Over the past few months, people across the country have been tuning in to watch the latest viral docuseries: Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV. The show gained popularity for uncovering the toxic and sexually abusive culture behind some of the most iconic children’s shows of the late 1990s and early 2000s. For the first time, audiences heard the stories of some of their favorite childhood actors and the trauma they endured on set. 

If you watched Quiet on Set and felt not only angry, sad, or triggered, but also at a loss for what to do, you’re not alone. 

We sat down with Sadie Rose Pace, one of Illuminate’s Education Program Managers and facilitator of child sexual abuse prevention trainings, to discuss what people might be feeling after watching Quiet on Set and actions they can take. Sadie shares her own thoughts on the docuseries, where to find educational trainings on boundary setting, and where victims can find support.

Let’s hear from Sadie.

While I was watching Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV it became apparent that there were a lot of areas in kids TV that could have been improved in order to have a higher standard of safety for both children and adults. Some simple ground rules including background checks, Codes of Conduct that provide boundaries around appropriate behavior, and ensuring that children and adults are in observable and interruptible situations (versus being one-on-one) would have made the work environment safer and more supportive for everyone.

These same kinds of ground rules can help us all create safer and more supportive environments for kids and adults alike–whether on a playdate, at school, at summer camp, or on a TV set. By setting clear boundaries and limits, we can reduce the risk of child sexual abuse.

Setting boundaries doesn’t have to be scary.

Sometimes when we are setting boundaries, it can feel overwhelming or impossible. When we break it down into skill sets that we can work on building, it gets much easier. 

Classes like Lines in the Sand: Identifying and Addressing Boundary Violations can help families and organizations learn why boundaries are so important to keep children safe, and how Codes of Conduct and policies are your opportunity to provide those boundaries.

202431May11:00 am1:00 pmLines in the Sand Training11:00 am - 1:00 pm(GMT-06:00) View in my timeVirtual Event

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth Serving Organizations is a great guide that has a helpful template in the back to keep track of what you need and what you already have. There is no one size fits all, but you should always feel encouraged and empowered to make changes to maintain boundaries and the safety of children. 

Where to turn if you or a loved one has experienced child sexual abuse.

For a lot of people watching this documentary, it brought up concerns or questions of abuse for themselves or others. Remember that no one ever owes you a disclosure or story of abuse. The Wings Foundation supports adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse to transcend trauma and lead their fullest, healthiest lives. They also have resources for loved ones to learn more. 

If you are concerned for the safety of a child, call the Colorado State Hotline at 844-CO-4-KIDS to make a report. Classes like Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children can teach you how to prevent, recognize, and report child sexual abuse. You can also learn more, as well as how to support your community, by reaching out to your local Child Advocacy Center. You can find a list of locations and more information about what Child Advocacy Centers do at the Colorado Children’s Alliance.

202417May12:00 pm2:30 pmStewards of Children Training12:00 pm - 2:30 pm(GMT-06:00) View in my timeVirtual Event

We all have the power to help build safer and stronger communities.

It can feel disheartening to watch these documentaries and hear stories of child sexual abuse. But your commitment to learning more and building safer communities is vital for moving forward. The resources listed here are free within Colorado. You can find class dates on our Event Calendar. We can also provide training to your group or organization by reaching out to Sadie Rose Pace at space@illuminatecolorado.org

Every single adult in Colorado has the power to make their community safer by supporting one another in preventing abuse.

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