some abusers and potential abusers feel guilty and distressed about their thoughts and actions, but struggle to manage their behaviour.
For these reasons it is critical that everyone affected by child sexual abuse has a place, first, to talk about it. For abusers, this includes learning how to address and manage their behaviour. For families and friends, it includes accessing information and advice about recognising and managing risk.
The aim of the Stop it Now! UK and Ireland campaign, including the Helpline, is to equip adults to protect children from sexual abuse. If as a society we share this aim, we must begin to talk about the issues. With the right tools, everyone can make a real difference to the safety of children.
Our vision is of a society where all adults engage in respectful, caring and protective relationships with children and young people; where children and young people grow up free from sexual abuse or exploitation.
To prevent child sexual abuse by engaging with and supporting adults, families and communities and through research and speaking out. This includes engaging with adults with concerning sexual thoughts or behaviour, and with their families and friends, to prompt positive, protective actions and to promote lives of responsibility and integrity.