10 Big ideas behind “Talk early, talk often”

We are a month into the New Year, and SAAM resources are now officially available for April 2013. But if you’ve swung by these parts often, you know that the conversation about SAAM, healthy childhood development and child sexual abuse prevention has been ongoing. This week we are taking a behind-the-scenes look back at the big ideas informing this campaign in order to look forward using these tools leading up to and during April.

10 Big ideas supporting healthy development
1. It is the responsibility of adults to prevent child sexual abuse. Healthy childhood development resources in the SAAM 2013 campaign provide a framework for how we can use this role to support children and promote healthier environments.

2. Sexual development starts at day one.
 
3. Healthy sexuality can start there too.  
 
4. Knowledge is power. Children are empowered when trusted adults share age-appropriate information about development. 
 
5. The “talk” isn’t a one-time conversation; it’s dozens of moments and opportunities for learning, growth and support. Being open to conversation is important, and having all the answers is not required.
 
6. Knowledge empowers adults too. With more knowledge, comfort and skills, adults can better understand and support healthy development and recognize signs of unhealthy or abusive behaviors in both youth and adults.
 
7. Adults need to talk to one another. When adults talk with other adults about healthy sexual development it has a positive influence on the larger environments in which children gather, learn, and play.
 
8. Adults can support children in setting boundaries around affection and touch. By respecting these boundaries, adults share a message that a child’s body belongs to them and their body rights are important
 
9. Adults are role-models and need to practice healthy behaviors, skills and boundaries when interacting with one another and children too.
 
10. All adults in the community can be powerful allies and advocates in preventing child sexual abuse. All adults can share information, challenge unhealthy norms and engage as bystanders in order to create healthier environments for children.
 
Do you have a big idea? Share it in a comment below!