Child sexual abuse hurts:
The child:
  Victims of sexual abuse may be girls or boys of any age. The abuse can cause serious and long-lasting psychological harm.
Family and friends of the victim:
  Learning that a loved one has been sexually abused can be very painful. If friends or family members are involved in the abuse, they may be covering up the problem and feeling guilty.
Society:
  Sexual abuse may lead to shattered families, crime and other problems.

Child sexual abuse is more common than many people think. As many as 90% of abuse victims know the perpetrator. Its effects can be devastating.
Traditional child sexual abuse programs teach children how to keep
themselves safe. These programs are widely used in schools and children's clubs. These programs are very important, but they are no substitute for adult responsibility. Adults are responsible for the safety of children. Adults are responsible for ensuring that children wear seat belts. Parents typically walk children across busy streets. Parents know it is their responsibility to store toxic household cleaners out of reach. Why, then, would we leave the job of preventing child sexual abuse solely to children?
A large percentage of those who sexually abuse children are authority
figures in the lives of their victims. We teach children to respect and
obey adults in authority. It is unrealistic to expect children to say "no"
to a parent, coach or teacher. In addition, those who sexually abuse
children often "groom" children with affection and attention, making it difficult for children to identify what they are experiencing as abuse. This is why child-focused prevention programs must be supplemented with programs that focus on adult responsibility.
The sexual abuse of children is often difficult to think about. You may feel frightened and helpless, but you don’t need to. You can do something about it.
This web site is a project of the Alliance for Children’s Justice (ACJ), a multi-disciplinary task force of North Dakota professionals and lay people concerned about the sexual abuse of children. ACJ includes school counselors, judges, social workers, parents, prosecutors, psychologists and others who understand that child molestation is a serious crime. The Alliance is sponsored by the North Dakota Child Protection Services in the Children and Family Division of the ND Department of Human Services. The Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Project is funded through a grant from the ND Children's Trust Fund.
The Alliance has a vision that every adult feel equal weight for the care and protection of all children. ACJ’s goal is that all North Dakota children be free of sexual abuse. To meet this goal, all adults must do what they can to prevent child sexual abuse.
If you’re a parent, you can take important steps toward preventing the sexual abuse of your children by becoming acquainted with the information presented on this web site and by talking with your children about it. You can learn, too, how to tell if your children may have been sexually abused and what to do to help them.
If you are concerned about a child in your community, this web site has information about what you can do. If you want more information contact the Alliance at:
Prevent Child Abuse ND
PO Box 1213
418 E. Rosser Avenue, Suite 110
Bismarck, ND 58502-1213
701-223-9052 Fax: 701-355-4362 fax [Email]
What is Child Sexual Abuse?
If you or someone you know has the potential to sexually abuse a child, get help before any abuse occurs. Contact your physician,
local mental health organization or social service agency
to find an appropriate treatment program.

And How Are the Children?
The Alliance for Children’s Justice has chosen to use the traditional greeting of the African Masai to reflect the Alliance’s vision that every adult feel equal weight for the care and protection of all children. Among the Masai, even people without children would give the traditional answer, “The children are well,” meaning life is good.
“And how are the children?” is all we need to ask to determine whether life is good in North Dakota. The answer to the question depends on whether children are free from sexual abuse. Every North Dakota adult must protect children so that the answer can be, ”The children are well. They are all free from sexual abuse.”
If you would like to wear the Alliance’s dove pin asking, “And how are the children?”, please email us.
 

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