Resource Of the Week: Halloween and Sexual Abuse Prevention: The Mythical “Halloween Effect”
Did you know that not everything you hear about sexual abuse is true? According to the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), “The simple fact is that there are no significant increases in sexual crimes on or around Halloween. There is no “Halloween effect.” There is no change in the rate of sexual crimes by non-family members during Halloween. That was true both before and after communities enacted laws to restrict the activities of registrants during Halloween.”
However, it does not mean that you can stop worrying about sexual abuse for the night! Sexual abuse of children is both serious and common. 1 in 5 children experience sexual abuse in the past year, meaning that in every elementary school classroom of 25 children, 5 have experienced recent sexual abuse (PCAR Mandated Reporting of Children Training).
Most sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone known and trusted by the child and the family. We still want our community to be aware of this risk, and to learn skills that parents can use to identify grooming behavior and intervene in it. That’s why SARCC offers Parents In the Know training.
It is important to understand and talk about the fact that there is no correlation between Halloween activities and increased rates of sexual crimes by non-family members. Please review our resource of the week and help us to dispel this myth! You can also help prevent child sexual abuse by arranging a Parents in the Know program for a group in your community. Email email@example.com to schedule.