2021 Prevention Pledge – Will You Join Me?

Dear Friend,

Happy New Year to you and yours. I know 2020 was a rough year for so many people, and with all my heart I wish for healing, wellness, and safety in this new year, 2021. I am holding out a special light to children and teens who have been the increased target of child sexual assault during the pandemic. Let us pause for a moment to send our love and commitment to these children.

My mission with Parenting Safe Children is, and always will be, to keep children safe from sexual assault. I am steadfast in my conviction that we, together, can eradicate the horror of child sexual assault.

Will you join me and take this 2021 pledge?

First, I understand that adults are responsible for protecting children from sexual assault.

Children can learn protection skills, and it is important that they do; however, it is up to adults to protect children. It is not a child’s responsibility to bear the burden of having to protect themselves.  

For this reason, children need to know unequivocally that you are their advocate:

  • You will always listen to your child’s joys and worries, take seriously the things that concern and matter to them, and believe what they share.
  • When it comes to physical touch, consent is mandatory.
  • You will remind them that it’s not their job to manage your feelings or the feelings of other people.
  • When it comes to matters of safety, you will never tell them they are “in trouble.”
  • No topic is off limits for discussion.
  • You will build a Prevention Team™ around them.
  • They are the boss of their own body!

(Join Feather on January 23 & 30th by Zoom to practice putting your pledge into action.)

Second, I commit to teaching my children body-safety skills and providing age-appropriate information about sexual development. I will teach my children:

  • The anatomically correct terms for genitals.
  • No person (child, teen, adult) is allowed to touch their genitals (except for obvious cleaning or medical purposes) and they do not touch other people’s genitals.
  • No person (child, teen, adult) should show them pictures or videos of other children and / or adults engaging in sexual acts – or take pictures of their body without clothes on – and if that were to happen, it’s important for them to tell a trusted adult.
  • It’s normal to be curious about looking at bodies, but viewing sexually abusive imagery (pornography) is not healthy or safe for children.

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  • If they do come across pornography online, it’s important to talk about it with an adult, and I will let them know that they won’t be in trouble.
  • It’s not okay or safe to send or receive pictures of their genitals to others, or to request that others do the same.
  • Keeping secrets or being subject to bribes and threats about touching genitals is not safe, and if this happens, it’s important to tell an adult they trust – and to keep telling until someone helps them.
  • It’s never their idea or fault if a teenager or adult engages in sexual talk or touch with them, and telling a trusted adult is important. 
  • If they did not tell about an unsafe touch the first time it happened, they are not in trouble, I love them no matter what and it’s okay to tell later.
  • They are allowed to refuse any request for genital touching and to say “NO” to anything that feels uncomfortable and / or inappropriate and they will not be in trouble.
  • About consent – i.e., they get to choose if and how they give and receive physical affection, at any age and even from relatives.
  • It’s not their responsibility to make me or other people happy.
  • They have a right to privacy when dressing, toileting and bathing.
  • To trust their intuition – that any funny, “uh-oh,” worried, nervous feelings they may have about a person or situation is called intuition / gut feeling and it’s important to listen to that feeling and talk to someone about it.

(Join Feather on January 23 & 30th by Zoom to practice putting your pledge into action.)

Just as important as discussing these prevention concepts with children, it’s important to discuss every one of these concepts and boundaries with all of their teen and adult caregivers – and to invite these people onto your family’s Prevention Team™. Additionally, include your children in this discussion because they need to have a say in and know which adults are included on their Prevention Team™.

Adults shouldn’t rely on kids to prevent child sexual assault, so please include this third step in your pledge.

Third, I Commit to Building my Prevention Team™ and will:

  • Have a family conversation about who should be on our family’s Prevention Team™.
  • Speak with each member of our family’s Prevention Team™ and get an explicit “yes” about our family’s body-safety rules, boundaries and consent with all older youth and adults with whom my children have contact ( e.g., family, teachers, camp staff, religious leaders, babysitters, coaches, other parents, etc.)
  • Identify the people my children name as their safe adults and communicate that to those people.
  • Ask my family members and caregivers to learn about child sexual assault prevention through books, articles and workshops.
  • Remind ourselves, as parents, and members of our Prevention Team™ that it is our job as adults to care of children – not a child’s job to take care of us.
  • Invite members of our Prevention Team™ of adults to communicate these safety practices with others so we can build whole communities that are off limits to child sexual assault.

As you work to educate your children and build a robust Prevention Team™ feelings of discomfort may arise, but I ask you, “Are you willing to feel a little uncomfortable so your children never have to?

Thank you for joining me in my mission to keep your child – and every child – safe from sexual assault.

Please join me on January 23 & 30th by Zoom to practice putting your pledge into action.

With Best Wishes & Gratitude,







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