Jesuit Social Services’ The Men’s Project, in partnership with the University of Melbourne, was pleased to recently launch a scoping study into the feasibility of a Stop it Now! service in Australia to prevent child sexual abuse and offending involving child exploitation material.
There are currently no early interventions in Australia for potential perpetrators and this gap was identified by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Stop it Now! was highlighted as a potential model to adopt in the recommended National Child Sexual Abuse Prevention strategy.
The program’s key feature would be a phone helpline and text message facility for people worried about their sexual thoughts and behaviours in relation to children; as well as others who come across child sexual abuse (such as parents and family members).
These services would provide information, safety planning based on risk assessments, and referrals for additional assistance in compliance with legal and mandatory reporting obligations.
Similar models currently operate successfully in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands.
Matt Tyler, Executive Director of The Men’s Project, told attendees at the launch that a national pilot of the program could be delivered at a cost of approximately $2 million per year.
Jesuit Social Services and the University of Melbourne are currently seeking funding for a pilot.
Download the Stop It Now! scoping study.
Download the four page Stop it Now! brochure.