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How Can Citizens Help Increase Community Safety?

Citizens can enhance public safety by getting involved and becoming leaders in their communities.

Members of the community can get involved in helping to prevent sexual assault and maintain the safety of their community. Community members can:

  • Talk openly about the sexual assault of adults and children, men, women, boys, and girls.

  • Understand the issues involved in sexual assault.  Know the statistics.

  • Don't assume preventing sexual assault is someone else's responsibility.

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  • Talk to your children about personal safety issues as they relate to child sexual abuse.  Do this when you talk to your children about bike safety, crossing the street, or talking to strangers.  It is, in many ways, just another personal safety rule about which children need to be aware.

  • Listen to your children.  You can minimize the risk to your children by listening to their questions and concerns and by ensuring an open and communicative family lifestyle where your children know they can come to you if they have questions, fears and/or concerns.

  • Increase your knowledge about risk reduction measures you can take to protect yourself.

  • Invite your local law enforcement, probation/parole department, rape crisis center, or child abuse prevention organization to a neighborhood discussion group to learn about this issue and address neighbors' fears and concerns.

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  • Get to know your neighbors.

  • Organize neighborhood block watches, if desired by your neighbors.

  • Don't wait until you are informed that a sex offender is living nearby to take action to reduce your risk of sexual assault.

  • Get involved in primary prevention, that is, educational efforts that seek to stop the behaviors and attitudes that allow sexual assault to occur.

  • Find out the statistics on child sexual abuse, adult sexual assault, offender arrest, and incarceration in your community.

  • Beware of the media's ability to draw attention to the most horrific of stories concerning the sexual assault of children or adults.  These stories, while real and very frightening, are usually not the norm.

Information contained on this page is reproduced from or links to the Center for Sex Offender Management, with permission. Reproduction herein of this information is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement or adoption by the State of New Jersey, or its officers, employees or agents.

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