Iowa professionals who fight child sexual abuse may get help with a new approach from a national program called “Stop It Now!” Elizabeth Barnhill of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault says the public-information campaign calls on adults to report cases of abuse. She says the program aims to help identify those who abuse, then get them, or their friends, relatives or other adults to turn them in. Barnhill says in the past we used to warn children to watch out for strangers, but that’s not where the danger most often lies. Most programs have moved away from “Stranger Danger” to recognizing it’s most often people kids know who hurt them. Barnhill says the focus is also changing from punishment and law enforcement to public-health methods of preventing abuse before a child’s been hurt.Elizabeth Dawson came from the Massachusetts-based “Stop It Now” foundation to present a community-awareness campaign to counselors, public-health leaders and others Monday in Des Moines. For more information, surf to www.stopitnow.org.
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