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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Sexual Assault Prevention: A Guide for Students, Teachers, Admins

Posted by Sandra On November - 8 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Teal_RibbonAs reported by both the American Association of Universities and the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, with few exceptions, educators and school administrators are falling short in the struggle to make our campuses safe places for women and men alike. An recent investigation by the Pulitzer Prize winning Center for Public Integrity concluded, “Students found ‘responsible’ for sexual assaults on campus often face little or no punishment from school judicial systems, while their victims’ lives are frequently turned upside down.”

As part of the heightened effort to respond to the crisis of campus-based sexual assault, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault outlines a number of critical steps that institutions must take to lower and eventually eliminate sexual assault on campus. Among the Task Force’s key recommendations are the following: READ MORE HERE

INTRODUCTION

In late 2014, Emma Sulkowicz gained international attention when she started to carry a 50-pound mattress everywhere she went on the Columbia University campus in an effort to draw attention to the problem of sexual assault. Her action was part of a senior thesis project and protest piece called Mattress Performance (Carry that Weight). Sulkowicz initiated the performance after experiencing a sexual assault on campus and being forced to continue studying at the same institution as her assailant. Although her action did not lead to the assailant’s expulsion as hoped, it did raise awareness about the ongoing problem of campus sexual assault and how these assaults are frequently not taken seriously by school officials.

While Sulkowicz’s individual plight may be easy to ignore, recent statistics suggest that Sulkowicz is not alone. A 2015 study by theAmerican Association of Universities, which surveyed over 150,000 students at 27 colleges and universities—making it the largest study of its kind to date—discovered that 27.2% of female college students have experienced unwanted sexual contact on campus by their senior year and nearly half have experienced unwanted penetration, attempted penetration or oral sex. Equally shocking is the study’s finding that only half the students surveyed believe that their school officials are “very or extremely likely” to conduct a “fair investigation” when complaints about unwanted sexual contact and sexual assault on campus are brought forward.

Given the high frequency of sexual violence on college and university campuses and lack of confidence in school officials, what can be done to prevent sexual assault on our campuses and what specific roles can students, educators, administrators and parents play in sexual assault prevention?

EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS


  • Dr. Alan Berkowitz

    Dr. Alan Berkowitz is an independent consultant, licensed psychologist, educator, author, and nationally recognized expert on dating violence and bystander behavior. As a central figure in the development of Social Norms Theory, Dr. Berkowitz’s work as a researcher, psychologist and educator continues to draw attention to the problem of sexual assault and to empower men to take action against sexual violence.


  • Dr. Jill Hoxmeier

    Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Public Health at Central Washington University. She holds a PhD in Public Health from Oregon State University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. Dr. Hoxmeier has published widely on the topics of sexual assault and dating violence.


  • Cait Etherington

    Cait holds a PhD in Education (York). Her essays, articles and reviews have been published in research journals across the United States and internationally. She also has over two decades of experience working as an educator. Cait has worked as a community educator, adult educator at the college level, and as a university professor, teaching courses and seminars at the undergraduate and graduate levels in education and the humanities.

60% Increase of Reported Abuse

Posted by Sandra On November - 4 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Reported child sexual abuse has risen 60% in last four years

images (1)ENGLAND/WALES – There has been a 60% increase in child sexual abuse reported to the police over the past four years, according to official figures which make public for the first time the scale of the problem in England and Wales. A House of Commons library analysis based on freedom of information releases by individual forces shows that the number of offences of child sexual abuse reported to the police has soared from 5,557 cases in 2011 to 8,892 last year.  Child sexual abuse includes grooming, facilitating abuse and child rape. READ MORE HERE

UNITED STATES STATISTICS:

Statistics on child abuse | NSPCC

Child abuse and neglect – World Health Organization

The national incidence study of child abuse and neglect

National Council On Child Abuse And Family Violence

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REPORT: 1 in 14 Childrens Parents Are Incarcerated

Posted by Sandra On October - 27 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

BBmtNsIOne in 14 children have at least one parent behind bars and children in these situations suffer from low self esteem, poor mental and physical health, and other problems, a national research organization says. Child Trends, an organization based in Bethesda, Md., is releasing its report Parents Behind Bars: What Happens to Their Children? on Tuesday. The group hopes the findings will prod prisons, schools and lawmakers to make changes that will help young people who have incarcerated parents. READ MORE HERE

Trauma Recovery University: Survivor Live Stream, Support, Chats, Groups

Posted by Sandra On October - 17 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

TRAUMA RECOVERY UNIVERSITY: The #NoMoreShame Project
HOSTS: Athena Moberg and Bobbi L. Parish

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Dreamcatchers for Abused Children is proud to announce “Trauma Recovery University” as an amazing resource for child abuse survivors. Athena Moberg and Bobbi L. Parish are trauma recovery coaches who host Live Interactive Video Broadcasts, Twitter Chats, Google Hangouts, and Facebook support groups that anyone is welcome to join at any time. These resources are aimed at survivors of childhood sexual abuse, but they would be helpful for survivors of any kind of childhood abuse. These women offer free online support and have helped thousands of survivors thus far. You can also watch their many child abuse survivors video archives on their YouTube channel.
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What started out as The #NoMoreShame Project, created by survivors and Authors, Rachel Thompson, Bobbi Parish, and Athena Moberg, originally existed to advocate for survivors of childhood sexual abuse by helping them tell their stories. Trauma Recovery University is now…Your Official Child Sexual Abuse Social Network: Come. Watch. Receive. Comment. Share. 

They have shared, grown, loved, and listened to survivors in 54 countries. Their first anthology, Discovering True, published Monday, November 17, 2014.  These are YOUR stories, fellow survivors. You are brave!  Volume I was made available November, 2014 on Amazon http://bit.ly/DiscoveringTrue

Trauma Recovery University has FREE resources anyone can tap into, aside from the videos, such as:

Twitter Chats 
We have two a week, both for adult survivors of sexual abuse.
The first is on Mondays at 10am PST, using the hashtag #CSAQT (which stands for Childhood Sexual Abuse Question Time)
The second is on Tuesday evening at 6pm PST. The hashtag for that chat is #SexAbuseChat

LIVE Broadcast
We broadcast our videos live each week on Mondays at 6pm PST. Anyone can watch us live at http://bit.ly/TraumaRecoveryU They can interact with us, make comments and ask questions by tweeting with the hashtag #NoMoreShame. We monitor that hashtag during the broadcast and answer questions live on the air.

Support Groups
We have several secret, private support groups on Facebook that survivors can also be added to.

Trauma Recovery Coach: Free Access to Self-Help Resources
Empower yourself! Access videos, handouts, e-books, and courses that will help you understand trauma and the trauma recovery process as well as how to make your own recovery simpler and faster. CLICK HERE
Email: BobbiLParish@Gmail.com
Twitter: @TruthIsHers
Facebook: Facebook.com/ Bobbi.Parish

TRAUMA RECOVERY UNIVERSITY LINKS:

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Twitter Info: 3 Weekly Chats w/
Mondays: 10amPT/1pmET  6pmPT/9ET (with video)
Tuesdays: 6pmPT/9ET

For Child Abuse Survivors: Our Child Sexual Abuse Survival Stories (Part 1)

For Child Abuse Survivors: Our Child Sexual Abuse Survival Stories (Part 2)

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Treatment for Abused Children

Posted by Sandra On September - 26 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Treatment for Abused and Neglected Children: Infancy to Age 18

treatmen_page_1The following manual provides an overview of the treatment of sexually abused, physically abused, and neglected children and is provided by Child Welfare. Child development is briefly reviewed and the study of developmental psychopathology is described. Aspects of child development are considered, including intrapersonal development, interpersonal development, physical development, sexual development, and behavioral conduct development. Consequences of abuse and neglect, assessment of maltreatment, the therapeutic process and the role of the therapist, treatment issues and specialized interventions, and case management are addressed. The manual provides a glossary of terms and list of resources for more detailed information. READ MANUAL HERE

 

Suggested Citation: Urquiza, A.J., Winn, C., & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1994). Treatment for abused and neglected children: Infancy to age 18. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.

This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Overcoming Childhood Adversity

Posted by Sandra On September - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

7 Ways Childhood Adversity Changes Your Brain

downloadEarly emotional trauma changes who we are, but we can do something about it. If you’ve ever wondered why you’ve been struggling a little too hard for a little too long with chronic emotional and physical health conditions that just won’t abate, feeling as if you’ve been swimming against some invisible current that never ceases, a new field of scientific research may offer hope, answers, and healing insights. READ MORE HERE

12-Steps to Healing From Trauma

Posted by Sandra On September - 8 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

12-Steps to Healing From Childhood Trauma

childhood trauma abuse recovery codepencyIf you experienced trauma or abuse in childhood for any reason, you may realize that you have a mess on your hands. Hopefully there will come a time in your life when you are ready to heal. The following steps are of my own personal journey to healing, wholeness and self love. It is not easy, it is ongoing and must be conducted for each wound you hold in your heart. Steps 1-5 are the hardest and most painful, but once you get past these 5, you will be a different person. It is within your own power to heal yourself. You have everything inside of YOU to get the job done. I hope these steps help you as they have changed my life. READ MORE HERE

Video Series: Child Predators

Posted by Sandra On August - 30 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHILD PREDATOR: 3-PART VIDEO SERIES (see below)

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Child Predators – Part 1: Reporting child sexual abuse

It’s estimated that 90-percent of child sexual abuse victims know the offender, either through family ties or through their community. But in an increasingly digital age, child predators are hiding behind the anonymity and legal grey areas of the Internet to post and trade child porn in addition to soliciting potential victims. The numbers are startling: one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before reaching adulthood according to the Centers for Disease Control. By that measures, the Department of Justice estimates 30 to 40-percent are sexually abused by family members, and half by someone they know and trust. READ MORE HERE

VIDEO

Child Predators – Part 2: There’s an app for that

The phrase “there’s an app for that” covers just about everything from online shopping to banking. But if there’s an app, there are thousands if not millions of users on board, and not all of them have good intentions. Each social media app encourages personal information sharing, but in the wrong hands, over-sharing can be dangerous. Cyber investigators say online predators are just as aware of the most popular websites and apps as teens are, meaning they’re on there as well. READ MORE HERE

VIDEO

Child Predators – Part 3: Relying on victim testimony

The prosecution of child sexual abuse is one of the most difficult tasks a prosecutor faces. Not only are the victims young, the crime itself is particularly traumatic. The Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed a number of these cases in the past year, but it’s not because child sexual abuse is on the rise. Between September 2012 and March 2013, the prosecutor’s office was faced with short staffing. Eight deputy prosecutors resigned, causing a backlog of some of the more “sensitive” cases. READ MORE HERE

VIDEO

Trauma, PTSD Inheritance

Posted by Sandra On August - 28 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Epigenetic inheritance: Trauma Can Be Passed On Through Generations

downloadGenetic changes stemming from the trauma suffered by Holocaust survivors are capable of being passed on to their children, the clearest sign yet that one person’s life experience can affect subsequent generations. The conclusion from a research team at New York’s Mount Sinai hospital led by Rachel Yehuda stems from the genetic study of 32 Jewish men and women who had either been interned in a Nazi concentration camp, witnessed or experienced torture or who had had to hide during the second world war. READ MORE HERE

Trauma Genetic Scientists Say Parents Are Passing PTSD Onto Their Kids

Childhood trauma leaves mark on DNA of some victims

Trauma: Our Genetic Inheritance

How Trauma Can Affect Our DNA

Sperm can pass trauma symptoms through generations

 

 

Helping Bullied Kids and Teens

Posted by Sandra On August - 26 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

bullying-350Unless you’ve directly experienced bullying, you may not realize just how devastating it can be, especially to a child or teenager. As well as being deeply hurtful, bullying can leave anyone feeling frightened, angry, depressed, and totally undermined. But bullying should never be tolerated. Whether you’re the one being bullied, or you’re a teacher or parent who thinks their child is being bullied or engaged in bullying behavior, there are steps you can take to deal with the problem. READ MORE HERE

“The Mind of a Child Molester” Oprah In-Depth Interview

Posted by Sandra On August - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

20100129-oprah-on-set-1-600x250Oprah sits down with four child molesters to get the answers you need to know. How they groom, seduce and gain a child’s trust. She calls it the most honest conversation she’s ever had with sex offenders. Oprah sits down with four admitted child molesters for a frank, graphic discussion of their crimes. Watch the two-hour conversation in its entirety—an Oprah.com exclusive. READ MORE HERE

Watch the 2-hour conversation in its entirety—an Oprah.com exclusive 

Behavioral Indicators of Child Molesters

Posted by Sandra On August - 10 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Predator Behavioral Indicators of Men or Women

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Who Molest Our Children?

CAUTION: Some people who have molested or plan to molest a child exhibit no observable behavior pattern that would be a clue to their future actions.

Persons who molest children:

Are aware, in many cases, of their preference for children before they reach age 18. Most offenders are adult males, but some women also molest children.

Are usually married. A small number never marry and maintain a lifelong sexual and emotional interest in children.

May relate better to children than adults and may feel more comfortable with children and their interests.

May have few close adult friends.

Usually prefer children in a specific age group.

Usually prefer one gender over the other, however, some are bisexual in their preference.

May seek employment or volunteer opportunities with programs involving children in the preferred victim age group for this type of offender.

Pursue children for sexual purposes and may feel emotionally attached to the extent that emotional needs are met by engaging in relationships with children. Example: An adult man spends time with neighbor children or relatives and talks at length about his feelings for them or his own feelings of loneliness or loss in order to get the child’s sympathy.

Often photographs or collects photographs of their victims, dressed, nude, or involved in sexual acts.

May collect child erotica and child-adult pornography which may be used in the following ways:

a. To lower the inhibitions the victims.
b. To fantasize when no potential victim is available.
c. To relive past sexual activities.
d. To justify their inappropriate sexual activities.
e. To blackmail victims to keep them from telling.

May possess alcohol or narcotics and furnish them to their victims to lower inhibitions or gain fear.
Talk with children in ways that equalize their relationship.
May talk about children in the same manner as one would talk about an adult lover or partner.
May seek out organizations and publications that support his sexual beliefs and practices.
May offer to baby-sit or take children on trips in order to manipulate situations to sleep with or near children or bathe or dress them.
May be seen at parks, playgrounds or places frequented by children or teenager.


INCEST OFFENDERS
– Sexually abuse their own children but can also abuse other relatives and neighbors. They can be sexually attracted to children or offend because they are seeking intimate contact with another person regardless of relationship, age or vulnerability. Some don’t understand and others don’t care that they are hurting the child.

Most have multiple victims both inside and outside of their immediate family.
Some abuse both boys and girls in various age groups.
Most appear normal and demonstrate no noticeable pathology.
Few have criminal records.
Most report that they were repeatedly able to talk family and friends out of reporting them and continued to offend.
Many are likely to re-offend without treatment
PEDOPHILES – Are adults who are sexually attracted to children and have a primary or strong interest in children. They offend children because they desire sexual contact with children.
Most hold responsible jobs and frequently align themselves with reputable organizations, sports leagues and churches.
They may work or volunteer with children.
They are likely to be single or live with their parents or have a dysfunctional marriage.
Some appear socially inhibited while others can be extremely charming.
Many target pre-pubescent boys.
Most do not have a criminal record.
Most have molested many children before they are effectively reported to law enforcement.
The majority are likely to re-offend.
SEXUALLY VIOLENT OFFENDERS – Includes the group of offenders who kidnap, rape and even murder some children. This group constitutes the smallest, but most dangerous group of child molesters.
They frequently assault their victims physically.
In addition to abusing children, many have committed adult rapes, assaulted spouses, engaged in burglaries, been chronic drug users, are frequently unemployed and have led a parasitic lifestyle.
Criminal record checks usually reveal a lengthy record of versatile criminality, incarcerations, probation violations and failed attempts at treatment.
They have high re-offense rates for both sexual and generic criminal behavior.

METHODS OFFENDERS USE TO GAIN ACCESS TO CHILDREN
As noted above, offenders can be categorized by the way in which they gain access to victims. The majority of molesters abuse children they are related to or have regular access to by virtue of their position as a parent, step-parent, mother’s boyfriend, uncle, grandfather, neighbor, babysitter and so on. They frequently molest children both in and outside of the home and can abuse girls as well as boys. Because of family ties, close friendships and long-term relationships, people sometimes have a hard time believing these people are guilty and fail to report them to the police. It is always hard to turn a loved one in but it is something even the offender needs to have happen.
Another common group of offenders includes the molesters who work or volunteer in settings where they can purposefully obtain regular access to children. This group includes coaches, teachers, Boy Scout leaders, ministers/priests, school bus drivers, day care providers and other people whose professions or community service puts them in contact with children. Like the first group, these people molest boys and girls and usually offend many children before they get caught. Their profession or the appearance of altruism makes it harder for people to believe they are capable of these crimes. They can be some of the slickest and most charming people we know and, because of this, people fail to believe they are guilty and, again fail to report them to police. When people finally discover that they have molested dozens of children, they are shocked. There are also adult offenders who may not fit in the above groups but still abuse children. This group includes exhibitionists who expose to children, “computer travelers” who contact and solicit children over the Internet and child pornographers. Some of these people exploit and abuse children in a variety of ways. They are our neighbors, friends and relatives. Some are loners, while others look just like the above groups. Females account for ten to twenty percent (10-20%) of child molesters.
Why Do Adults Molest Children?
Most child molesters abuse children for a number of reasons. The two most common reasons are: a) a sexual interest/preference for children and b), a belief system that encourages, allows and supports sexual contact with children. In other words, child molesters are sexually aroused to children and do not understand or care that sexual contact between adults and children is harmful to the child. Some molesters mistakenly believe that they are showing love and affection to the child. Nonetheless, the vast majority know that what they are doing is wrong and illegal and do their best to keep their offenses a secret. Secrecy enables them to continue abusing children and to avoid rejection, prosecution and incarceration.Many offenders become expert liars, even to the point of convincing well-meaning adults that the child was “mistaken” or “confused” about what happened. Even worse, some molesters convince other adults that the child made it up or lied. When the number of separate sexual crimes committed by the average child molester is compared to the low rate of reporting among child victims, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that children rarely mis-perceive, make up or lie about being sexually abused. If a child says he or she has been molested, the probability is high that it really happened and was probably more frequent and invasive than the child reported. Also, the odds are high that we all know at least one or two child molesters and don.t even know it.
Why do Molesters Abuse Certain Children?
Molesters abuse children they are sexually and emotionally attracted to, children they feel are vulnerable and needy, and children they feel that they can control and manipulate into keeping the abuse a secret.
How Do Molesters Keep Children From Telling?
Most child molesters are in a position of trust and are usually able to molest children in a manner that undermines the child’s ability to accurately perceive the behavior as abusive or report them. Most molesters are also able to convince other adults that “it never happened” or that “the child misunderstood”. When they are successful, they obstruct children and adults from reporting them to law enforcement and are able to continue molesting children even longer. So, it’s very important to understand how they manipulate both children and adults.After the offender has selected a child to molest, the offender begins to develop a close relationship with the child and his/her family. If the offender is a parent or someone the child depends on, it’s very easy to manipulate the situation and repeatedly molest the child without getting caught. If the offender is in a position of trust or authority, (as is the case with teachers, coaches and priests who molest) the offender may pay special attention to the child, take them places, buy them gifts or give them extra support and encouragement. They also might threaten the child to keep them quiet.
After the offender starts to develop the relationships, he/she may begin to isolate the child from his/her family and friends. This may include fueling conflicts within the family, alienating the child from friends or family or simply being available to “help out” with babysitting, special outings, rides home, etc. Molesters also test and desensitize children by telling dirty jokes, talking about sexual things and engaging in non-sexual physical contact like back-rubs, wrestling, hugging and horseplay. This behavior generally starts long before the sexual touching starts and serves to normalize contact and trust. The increased physical relationship and intimate talk between the child and offender makes it easier for the offender to introduce sexual behavior into the relationship. If the child’s parent has been present when some of the close physical contact or joking has occurred, it also makes the child think it must be okay.
Another thing that interferes with children’s ability to tell is that many children don’t even know that the contact has changed and is becoming increasingly intimate and sexual. Some offenders try to make it feel good to the child because they know if they hurt or scare the child, they are more likely to tell. Also, children become fearful that they will get into trouble for not telling sooner and become increasing guilt ridden about what is happening. Offenders know these things and caution children that they “will get in trouble too” if they tell.
Some offenders are so good at developing dependent relationships that their victims feel obligated and may even feel protective of the offender. This phenomenon is especially pronounced when the offender is a parent, relative, admired family friend, teacher, coach or priest. Some offenders choose careers or volunteer with youth organizations because they like children and these settings provide increased access and control over children. It is extremely important to remember that offenders spend time and energy manipulating children into cooperating with the abuse and keeping it a secret. Some of them spend hours and hours thinking about what they will say if a child ever tells on them. Because they have been engaged in a covert behavior, sometimes for many years at a time, they have usually become very skilled at lying and manipulating people and situations.
Do Offenders Manipulate Adults Too?
Many molesters work just as hard to seduce and manipulate adults as they do to trick children. Some tell people they think child molesters should be shot, while others work very hard to present themselves as a concerned citizen and “pillar of the community”. Some of their “good works” are performed out of guilt, while others are intended to throw off suspicion if a child ever tells on them.Most molesters spend time thinking of ways to talk people out of reporting them to law enforcement and are able to come up with very creative excuses or rationalizations about what happened. In addition to telling people “it was an accident” or that the child must have “misinterpreted” the situation, some make sure that people know the child has lied about things in the past, been “in trouble” or sexually promiscuous. Most professional forensic experts can’t tell when people are lying, so regular people shouldn’t expect to do any better. The best thing all of us can do if a child says they have been abused is to call the police and report the situation. The worse thing we can do is to accept the explanation of an adult. If the adult is lying and talks you out of reporting, he/she will probably go on to molest more children. Different offenders use different tactics. This paper only covers some of those tactics.
Protecting Your Children From Sexual Abuse
No one wants to have to tell their children about sexual abuse. On the other hand, do you want your child to learn about it from a molester?

TALKING TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE:

Talk openly with your children about sexual development, behavior and abuse.
Use proper or semi proper names for body parts (penis and vagina), and phrases like; private parts are “private and special”.
Tell your children that, if anyone touches or tries to see their private parts, tries to get them to touch or look at another person’s private parts, shows them pictures of or tries to take pictures of their private parts, talks to them about sex, walks in on them in the bathroom or does anything that makes them feel uncomfortable to tell you or a support person as soon as they can or the next time they see you.
Tell your children that some children and adults have “touching problems”. These people can make “secret touching” look accidental and they should still tell you even if they think it might have been an accident.
Tell your children that touching problems are kind of like stealing or lying and that the people who have those kinds of problems need special help so they don’t continue to have problems or get into trouble.
Tell your children that some people try to trick kids into keeping the touching a secret.
Give your children examples of things that someone might use to try to get them to keep it a secret; candy, money, special privileges, threats, subtle fear of loss, separation or punishment etc.
Tell your children that touching other people’s private parts is not ok for children to do or for adults to do with children. Tell them that you do not want them to do “secret touching” with other people but that you will not be mad at them if they do come and tell you it has happened. Even if it has been happening a lot.
Make sure they have support people they can talk to at home, at school, in their neighborhood or church.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD GETS ABUSED
If your child tells you that he or she has been touched inappropriately, stay calm. Your reaction may make your child feel more guilty or afraid and they might have a harder time talking about what happened.
Tell your child you are glad they told you about it. Telling was a good way to take care of themselves and also, the person who touched them. That person needs help with their “touching problem”. Tell your child that you will take care of things. Tell your child that you will need to talk to someone to figure out what to do next. Be careful to not make promises you can’t keep.
Seek support and comfort for yourself where the child can’t see or hear what you say. In order to avoid confusion, anxiety or guilt, children should not overhear conversations about their disclosure. Too much information/discussion can also interfere with the police investigation or prosecution.
Call your local child abuse hotline or local police department and report the abuse. Failing to report the abuse as soon as possible may mean that other children might get abused too. Don’t try to handle the situation yourself.
The prognosis for healing after being molested is better for children who are supported and believed when they disclose.
Don’t allow any further contact between your child and the alleged offender. Don’t confront the offender yourself.

SAFETY TIPS FOR SUPERVISION OF CHILDREN
Trust your instincts. “Perception and not worry is what serves safety” (de Becker, 1999).
Don’t let young male children go into a men’s public restroom by themselves.
Be cautious about who you allow to baby-sit or spend time alone with your children. Get references. Try to bathe and dress your own children. Routinely quiz your children about what happens while you are gone. Ask questions like “What did you do that was fun?” or “Was there anything that happened while I was gone that worried you or that I should know about?” Don’t always tell your children to mind the babysitter.
Get to know the people and homes where your children play.
Periodically check on your children, especially when they are playing with other kids in your home. If you know that one of your children’s friends has been sexually abused, be more attentive to their playtime.
Don’t let your children walk/ride their bike to school or to a friend’s home alone. Children should travel in groups.
Know your neighbors.
Supervise all Internet activities closely. Consider subscribing to an ISP that screens for obscenity and pornography. Make a “family agreement” about conversations before allowing your children to go into chat rooms. Children should never give out their phone number, address or school name to anyone they meet over the Internet. Warn them about what lurks on the Internet.
Develop the kind of relationship that would allow your child to come to you for help or support for any kind of problem they might need help with, for themselves or a friend.
SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT AND BEHAVIOR BETWEEN CHILDREN
Many forms of sexual play or experimentation are normal and developmentally appropriate. However, when one child is three or more years older, significantly larger, more powerful (physically or emotionally), more sexually sophisticated or uses bribes, threats or intimidation to be sexual with another child, sexual contact falls under a legal definition of abuse. If oral sex, simulated or actual intercourse, French kissing or penetration are involved, the situation warrants immediate investigation. Parents should not attempt to resolve these issues alone and should seek outside, professional guidance.
If your child engages in any type of sexually inappropriate behavior, get professional help right away. Try not to become overly defensive of your child or reject the notion that your child could have done something sexually inappropriate. If your child does have a problem that goes untreated, it may become worse and create many more problems for your child, family, school and community. This includes date rape or sexual assault between preteens and teenagers. Boys who sexually assault girls frequently grow up to molest their own children or engage in domestic violence.
If another child engages your child in sexually inappropriate behavior or talk, tell their parents what happened so that they can get help before it’s too late. If you do not think that the family is seeking professional help, contact your local child abuse hotline.
Buy or borrow books like “Where Did I Come From,” “It’s My Body” and “What’s Happening to My Body” or “A Very Touching Book” for your family to read together. Do it before your children become embarrassed about sexuality or they start developing. Talk to your children about appropriate sexuality. Emphasize consent, birth control and STDs.
Demonstrate loving, respectful intimate relationships in your home. Children should not observe direct sexual contact or any type of pornography.

FACTORS THAT PLACE CHILDREN AT A HIGHER RISK FOR ABUSE
Age, friendliness, shyness, good manners, naivety, curiosity, or isolation.
Living in a single parent home.
Drug or alcohol abuse by parents.
Parental illness or emotional unavailability.
Severe marital conflict or domestic violence in the home.
Living in a home with a stepfather or a mother’s boyfriend.
Previous abuse.
Having an unemployed father or parents that work different shifts.
Parents who are sexually preoccupied, use pornography or have pornography in the home.
Inadequate parental supervision of children.

OFFENDER TRAITS
Adults who seem preoccupied with children.
Single adults who work or volunteer with children’s clubs/activities.
Adults who work with children and also frequently spend their free time doing “special” things with kids.
Adults who spend time volunteering with youth groups who do not have children in those groups.
Adults who seem to engage in frequent contact with children, i.e., casual touching, caressing, wrestling, tickling, combing hair or having children sit on their lap.
Adults who act like children with children or who allow children to do questionable or inappropriate things.
Adults who want to take your children on special outings too frequently or plan activities that would include being alone with your child.
Adults who do not have children and seem to know too much about the current fads or music popular with children.
Adults that your children seem to like for reasons you don’t understand.
Adults who seem able to infiltrate family/social functions or are “always available” to watch your kids.
Please note, not all offenders will demonstrate the above characteristics.
Resources and Bibliography

1. “Identifying Child Molesters: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse by Recognizing the Patterns of the Offenders”. Written by Carla van Dam, Ph.D. Available through Haworth Press, Inc. 1-800-895-429-6784. The first book of its kind, this book provides readers with a detailed understanding of the history and impact of child sexual abuse. Dr. van Dam provides a glimpse into our failure to confront child abuse in an effective manner and does an excellent job of helping lay people understand the “grooming” tactics that offenders use on children and adults. It offers practical strategies to identify and confront child molesters.


2. “A Very Touching Book, For Little People and Big People”. Written by Jan Hindman. Available through Alexandria and Associates. Most parents haven’t got the foggiest idea about how to start talking to their children about private parts or sexual abuse. For those of us who get purple faces when our kids say penis in the grocery store, this book is the ticket. Great artwork and an entertaining approach to prevention education for children. Most appropriate for families with children ages 4-10.


3. “Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us”. Written by Robert D. Hare, Ph.D. Available through The Guilford Press. This book focuses on predators, psychopaths and criminals. Although fairly clinical and a bit academic, it is the first, and most straightforward book about this highly dangerous population. Disturbing yet relevant to all of us. Fascinating and well written.


4. “Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists and Other Sex Offenders – Who They Are, How They Operate and How We Can Protect Our Children”. It’s by Anna Salter and can be obtained through Basic Books. Every parent, volunteer coordinator, human resources director and church and community member should read this book! The book explains how predators trick and manipulate normal people and why we aren’t able to spot them. Dr. Salter offers tips on prevention for parents, lay people and organizations that focus on delivering services to children and the public. This book will help all of us do a better job of protecting our children and communities.

Dr. Phil.com – Advice – Sexual Predator Warning Signs

The Stranger You Know: How to Spot a Child Molester’s Tricks

Abuse Help For Youth Ages 12+

Posted by Sandra On July - 27 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

What Is Child Abuse?

childhelp-call-smallChild abuse is when an adult—usually a parent, family member, caretaker, or someone else close to the family—hurts a child or teen, makes that youth feel worthless, has sexual contact with him or her, or does not provide adequate food, care, or shelter. Child abuse can happen to all types of kids and in all types of families. And it isn’t something that only happens to little kids: 32 percent of 14- to 17-year-olds in the United States have been abused or neglected in their lifetimes, and 28 percent have been sexually victimized.

From time to time, all parents and children have problems, but most parents and adults do not abuse children. There is no single reason why people abuse others. Some adults abuse children because they themselves were abused when they were children. Others just can’t handle their feelings in a healthy way; they might be worried about something, like a problem at work or not having enough money to pay their bills, and take it out on their kids. Drinking alcohol or using drugs can also make it hard for some people to control their actions.

No matter what the reason is for the adult’s behavior, it’s important to know that child abuse is never the child’s fault. READ MORE HERE

Bystander, Good Samaritan Laws

Posted by Sandra On June - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

imagesWe’d all like to think that when we see something bad happening that we’d step forward to render aid. But in reality most of us don’t. And although some people won’t take the initiative to help, they will take the time to photograph or videotape the event and post it on the internet. Why?

The Bystander Effect – The bystander effect occurs when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation. Social psychologists Bibb Latané and John Darley popularized the concept following the infamous 1964 Kitty Genovese murder in Kew Gardens, New York. Genovese was stabbed to death outside her apartment while bystanders who observed the crime did not step in to assist or call the police. Latané and Darley attributed the bystander effect to the perceived diffusion of responsibility (onlookers are more likely to intervene if there are few or no other witnesses) and social influence (individuals in a group monitor the behavior of those around them to determine how to act). In Genovese’s case, each onlooker concluded from their neighbors’ inaction that their own personal help was not needed.

Good Samaritan Law – offer legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated. The protection is intended to reduce bystanders’ hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death. An example of such a law in common-law areas of Canada: a good Samaritan doctrine is a legal principle that prevents a rescuer who has voluntarily helped a victim in distress from being successfully sued for wrongdoing. Its purpose is to keep people from being reluctant to help a stranger in need for fear of legal repercussions should they make some mistake in treatment. By contrast, a duty to rescue law requires people to offer assistance, and holds those who fail to do so liable. Good Samaritan laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, as do their interactions with various other legal principles, such as consent, parental rights and the right to refuse treatment. Most such laws do not apply to medical professionals’ or career emergency responders’ on-the-job conduct, but some extend protection to professional rescuers when they are acting in a volunteer capacity.

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The Mind of the Bystander

10 Things You Can Do as a Bystander

What Would You Do if You Were Witness to Child Abuse?

Reporting Crimes: Witnessing, Ignoring, Falsely Reporting, and Lying

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DREAMCATCHERS FOR ABUSED CHILDREN, INC. is an official non-profit 501(c)3 child abuse & neglect organization. Our mission is to educate the public on all aspects of child abuse such as symptoms, intervention, prevention, statistics, reporting, and helping victims locate the proper resources necessary to achieve a full recovery. We also cover areas such as bullying, teen suicide & prevention, children\'s rights, child trafficking, missing & exploited children, online safety, and pedophiles/sex offenders.

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