You can help prevent child abuse and sexual assault.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month & Sexual Assault Awareness Month—a crucial time of the year for our work at ChicagoCAC. We believe everyone has a responsibility to help protect children through advocacy, education and awareness. This time of the year is a great opportunity to increase our support and outreach to children and families in need, and to learn more about how to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

We have many ways for you to get involved!

Ways to get involved:

    Help us spread awareness by sharing our Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month posts on our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and/or X throughout this month. Education and awareness play a key role in preventing child abuse. Your support in spreading the message is crucial! You can also download our flyer and post it in various places to help spread the word!
    Each year on the first Tuesday of April, supporters bring awareness to Sexual Assault Awareness Month by wearing teal. Share a selfie of your teal look on social media, tag us, and use the hashtags #PowertoPrevent and #SAAM.  Don’t forget to check out these two great resources: Effects of Sexual Violence and Sexual Violence Myths and Facts
    Join ChicagoCAC for “Wear Blue Day” to kickoff Child Abuse Awareness Month. This is a great opportunity to start conversations with individuals in your life about child sexual abuse. You can also display a blue pinwheel (or even make your own!). Blue pinwheels are universally used to bring awareness to our community’s commitment to prevent child abuse and neglect. 
    Paint your pinky fingernail blue (or wear a blue ribbon) to raise awareness about child sexual abuse and to represent the 1 in 10 children who will be victims of sexual abuse before age 18. Post on social media using the hashtag #PinkyPromise. Get creative! #PinkyPromise to be an advocate, #PinkyPromise to hear children, #PinkyPromise to believe survivors, and #PinkyPromise to prevent child abuse are good ideas for how to use it in your messages!
    Give to ChicagoCAC to help children and families heal from abuse in a comprehensive, seamless way. Also, check out the special Popcorn Fundraiser that is being organized by the ChicagoCAC Associate board between April 11 and April 15.
    We’ve put together four amazing webinars tailored to educate individuals on the most important themes related to child abuse and sexual assault. Check out our trainings page to learn more and register.  

Tips for Individuals, Communities and Workplaces

Child abuse includes physical and sexual abuse as well as neglect. These topics are covered in depth in the Illinois Mandated Reporter Online training as well as ChicagoCAC’s Keeping Children Safe professional development session, which you can request to have offered to your workplace by filling out the link at  But there are also simple things that everyone can do when they relate to the children, teens, and other youth in their lives to help model preventive behaviors and stop child abuse before it starts.

For Individuals


For Workplaces

Here are ChicagoCAC’s tips and suggestions for a trauma-informed environment in a workplace serving children and families. We hope that careful consideration of these tips and how to incorporate them within a youth-serving organization can lead to positive interactions that model safe and healthy relationships – an essential component of primary prevention of child abuse. 

  • Consider physical space. Will people feel welcome here? What small changes could easily be made to make the space more comfortable?  
  • Model and exhibit good personal boundaries. Ask before shaking a hand or going in for a hug, especially while people may have varying levels of comfort amidst the pandemic. 
  • Stay brief and simple and don’t over-complicate things. 
  • Slow down and take a breath. Sometimes people just need a little more time.  
  • Connect before you direct. Don’t just begin to “order” people around. Tell them in a calm, friendly way what your name is, what your role is and that you are glad to meet them. 
  • Promote acceptance of where people are at. We can communicate non-judgement through words, body language and our tone. 
  • Ask if a person has any questions. Be aware of their body language and know that they may be feeling anxious, angry, tired or all three! 
  • Work to remember a person’s name. Talk with them on the same eye level when possible. If they are sitting, sit with them. If they are a child, go down to their eye level. 
  • Transitions and change can be hard for people who have experienced trauma. Keep this in mind and find ways to provide more support around these times.  
  • Empathetic responses are better than giving advice and interrupting.  Ex: “That sounds like it was really hard for you” or “I’m so sorry that happened. Thanks for sharing. How can I help?” 
  • Listen. Use your own silence & pauses thoughtfully as a tool to empower the person you are working with to share.
  • Remember your role. If someone needs support that you aren’t trained to give them, seek out assistance or a referral. 
  • When asked a question, it is OK to say, “I don’t know, but let me ask someone who might.” 
  • Give choices when possible. Remember, many people feel a lack of control, so the more sense of control you can offer, the better.   
  • Simmer down before talking. Other people sense when you are stressed out or frustrated. Take a brief time-out, a few deep breaths and settle down before you interact (see reverse side of this page). 
  • Know the policy and procedure specific to your program regarding crisis intervention if a situation escalates.  
  • Communicate and collaborate. Consult with a supervisor or manager when in doubt.  
  • Seek out support to process difficult situations. Take time away if you need it.  

Additional resources:

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