Be part of the solution to ending child abuse by involving your community!

The Green Bear Project’s philosophy is to assist the community, as a whole, in taking steps to instill more accountability and openness regarding prevention,  disclosure and reporting of child victimization.  It is imperative communities recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse and hold abusers accountable for their actions.  The following are Missouri’s statutes/guidelines created to protect children.

Erin's Law

Missouri was the second of 35 states to pass Erin’s Law in 2011 with revisions in 2014.  Through this legislation, the Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children created these recommendations:

  • Age appropriate curriculum for students in preschool through fifth grade
  • Education to parents and guardians on recognizing signs of abuse
  • Actions a child victim can take to obtain assistance
  • Increased awareness of the issues regarding the sexual abuse of children

The Green Bear Program travels to schools throughout Southeast Missouri providing body safety education to children in prekindergarten through fifth grade.  In our 30 minute sessions, in which we utilize puppet shows, story books and fun books, we define child sexual abuse in a developmentally appropriate manner and discuss deterrent/prevention efforts children can utilize to attempt to prevent abuse from occurring and approaches children can take to disclose abuse.  For more information click here- The Green Bear Program.

Missouri Revised Statutes Section 170.045 RSMo

“In school year 2020-2021 and in each school year thereafter, each school district shall provide trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate sexual abuse training to students in all grades not lower than sixth grade.  School districts must include the following components in their training:

  • Instruction providing students with the knowledge and tools to recognize sexual abuse
  • Instruction providing students with the knowledge and tools to report an incident of sexual abuse
  • Actions that a student who is a victim of sexual abuse could take to obtain assistance and intervention
  • Available resources for students affected by sexual abuse

S.A.F.E. Guide to Growing Up/Healthy Relationships was created to instruct 6th – 8th grade students on child sexual abuse prevention/education.  For more information on our S.A.F.E. Programs, click here.

For more information on guidelines created by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Missouri Kids First, please download the following documents:

Missouri Revised Statutes RSMo 160.261, 210 110.165

According to Missouri’s School Board Association, each school in Missouri is now responsible to arrange for training and information necessary to assist staff members in identifying possible instances of child abuse and neglect. Each school is also responsible for implementing a planned program of personal safety and awareness education, including methods for preventing sexual abuse, that shall be provided to teachers, students and parents/guardians.

A Guide for Mandated Reporters:  Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse provides a two hour training for Missouri’s mandated reporters.  This program can be performed for a private institution such as a school, organization or a faith-based entity, or at a community event.  For more information on this program, click here.

Sexual Violence Prevention Toolkits for Counselors in 6th – 12th Grades

Sexual Violence Prevention (SVP) toolkits are provided free of charge to our local counselors through a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women for counties in our service area (Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Scott and Stoddard).  The SVP Toolkits contain the following information:

  • The SVP binder with over 250 pages of interactive games and programs regarding child sexual abuse prevention/education
  • The SVP flash drive with over 60 color posters and 13 programs/toolkits
  • SVP posters including over 60 color 8 ½ x 11 and 11 x 17 posters

If you are a school counselor for 6th – 12th grade students in our coverage area and have not yet received your toolkit, please contact SEMO-NASV at (573) 332-1900.

All programs created by The Green Bear Project are provided free of charge.

Although our programs have been proven effective, continuing education is essential in children retaining information regarding child abuse.  The following Professional Pages were created to assist childcare providers in delivering body safety education in a creative and fun way.

If a child discloses abuse, just remember, I CARE!

If a child discloses abuse, they are trusting you with a life-altering secret.  Only about 30% of children who have been sexually abused disclose the abuse to someone who can help them.  If a child tells you they have been sexually abused, always remember, I CARE!

I INFORMATION.  Secure only basic information asking only basic questions.  Do not question a child in detail about abuse.  Basic questions include what happened, who did this and when did this happen.  To report abuse, you only have to suspect it.
C CALM DEMEANOR.  Always remember, you are not angry at the child, but at what happened to them.  Children can mistakenly interpret anger or disgust as directed toward them.  Give positive messages such as, “Thank you for telling.”  Inform the child they should not be ashamed of what happened.
A ASSURE THE CHILD.  Sexual abuse is never the victim’s fault.  Assure the child what happened was not their fault.  Children cannot prevent abuse, only the abuser can.  Most disclosures are not made immediately after the abuse occurs – do not blame a child for waiting to disclose abuse.
R REPORT SUSPECTED ABUSE.  Perpetrators have more than one victim.  Report suspected abuse to Missouri’s Child Abuse Hotline at 1.800.392.3738.  In cases of suspected sexual abuse or severe physical trauma, the local police should be notified of your suspicions.
E ENCOURAGE COUNSELING.  Counseling is a vital step for a child who has been abused.  Non-offending family members should also receive counseling.  If you have questions regarding counseling or would like an appointment/referral, contact Southeast Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence at 573.332.1900 for instructions.

For more information, click on the following Green Bear Guidelines:

Mental Health Safety and Reporting Abuse


Additional Resources

If you have contacted Missouri’s Children’s Division and feel that your concerns have not been addressed, below are some additional resources by county:

Bollinger County Cape Girardeau County Dunklin County
Mississippi County New Madrid County Pemiscot County
Perry County Scott County Stoddard County