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Agency - Jacob Wetterling Resource Center

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Jacob Wetterling Resource Center
Last updated on February 3, 2014


Jacob Wetterling Resource Center (JWRC) provides education and assistance to families and communities to prevent the exploitation of children.

JWRC recognizes the growing need to raise awareness of and provide specific tools to address the complex problem of child sexual exploitation and abduction. It is our hope that through a coordinated community effort to prevent these problems before they first occur, children will enjoy a safer, healthier society.

JWRC’s Approach to Prevention
Historically, many violence prevention efforts have focused on individuals’ or children’s ability to limit their chances of being victimized. While JWRC believes children deserve to have information about personal safety, the responsibility for keeping children safe belongs to adults. The unique power of JWRC’s program is that it provides parents, adults and caregivers with the information, skills and tools needed to engage in meaningful, age-appropriate and ongoing conversations with children and teenagers that enhance understanding, learning and the caring connections central to violence prevention and healthy physical and emotional development.

JWRC’s comprehensive prevention education initiative directs adults to prevent people from developing attitudes or behaviors that cause or perpetuate sexual harm; to become effective, active bystanders who know how to respond when they see or suspect sexually harmful behavior; to develop an accurate, realistic awareness of who offenders are, the tricks and lures they most often use, and what adults and children should do to address these circumstances; and to address social norms and practices that perpetuate child sexual exploitation.

This initiative provides parents, adults and caregivers with accurate information and interactive tools in order to 1) Reduce the incidence of child sexual exploitation and abduction in out state and metropolitan Minnesota; and 2) Shift social norms and practices that perpetuate child sexual exploitation and abduction.

Our prevention education program primarily targets parents, caregivers and other adults within communities responsible for the personal safety of children. We partner with children as their secondary audience to engage them in protecting their own safety and the safety of their peers. Finally, JWRC also targets other non-profit organizations, government agencies and potential community partners in order to improve the reach of the message throughout the state and into diverse communities.

Assistance is offered via a 24/7 Helpline to families dealing with a missing, sexually exploited runaway or abducted child. Specially trained staff provide support and referral services to families, and also serves as a liaison with local law enforcement and the media.

In our legislative advocacy role, JWRC was instrumental in getting Jacob's Law (sex offender registration) passed on a statewide and national level. We assist communities with sex offender notification meetings. In addition, JWRC collaborated with law enforcement and MN broadcasters to implement the A.M.B.E.R. plan in MN.

In 1989, 11-year old Jacob Wetterling was abducted at gunpoint near his home in St. Joseph, MN. Jacob is still missing. Soon after his abduction, Jacob's parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling found ..."the problem of sexual exploitation and abduction was far bigger than what happened to Jacob..." They started the foundation to provide personal safety education to the community along with victim's assistance and legislative advocacy.

The Jacob Wetterling Resource Center merged with the National Child Protection Training Center in February 2010. The move is an effort to combine the groups' resources and strengthen their common efforts to ensure every child grows up in a healthy, safe world free from abuse, exploitation and abduction.

Contact people:

 Molly Cirillo, Community Outreach Coordinator, (phone), (email)
Jackie Heard, Victim Assistance Specialist, (phone), (email)

Office fax number: (651) 714-9098


 2314 University Ave West , Suite 14
St. Paul, MN 55114
(See a map)

Web Site:


 Hwy 94 East to Hwy 280 exit - left (first exit past U of Minnesota), stay in right lane. Turn right on University Ave- 3 blocks. JWRC is on the right side of street, 2 story red brick building, parking. . . (more)
Last updated on February 3, 2014

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