News & Announcements

Why We Should Teach Children Proper Names for Private Body Parts

Genitals, like other body parts, are healthy, good, and essential to our physical well-being. We name them “private parts” because they are generally off-limits to others. We keep them covered. However, these body parts are not so private that we can’t speak about them respectfully, with their proper names.

One of our society’s deepest-set norms is that we don’t mention the anatomically correct names of our private body parts. Some parents use slang words and silly names when referring to them. In fact, many families don’t use any names at all. They are too embarrassed to even acknowledge those parts exist.

We should use plain and accurate language when referring to private parts. In other words, use the correct medical terms to name body parts. Incorrect names send the message that genitals are shameful, naughty, wrong, bad, and that it’s rude to mention them.

New Outdoor Public Awareness Campaign Calls on Everyone to “Pledge to Prevent” Child Sexual Abuse

MassKids, which directs Enough Abuse, and END1IN4, Inc., are launching a new Pledge to Prevent® outdoor public awareness campaign on billboards across Greater Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and in New York City’s Times Square. The campaign commences on Monday, April 1 and will run throughout April during National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Pledge to Prevent® campaign website provides a unique online opportunity for thousands of individuals across the country to get educated about child sexual abuse and take concrete, practical actions to prevent it in their homes and communities. The campaign will also feature extensively on social media.

According to Jetta Bernier, director of MassKids and its Enough Abuse campaign, “While there is universal support to end child sexual abuse, individuals often ask – `What can I really do to make a difference?’ The best way is for adults and communities to take prime responsibility for preventing sexual abuse. That means learning about it, talking about it and taking specific actions to stop it from ever happening.”

MassKids and Enough Abuse Seek Director of Philanthropy

MassKids, which directs the Enough Abuse Campaign, is an innovative and outcome-driven organization that empowers individuals and policymakers to prevent all forms of child abuse. We accomplish our mission through training, education, and effective advocacy. The nation’s oldest private citizen-based child advocacy organization, MassKids has over six decades of accomplishments for children.

Responsibilities

The Director of Philanthropy will lead fundraising efforts for MassKids: defining strategy, execution, and follow-up.

What is child molestation? Signs, examples and resources

What is child molestation? People have a difficult time talking about child molestation. Other common terms include child sexual abuse and child sexual assault. There are various legal definitions and connotations behind each term. Ultimately, they all refer to any sexual activity between an adult and child or adolescent, which is abusive and illegal. Child molestation or child sexual abuse is an exploitation of power, and usually of trust. This is especially true when you consider that 90% of child molestation or child sexual abuse is committed by someone the child knows and trusts.

Children engaged in problematic sexual behaviors also sometimes sexually abuse other children. This abuse often involves a child of unequal power or development to them. In fact, recent research shows that over 70% of children or youth who report they were sexually abused, either in person or online, were abused by a peer or older child.

Nov. 18th: World Day for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

On Saturday, Nov. 18th, we celebrated the second annual World Day for the Prevention of, and Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Exploitation and Violence. The Enough Abuse Campaign was a founding partner of the Global Collaborative that helped establish this day, which was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2022.

We are thankful that Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey listened to the voices of survivors and advocates for children, declaring Nov. 18th Childhood Sexual Abuse Awareness Day in Massachusetts.

We are hopeful that this growing awareness will help our #PassthePreventionPackage campaign succeed to pass child sexual abuse prevention laws in our state. Our advocacy on this issue was recently featured in a Boston25 News story on educator sexual misconduct in Massachusetts.

“Straight Talk: Prevention Guide for Parents” – Updated!

Every parent is concerned about keeping their children safe from those who might sexually abuse or exploit them.

Our “Straight Talk” Guide gives parents the information and skills they need to strengthen safety within their family and community and reduce the risks of sexual abuse. The Guide has been updated to include a new section on the 25 Adult Boundary-Violating Behaviors parents should talk to their children about, and another about online child sexual abuse and internet safety.

This Prevention Guide for Parents is also now available in Spanish.

There is also a version of the guide for parents of children with disabilities, which has also been updated to include the information about boundary violating behaviors, online child sexual abuse, and internet safety.

Download your free Straight Talk About Child Sexual Abuse: Prevention Guide for Parents at https://enoughabuse.org/get-the-facts/guides-for-parents/.

Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Massachusetts Advocacy Briefing

MassKids and its Enough Abuse Campaign held a Virtual Advocacy Briefing webinar on Thursday, April 20th  to educate citizens, policymakers and advocates about a package of bills aimed at preventing child sexual abuse in Massachusetts schools and youth-serving organizations. Senator Joan Lovely and Representative Natalie Blais discussed what these bills, which they have introduced, will accomplish. Several survivors of educator sexual abuse and child advocates explained why passage is so crucial. Learn how you can take action to support these bills.

Survivors and Advocates Speak Out at the MA State House

Survivors of child sexual abuse and advocates spoke out at the Massachusetts State House at the “Survivors Nest” event and legislative briefing, hosted by Senator Joan Lovely on April 11th. MassKids/Enough Abuse Director, Jetta Bernier and Senator Lovely described key bills that would prevent child sexual abuse in Massachusetts schools, and survivors including MassKids Board Member, Trish Kendall shared their stories and explained how training for school employees could help prevent future abuse and help protect children.

MassKids Partners with Prevent Child Abuse America on CDC Research Project to Evaluate the Effectiveness of State Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Laws

MassKids and its Enough Abuse Campaign to prevent child sexual abuse is partnering with Prevent Child Abuse America on a CDC-funded project to evaluate the effectiveness of state laws and policies to prevent child sexual abuse (CSA) perpetrated by adults.  

Become a Gold Star School or Youth Organization with Safety S.T.A.R.S.!

Safety S.T.A.R.S. supports schools and youth organizations seeking to strengthen their policies and practices to prevent child sexual abuse through: high quality in-person and online trainings;
cutting-edge assessment and prevention tools; and
expert technical assistance on prevention policies.

Enough Abuse – Building the Movement to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

The Enough Abuse Campaign, directed by MassKids, is making great strides to educate parents, schools, youth organizations and the public about child sexual abuse and ways to prevent it but we need YOUR support to reach our goals for children faster.

Learn how to take action in your state to promote child sexual abuse prevention legislation!

Watch the three-part webinar series to learn to take action in your state.

A Call to Action for Policymakers and Advocates: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Legislation in the States

MassKids and its Enough Abuse Campaign, in collaboration with Prevent Child Abuse America, released this national report in June 2021. We review five laws aimed at preventing sexual misconduct and abuse through school-based initiatives and provide an overview of each state’s legislative efforts in those areas.

The Enough Abuse Campaign is Featured in a Prevent Connect Podcast

The work of the Enough Abuse Campaign was recently featured in a two part Prevent Connect podcast. Prevent Connect is a national project of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. We are grateful to Tori VandeLinde from Prevent Connect for hosting this podcast and featuring our work to prevent child sexual abuse through the Enough Abuse Campaign.

Lifelines for Students At Risk of Abuse

For the first time ever, rape crisis hotlines across the country are reporting a significant increase in calls from children and youth. The vast majority of these callers report they are living with the person who is hurting them. For many children, lack of access to their teachers, school nurses, social workers, counselors, and coaches means they may not have anyone outside their home they can confide in.

Radio Interview: Morning Show on North Shore 104.9FM with Senator Bruce Tarr

Listen to the Morning Show on North Shore 104.9FM radio interview with MassKids Executive Director Jetta Bernier, taped on May 4th, 2020. Jetta, Senator Bruce Tarr and Morning Show hosts discuss the problem of child abuse during COVID-19, and steps people can take to protect children. 

Protecting Children and Preventing Child Abuse During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Our Massachusetts Resource Guide for Parents and Caregivers: Caring For Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic can help raise awareness about the increased risk to children of abuse and neglect during this time, and provide support to parents and other caregivers to help keep children safe.