Strengthening Families Through Policy

Throughout the year, we are advocating for policies that strengthen West Virginia families so that kids can have happy, healthy childhoods. Click here to download our policy one-pager or view the image below.

Building Together: Prevention in Partnership

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month!

April is Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Month, an annual opportunity to celebrate positive childhood experiences and highlight the importance of safe, stable, nurturing environments that help children thrive. Throughout CAP Month, Prevent Child Abuse America and our state chapter, Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia, are using the metaphor of building blocks and construction to reinforce the concept that prevention cannot and does not happen alone. Instead, communities must build positive futures together in partnership.

We invite you to follow us on Facebook at to stay involved throughout the month of April. Please join us wherever you may be for Wear Blue Days—Friday, March 31, 2023, Monday, April 3, 2023, and Friday, April 7, 2023—to kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month. If possible, post a picture on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #WearBlueDay2023, #CAPMonth, and #BuildingTogether so we can share them with others.

Learn how you can build healthy families and strong communities here!

The 5 Steps to Protecting Children form a framework for preventing child sexual abuse.

Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia has partnered with Darkness to Light, a leader in child sexual abuse prevention, to raise awareness and educate adults on how to keep children safe. This research-based approach empowers adults to take responsibility for and protect children from child sexual abuse. There are five proactive steps that can be taken to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to this abuse.

Step 1: Learn the Facts

If we don’t understand child sexual abuse, we can’t end it. It is highly likely that you know a child who has been or is being abused.

1 in 10 children experience child sexual abuse before their 18th birthday.  Know what sexual abuse is. Recognize its prevalence. Understand how it occurs.

Step 2: Minimize Opportunity

Safe environments can help reduce the risk for child abuse. More than 80% of sexual child abuse cases occur in isolated, one-on-one situations.

If you eliminate or reduce isolated, one-on-one situations between children and adults, as well as children and other youth, you’ll dramatically reduce the risk of sexual abuse.

Step 3: Openly Talk About It

Talking openly breaks down barriers and reduces stigma. By talking openly about our bodies, sex, & boundaries we can encourage children to share.

One of the best protections is our relationship with children. Have open conversations with children about our bodies, sex, and boundaries.

Step 4: Recognize the Signs

Signs of abuse aren’t always obvious, but they are often there. Emotional or behavioral changes are often the most common signs of child abuse..

Know the signs of abuse to protect children from further harm. Trauma is often the root of what we label as difficult or bad behavior.

Step 5: React Responsibly

It’s our responsibility to react appropriately to suspicion, disclosure, or discovery of abuse. Only 4% to 8% of reports of all sexual abuse are false.

React Responsibly.  Understand how to respond to disclosures, discoveries, and suspicions of sexual abuse.

For More Information

Our network of 42 local Community Teams throughout WV working collaboratively on a grassroots level to improve the lives of children and families. Learn more about local efforts occurring in your community through Partners in Prevention.

View our Resource Guide for Caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This guide is intended to help navigate life with children through the pandemic and the days that follow.

The Legislative Action Team includes the state’s leading organizations working on behalf of children and families. We work to advance family-friendly public policy by mobilizing support for issues that improve the lives of children in West Virginia.

Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia
Partners in Community Outreach West Virginia
Western Regional CASA
West Virginia Infant Toddler Mental Health Association
Mountain State Healthy Families