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How the Pandemic Prioritizes the Need for Prevention

Child abuse prevention is more important than ever. Education in the key to eradication.

Kristi House knows from 25 years of experience, that during times of added stress, at-risk children are even more susceptible to abuse and exploitation. As we battle the coronavirus pandemic, reports of abuse and neglect dropped by an average of 40% nationwide.

However, a drop in reports does not mean abuse has subsided. Children are hidden from a cohort of mandated reporters including teachers and counselors. The risk of abuse rises as families struggle with disruptions in routine, isolation from society, financial insecurity, stress, and anxiety. Additionally, the pandemic is causing an exponential rise in online exploitation of children, as the time both kids and predators spend on the internet soars.

For decades child abuse funding has prioritized intervention over prevention, but this pandemic adds urgency to stopping abuse before it happens. With social distancing as the new normal and school openings in limbo, our children need a system that is not just reactive, but proactive. Child abuse was already rampant in the United States, the current pandemic is exacerbating the issue and highlighting the shortcomings of our overall approach.

Kristi House treats child abuse and trauma using the latest modalities and interventions with a clinical team of over 30 therapists and advocates. We also prioritize prevention, knowing without it, efforts to eradicate the child abuse epidemic are fruitless. Kristi House Education delivers best practice programs for schools, community groups, corporations, and faith-based organizations, with different courses specifically geared for children, parents and service providers. Since founding, Kristi House has provided classes, training and education programs to more than 130,000 participants. We are proud to partner with many evidence-based and evidence-informed prevention partners including: Darkness to Light, the Monique Burr Foundation, and Love146.

Throughout the pandemic, Kristi House has adapted to providing services in a remote or hybrid solution across all departments. Kristi House Education reaches a greatly expanded virtual audience, now training hundreds of child-serving professionals across the county,  and dozens of international agencies. Kristi House Education & Outreach Specialists also work with hundreds of local children through online classes and summer camps.

Child abuse is an epidemic of enormous magnitude and complications, so our collective approach must match in scale. Allocating resources for treatment is essential, but if we aim for eradication we must prioritize prevention.

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Join the Conversation:

Our partner, the Monique Burr Foundation is hosting Let’s Talk About Prevention, a free online learning series related to child abuse, bullying, exploitation and other types of victimization. Topics include:

  • Stolen Innocence. A Personal Story of Abuse, Healing, Advocacy, and the Importance of Prevention
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health Disparities: The Life-Course Effects of Childhood Trauma and Why Prevention Must Be a Leading Priority
  • The Science of Preventing Child Maltreatment
  • Prevent 360° – A Better Way to Protect Children from Abuse and Victimization
  • Sexual Abuse Prevention: A Variety of Strategies
  • Healing Trauma with Empathy and Teaching Resilience to Move Forward
  • Social Media & Emerging Tech: Motivating Mindful, Empathetic & Responsible Use to Prevent Digital Abuse
  • Emerging Trends in Child Sexual Exploitation: Protecting Children Online
  • Prevention and Early Recognition of Child Sex and Labor Trafficking


Take Action:

  • Kristi House Education: Register for a free, upcoming online course. Our team can also go to your (virtual) site for groups of 10 or more, and provide courses in Spanish.
  • Keep Kids Safe: Four ways to call on national leadership to prioritize prevention to #keepkidssafe from violence at home and online.




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