Effective sexual abuse risk management is impossible without collaboration

To manage any risk well, never mind a rare risk like sexual abuse and misconduct (SAM), organizations must collaborate.  Collaboration is the only way most organizations can develop enough data to produce enough reliable information about sexual abuse to know how most effectively to prevent it.  And we have to get better at preventing sexual abuse.

Currently, sexual abuse is rising.  Adult-on-child sexual abuse has doubled in the last ten years.  Child-on-child sexual abuse has increased five times.  The current compliance-based controls that 95% of organizations use aren’t enough to prevent SAM or even stop it from rising, and they haven’t, broadly speaking, changed in twenty years.

In addition:

  1. all the costs of failing to prevent sexual abuse (disruption, reputation, and financial)  have risen sharply;
  2. plaintiffs’ attorneys have developed plenty of ways to circumvent compliance protections; and
  3. sexual abuse insurance is now much harder to find, difficult to buy, covers much less, and costs much more. 

Enough.  We can do better, and collaboration is at the heart of how.

Collaboration involves breaking down the silos (between sectors, vendors, and youth-serving organizations) that currently prevent the development of the quality of data needed to understand and improve child protection.  Collaboration means measuring SAM risk, SAM risk management, and SAM risk management performance contemporaneously.  

Collaboration doesn’t mean organizations publicly share their most sensitive information with others.  Instead, it means sharing information with a single entity – BOKRIM – confidentially.  BOKRIM is designed to analyze SAM, SAM risk, and SAM risk management performance data contemporaneously.  BOKRIM’s purpose is to improve SAM risk management knowledge and share the knowledge with those who contribute to its development (and not with anyone else).  BOKRIM’s objective is to continuously improve how well children can be protected from sexual abuse.  It also enables organizations that use the best child protection practices to protect themselves from the consequences of any abuse they cannot prevent.

Collaboration also enables organizations to:

  1. credibly demonstrate to others they are managing SAM risk as well as they can; and
  2. minimize the total cost of their SAM risk and its management.

That effective SAM risk management is impossible without collaboration is a BOKRIM core principle.

Creating and Maintaining a Sexual Abuse Risk-Aware Culture: A Free Ten-Step Guide

Developing a sexual abuse risk-aware culture is the single most valuable thing you can do to protect the children and vulnerable adults in your care from sexual abuse.

Our free Ten-Step Guide is a practical introduction to the system that enables any organization to establish and maintain a sexual abuse risk-aware culture. 

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Post Author

Tim Jaggs

I am a Brit who now lives just outside San Francisco.  Though I have given up arguing for “football,” not “soccer,” I am still trying to decide whether football is better to watch than rugby – it’s a very close call – and if it’s OK to admit I enjoy baseball almost as much as cricket.

I have worked with organizations managing sexual abuse risk for over 15 years. 

I created BOKRIM to help people working with children, who often have little risk management experience, to use risk management best practices to protect children from sexual abuse and protect themselves from the consequences of failing to prevent sexual abuse.