The initial intention of Team Only Stronger was to build a brand around the development and implementation of practical education and support initiatives that focus on fighting to eliminate the stigma associated with childhood abuse and trauma in order to empower victims develop social/emotional competence and skills and to build healthy self-esteem and relationships. Team Only Stronger and its partners are committed to intentionally making greater impact on preventing many problems children and youth face, including child physical/sexual abuse of all forms, bullying, school violence, substance abuse, and suicide.
Victims of child abuse and trauma report shame and anticipation of stigma, leading to non-disclosure and avoidance of help. This stigma is potentially aggravating the mental health consequences of childhood trauma, This stigma is the most complex aspect of childhood trauma causing most strategies to prevent and support its victims to fall short of adequate evidence for effectiveness.
In 2021, the San Diego Office of the District Attorney served 448 victims of child physical abuse and 1,541 victims of child sexual abuse through their Victim Assistance Program. Since the 2020 pandemic, the volume of inpatient and outpatient services and treatments for child abuse have risen, however the correlation to reporting rates is alarming.
The Team Only Stronger approach aims to engage the community to consider the issue being more related to the lack of time the community is spending educating themselves and engaging with each other to prevent child abuse. Team Only Stronger believes in taking a more innovative and simplified approach most consistent with past findings of effective Child Abuse prevention efforts and redirecting the focus toward strategies that guide us toward our desired outcome. Rather than implement or offer yet another observation and theory driven curriculum for prevention education, we propose tackling the root of the problem, which is the stigma that silences victims and allows perpetrators to lack hesitation to begin or continue abuse. While we may not be able to change who these perpetrators are, we can at least make an effort to encourage families to have the conversations in order to create a safer space for reporting abuse or expressing concerns.
1. Implement TEAM #ONLYSTRONGER Project and movement by collaborating with at least 3 San Diego community agencies that (1) support, (2) provide service to and/or champion the prevention for childhood abuse and/or trauma in order to Increase preventative approaches/coping skills for victims and families and peer support.
2. Provide support to 500+ victims of child abuse in San Diego that are required to speak about their experiences in court in an effort to help to minimize their post-traumatic stress and trauma and increase peer support for victims.
3. Engage 500+ community members, champions, victims and their families for the healing, peer-support and empowerment of childhood abuse and/or trauma in order to Increase awareness and resilience as a community.