Suggested Story Angles
A look at the system
A series of news stories that takes a look at the entire child abuse intervention process by following a victim throughout every stage. From reporting to assessing to investigating to prosecuting to treatment – a look at what the child victim endures, the impact on the family, and the differences made by the multi-disciplinary team approach endorsed by NCA and applied by local CACs around the country.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month
Child Abuse Prevention Month takes place annually in April. What is the outlook for victims of child abuse today? Discuss innovative therapeutic interventions being used by local CACs around the country. Educate parents as to what to look for and what to teach their children to keep them safe. Build awareness of the problem on a local, regional and national scale. Present the CAC multi-disciplinary approach as a model for the nation’s assessment centers.
What is a forensic interview and why does it work?
Discuss how the forensic interviewing process has changed over the years and highlight the benefits of forensic interviews (i.e. children only go through one interview; information gathered is more credible for prosecution purposes).
The healing process and new approaches to therapy
Discuss the multiple treatment modalities and innovative therapeutic interventions endorsed by NCA and utilized by local CACs with victims, siblings and non-offending caregivers.
Childhood trauma and ACEs
Sexual abuse, physical abuse, an neglect are forms of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that researchers have linked to mental health problems, such as mood disorders, anxiety, substance abuse, and impulse control disorders. Child abuse often co-occurs with other ACEs, like witness to domestic or community violence, traumatic loss or separation, or sexual assault. Adults with multiple ACES have even been shown to be more likely to endure poor health outcomes like diabetes, STDs, heart disease, and early death.
Youth with problematic sexual behaviors
In about a third of all substantiated cases of child sexual abuse, the alleged abuser is another child. CACs help both victims and those who have abused them—and their families—recover from the aftermath. What are the risk and protection factors of sexual abuse among children? How can communities address sexual behavior problems in youth? Can treatments help reduce recidivism? What cultural considerations help keep children safe and restore families?
Sexting, sextortion, and protecting kids online
What can be done to prevent a child from being lured into an inappropriate relationship or viewing inappropriate materials online? Signs to look for and tips for parents – utilize NCA as a resource for finding credible sources for local stories.
“Before and After”: How abuse investigations have changed
An in-depth, comparative look at how a sexual abuse case was handled in the past (at the local or national level) and how these types of cases are currently handled by CACs around the country. Feature a local CAC in your area and discuss all of the on-site services offered. A detailed look at how the multi-disciplinary approach benefits the child victim and his/her family. This human interest angle would serve as positive supporting evidence of the evolution of the system.
Educating our children about child abuse
A story on NCA’s proactive approach to encouraging community education and abuse prevention tactics. Highlight the need for more education in your community’s schools and utilize NCA to offer strategies for achieving this goal.
Tips to keep children safe / Educating children about “body safety”
A comprehensive list of tips for educating children on how to recognize and avoid abusive situations.
The evolution of the CAC model
Present how the CAC model has evolved over the years by sharing personal stories of survivors and how the changing system has positively impacted these individuals.
Sexting and sextortion
NCA is connected with experts on the topics of sexting and sextortion as they relate to child abuse. who can speak to the growing issue and methods for intervention and prevention.
Child sex trafficking
An in-depth look at the factors surrounding child sex trafficking, how CACs respond to these cases, common misconceptions and problematic language about victims, and the unique challenges of serving this vulnerable population.
Presenting facts on new legislation
How will/does current legislation tied to child protective services impact local communities and the children and families served?
Mandatory reporting laws
In 48 states, the District of Columbia and many U.S. territories, local laws name certain professions likely to have close contact with children as “mandatory reporters” of abuse: medical professionals, police, teachers, child care providers, mental health providers, and many others. Workers in these fields are legally required to report suspected abuse to authorities. However, in a growing number of states (currently 18), all adult residents are legally required to report suspected abuse. Do these laws help increase child abuse reporting? Do residents understand their legal responsibilities? What are the barriers to reporting? See peer-reviewed research from NCA and the University of New Hampshire.
High-profile abuse cases
When prominent people or institutions are in the spotlight of abuse allegations, how does coverage affect the community—and the victims? NCA offers perspectives on how to cover these complex episodes that can raise awareness of child abuse, but that can also send audiences the wrong message.
NOTE: For additional supporting elements, please download the National Children’s Alliance Media Guide available in the Online Media Room.
For more information about these story angles or to request an interview with a National Children’s Alliance or local Children’s Advocacy Center representative, please contact:
Director of Communications
National Children’s Alliance