The latest statistics state that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will experience sexual abuse before the age of 18.
At CCASA, we are committed to reducing the impact of sexual violence and the children and youth education and safety programs are needed to better equip children, staff and parents to recognize and respond to abuse.“Who Do You Tell?”™ is a research-based child sexual abuse education and safety program for elementary school aged children, their parents, and teachers and has been delivered in Calgary schools for over 25 years.
The program provides children with the skills and knowledge needed to recognize abuse, promote healthy relationships, learn about body autonomy, and empower children to access support from trusted adults. The program uses age-appropriate content and materials to deliver the program’s key messages.
The key messages are children have the right to say “no”, it is never a child’s fault when abuse occurs, and children need to tell an adult they trust. It is these concepts that are also the basis (age appropriate) of the organization's new youth programming that is in development.Two CCASA educators co-facilitate the program in two sessions of one-hour to each classroom.
The program uses a variety of teaching tools to deliver the key messages of the program, such as; stories, short videos, pictures and role plays. Staff and parents are provided with an informational presentation, hand-outs and any follow-up consultations/information as needed.
Impacts of Child Sexual Abuse and Trauma
It is well known that sexual abuse of children and adolescents have both short and long term impacts for the individuals directly impacted, their families and loved ones and the broader community. The literature on childhood adversity and trauma, including sexual abuse/assault, has clearly shown linkages to serious short and long term effects of childhood and adult trauma including depression and other mental health issues, addiction, violent/unhealthy relationships, poor parenting, social isolation, suicidal tendencies, and a myriad of health issues to name just a few (Association of AB Sexual Assault Services Literature Review, 2012).
This funding will assist us in updating our program materials for the "Who do You Tell?" Program and create new ones for the youth education curricula that we are currently developing. Children and youth are not responsible for stopping sexual violence but it is critical that they, along with the adults in their lives are given accurate and ethical information and skills to address the issue from pro-active and intervention perspectives.
For so many years, sexual violence has existed in silence and secrecy and has always impacted primarily children and youth as they are most at risk.Therefore all aspects of society have a responsibility for addressing this violence so that all children and youth thrive in the right to live in a safe world and the use of education tools is critical to this.