August 11th, 2020

Dear John,

Does “staying at home” mean “safe at home” for all the kids you know?

ALERT - During the pandemic, Massachusetts children are being largely unseen by teachers, counselors, nurses and other school staff who would normally serve as their lifelines for safety from abuse. As a result, official reports to the Department of Children and Families by schools are down sharply, while calls to rape crisis hotlines by children reporting sexual abuse are higher than ever and hospitals are reporting more serious cases of physical abuse.

Here are five things you can do to keep children safe at home:

1.) First, keep the lines of communication open with your own children. Take advantage of this time to remind them they should always be safe at home, at school and everywhere in their community. Tell them that if they ever feel unsafe, you are there to listen, help and protect them. Download our Prevention Guide for Parents for help talking with your children.

2.)  Reach out by phone, email or text to the other children in your life who you can’t visit now, e.g. grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. Ask them if they are okay and safe. Tell them they can talk to you anytime if they ever feel unsafe or if anyone is hurting them.

3.)  If you are a Superintendent or Principal of one of Massachusetts' 400 school districts or 1,800 schools, post the Student Safety Poster on your school or district websites. If you are a teacher, email the Poster to your students and encourage them to reach out if they are feeling unsafe in their homes during the pandemic.

4.)  Call the Child-at-Risk hotline (800) 792-5200, 24/7 for advice and help about possible physical or sexual abuse. Remember for both the abused child and for the person abusing, the most loving thing you can do is to make sure the abuse stops.

5.) Visit our unique online campaign - Pledge to Preventtoday. You will receive resources tailored to support your taking specific, achievable actions to prevent child sexual abuse in your home and community. Show Your Hand. Take a Stand!

Support MassKids today and help us build the movement to ensure each child's right to a safe and healthy childhood—one free from the devastating and life-long consequences of physical or sexual child abuse.

Your gift will help our prevention education, policy and advocacy work reach more families, schools, youth organizations, and communities to prevent child abuse from ever occurring

Let’s work together to make sure that “stay at home” means “safe at home!”


Jetta Bernier

Executive Director


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