Who are we and what do we do:

Dunebrook has over 30 years of experience working in the community providing support to parents and children to build safer, healthier, happier families through free Home-Visitation, Public Education and our Child Advocacy Center.

Our Public Education Program educates and empowers children and adults on how to respond and protect from child sexual abuse using the Body Safety,

Safer, Smarter Teens and Stewards of Children programs.  Using these evidenced based programs, we provide age appropriate trainings for schools, churches, youth serving organizations, as well as other groups in the community.

Our Public Education Program also offers free parenting support groups. Using an evidenced based curriculum we cover an array of topics including stress management, appropriate discipline, communication, family morals and values, understanding feelings and development. Everyone can use support and guidance through the path of parenting.

We invite parents to be the best parents possible.  In the spirit of trust, kindness and experience, we can be there with them and support them, and their children and entire family.  We’re just a phone call away!

Public Education and Our Community:

The key to keeping children safe is prevention education. According to the Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute, 95% of child maltreatment is preventable through education.

Sounds good…what do I do next:

information about our sexual abuse prevention trainings and parenting support groups.

Our prevention trainings and support groups are free and serve a variety of different settings.  We’ve been funded for over 30 years by the generosity of community grants, fundraising support and some federal program funding.

Body Safety

According to the Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute, 95% of child maltreatment is preventable through education. Dunebrook’s goal in Public Education is to prevent child sexual abuse by:

  1. Educating and empowering children to self-protect and identify who they can talk to if something happens,
  2. Teaching educators, parents and other interested adults in how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to suspicions or allegations
  3. Reducing the social stigma through education and talking more about the problem.

Educating children to be confident, informed and in control of their own bodies is essential, because perpetrators seek out the child who is less confident and less likely to take action against inappropriate actions. All children have to know self-protection strategies.

Body Safety educates Kindergarten-5th grade children in self-protection and how to respond if something has happened to them or someone they know. It is a powerful, non-threatening, age-appropriate 30-minute presentation; it is not sex education. Children learn the names of their body parts, and identify to whom they can talk if something has happened.

Safer, Smarter Teens

Safer, Smarter Teens educates middle schoolers about the warning signs of unsafe situations and what actions they can take to reduce risks, stay safe, and access help.  It is presented in six sessions, typically during health or gym class. Topics include: self-esteem, personal power, online safety/social media, acceptance and boundaries.

Education is especially critical for girls, who are shown to be even more vulnerable than boys to this crime. According to David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, girls are sexually abused at a rate of four times that of boys. According to the National Sexual Abuse Resource Center, 91% of rape and sexual assault victims are female. (Rennison, 2002). Sexually abused girls are 2.2 times as likely as non-abused peers to become teen mothers. (Noll & Putnam, 2009). The risk continues into adulthood, as more than one-third of women who report being raped before age 18 also experience rape as an adults. (Black et al, 2010).

 The early exposure to safety education is critical, as children are most vulnerable to sexual abuse between the ages of 7 and 13. (Finkelhor, 1994) Children learn and remember through repetition. When children see the prevention program every year in school, they gain the courage to come forward.

26,156 students and 1,607 teachers are in Porter County schools, and we aim to present to as many of them as possible. In the current school year, we presented to: Duneland schools, Union Township Schools, East Porter Schools and Valparaiso Community Schools. We are currently working to present to Portage Schools.

Ultimately, keeping children safe is an adult responsibility. Stewards of Children is a 2.5 hour presentation which educates adults in the facts about child sexual abuse so they can prevent, recognize and respond appropriately.

Dunebrook presented Stewards of Children to 63 adults in Porter County. We expect these presentations to increase as schools look to Dunebrook to help them satisfy State requirements for reporting abuse. The new law states that any school employee who suspects abuse is required to report the maltreatment to DCS or law enforcement before notifying their principal or the principal’s designee that a report has been made.

Furthermore, Dunebrook’s prevention education helps school staff learn how to respond to suspicions, disclosures or allegations by a third party (e.g. another student). This coincides with the State’s new laws regarding reporting by school employees. School employees need to know the telephone number to call and what information should be provided in their report.