Stop the Silence began in 2002 as a coalition of multi-ethnic and state groups that came together to comprehensively address child sexual abuse. Pamela Pine, PhD, MPH, an international health and development specialist, launched programming to address the pandemic and the critical need for a comprehensive response for this very complex issue. In 2003, as a result of an obvious lack of funding and awareness on the part of the public and policymakers alike, Dr. Pine conducted research with the University of Maryland’s Department of Communication to better understand what the public knew about child sexual abuse and what would motivate them to action. Drawing on that research, the annual, national (now international) Race to Stop the Silence was born in 2004. This event generated forward movement of the organization. A grant from DHHS for a comprehensive child sexual abuse focus in Maryland followed.
Pamela Pine organized Stop the Silence into a nonprofit organization in 2004 given the need for a structure from which to provide adequate, essential, and comprehensive programming. Activities include research, media advocacy, training, community outreach and education, policy development, and support for direct services. The organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, with Dr. Pine serving as the Chief Executive Officer and Founder. Funding levels continue to grow steadily from various foundations, (e.g. Ford Foundation), private donations (e.g. made possible by the Schwab Charitable Fund), government organizations (Department of Justice), corporations (e.g. Pepsi Bottling Group), and private individuals, and now stands at approximately $350,000 per year. Stop the Silence functions with a small staff, low overhead, and a passionate team of volunteers, the total for which varies from four to 150, depending upon the time of year and ongoing projects.
Stop the Silence has proven its drive and capabilities and plans to push forward on all fronts to ensure that children are protected and that survivors get the help they need to thrive.