Committee for Children’s longstanding history of protecting children from sexual abuse is the origin and soul of our organization. The Hot Chocolate Talk provides families with research-based tools to help start the difficult, yet critically important conversation about child sexual abuse prevention.
The Hot Chocolate Talk provides research-based tools to help families start a crucial safety conversation.
Jana Kramer, child abuse prevention
Jana Kramer—Child Abuse Prevention PSA
mother reading with child, child abuse prevention
Prevent Child Sexual Abuse—Have the Hot Chocolate Talk

Have the Hot Chocolate Talk

Research shows that talking to your kids about sexual abuse, touching, and private body parts can help keep them safe. That’s why we’ve designed the Hot Chocolate Talk to provide warmth and comfort for an understandably difficult discussion. Based on research and filled with age-appropriate talking points, this tool will help to normalize the topic and help keep kids safe.

Grab a cup of cocoa, download our conversation guide, and start the talk every parent needs to have.

What the Research Says

Understanding the facts about child sexual abuse is the first step in preventing it.
Learn what it is, who the victims and offenders are, and its effects.

How to Start the Conversation

It’s normal to feel uneasy about broaching this topic with your kids, but talking about sexual abuse helps keep them safe. Watch this video to get four important tips on how to start the conversation and keep it going.

Download our conversation guide for more helpful tips.

Get the Guide

Signs of Abuse

Kids often don’t tell about sexual abuse, but sometimes they’ll display behavioral, physical, and emotional changes like

  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Fear of being alone with a certain person
  • Sudden, unexplained fears of certain places or kinds of people

See the Signs

Why Kids Don't Tell

Telling someone about sexual abuse is very hard for children. The sad news is that children often don’t tell anyone when they’ve been sexually abused. Good news is, when they do, they almost never lie about it.

Learn More

Offender Behavior

In 90 percent of child sexual abuse cases, children know their abuser. In this video, you’ll learn about

  • Grooming tactics targeting children
  • Grooming tactics: targeting adult family
  • Offenders after the abuse

Learn More

Share with Families

Help keep kids safe in and out of school. Share this research-based conversation guide—filled with talking points and strategies—to help families start the conversation about child sexual abuse.

Include this link in your next family communications.

Share Now

Educators Can Help Kids

Most sexual abuse is committed by someone the family knows, which makes it hard for kids to tell.

How do you help kids tell?

  • Talk to them about touching
  • Tell them there are no secrets
  • Say that you’ll believe them

See Signs of Abuse

Book List

This is not a sexual conversation—this is a safety conversation. Below is a list of books we recommend that provide valuable information for keeping your kids safe.

See All Books

Teach Child Safety

The Second Step Child Protection Unit can be taught with our Second Step social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum or as a stand-alone unit.

Learn More

Prevention: Age-Appropriate Talk

What to Do If a Child Reports Abuse

Handling the Conversation

If your child does disclose, reassure them that telling was the right thing to do. Be as warm and caring as you can; avoid expressing anger or blame.

Stay matter of fact and objective, repeating what they say and asking open-ended questions. Don’t insist on precise details, numbers, days, or times. Most importantly, let them know you believe them, you will help them, and that it won’t happen again.

If You're Too Upset to Listen

Revisit the conversation once you’ve calmed down, saying something like “Remember what you told me about Uncle John touching your private parts? Can we talk about it again?” Then follow the same guidelines outlined here.

What to Say Right Away

“Thank you for telling me. It was the right thing to do.”

“Tell me what happened,” then repeat what they say. Gently ask open-ended questions like, “What happened next?”

“I believe you. I will help you. And I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”