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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

20 Signs of Unresolved Trauma

Posted by Sandra On January - 31 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

cd9b11d6d09ba67f617cb78284bb7fa0Many people enter the therapy process with minimal awareness of their trauma history.  When the trauma survivors are dissociative, they have the ability to block out an awareness of their trauma.  They may know that their family had problems, or that their family was dysfunctional, etc, but they may believe they were never abused.

However, blocking out conscious awareness of trauma does not mean that the survivors have no effects of that trauma.  Using denial and dissociative skills does not mean that the abuse did not happen.  Denial means that the person simply is refusing to acknowledge or accept the fact that they were traumatized.  They are pretending they were not hurt, when they were actually hurt very badly.

Even if the memories of abuse are hidden from the survivor’s awareness, blocked trauma / unresolved trauma creates very noticeable and obvious symptoms that can be easily seen in their every day lives. People will enter therapy aware of some of the following symptoms, but they may not realize these complications are suggestive of unresolved trauma issues: READ MORE HERE

(PHOTO: This powerful photo of emotional pain and inner turmoil was taken by Shaylin Janelle photography. http://shaylinjanelle.tumblr.com )

New U.S. Data Shows Almost 3% Rise In Child Abuse

Posted by Sandra On January - 25 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

imagesThe number of U.S. children victimized by abuse and neglect increased by nearly 3 percent in the latest annual reporting period, according to new federal data. According to the report released Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services, the estimated number of victimized children in the 2014 fiscal year was 702,208 — up from 682,307 in 2013. The report estimated fatalities attributable to child abuse and neglect at 1,580 — up from 1,530 in 2013. READ MORE HERE

2014 Children’s Advocacy Center Statistics Highlights 

2014 Full Child Advocacy Center Statistics

Among the over 315,000 children served by Children’s Advocacy Centers around the country in 2014, some startling statistics include:

  • 116,940 children were ages 0 to 6 years
  • 115,959 children were ages 7 to 12 years
  • 81,025 children were ages 13 to 18 years
  • 205,438 children reported sexual abuse
  • 60,897 children reported physical abuse
  • 211,831 children participated in on-site forensic interviewing at a Children’s Advocacy Center

Among the over 244,000 alleged offenders investigated for instances of child abuse in 2014, some startling statistics include:

  • 154,529 were 18+ years old
  • 26,294 were ages 13 to 17 years
  • 20,040 were under age 13 years
  • 95,913 were a parent or step-parent of the victim
  • 127,358 were related or known to the child victim in another way
  • 23,696 were an unrelated person the victim knew

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children & Families. Child Maltreatment 2013.http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2013  

National Children’s Alliance 2013 and 2014 national statistics collected from Children’s Advocacy Center members and available on the NCA website: http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/cac-statistics

 

Dangerous Apps for Kids

Posted by Sandra On January - 5 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

dangerousappsWhile there are many apps out there, the New Year brings new apps that should really be on every parent’s Blacklist. These apps, also known as Hidden or Vault Apps, pose dangers and many times go under the radar – disguising themselves as every day tools, such as calculators.

  • Snapchat: One of the most popular apps for sexting among teens. Sexts can be saved even though they are supposed to disappear.
  • Kik Messenger:  Tweens and teens also Kik to send sexts. Predators can contact your child via Kik and send unsolicited sexts.
  • Tinder: No age verification means your child could be “matched with adults on this popular dating app. Tinder has had security breaches that exposed user data and location.
  • Blendr: There are no age requirements for this dating app, allowing adults to contact children. GPS features can reveal the location of your child to diligent predators.
  • Down: Lets a user sort Facebook friends they are “down” to hook up with. It perpetuates “hookup” culture among young teens.
  • Periscope: From their website, ” Just over a year ago, we became fascinated by the idea of discovering the world through someone else’s eyes. What if you could see through the eyes of a protester in Ukraine? Or watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia? It may sound crazy, but we wanted to build the closest thing to teleportation. While there are many ways to discover events and places, we realized there is no better way to experience a place right now than through live video. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.”
  • Whisper: Whisper is an anonymous confession app. It allows users to superimpose text over a picture in order to share their thoughts and feelings anonymously. However, you post anonymously, but it displays the area you are posting from. You can also search for users posting within a mile from you.
  • Ask.fm: Ask.fm is one of the most popular social networking sites that is almost exclusively used by kids. It is a Q&A site that allows users to ask other users questions while remaining anonymous.
  • Yik Yak: An app that allows users to post text-only “Yaks” of up to 200 characters. The messages can be viewed by the 500 Yakkers who are closest to the person who wrote the Yak, as determined by GPS tracking.
  • Omegle: This app is primarily used for video chatting. When you use Omegle, you do not identify yourself through the service. Instead, chat participants are only identified as “You” and “Stranger.” However, you can connect Omegle to your Facebook account to find chat partners with similar interests. When choosing this feature, an Omegle Facebook App will receive your Facebook “likes” and try to match you with a stranger with similar likes.
  • ChatRoulette and Vine– These apps allow you to video chat with strangers.
  • Poof: This app allows users to make other apps “disappear” on their phone. Kids can hide any app they don’t want you to see by opening the app and selecting other apps.

Bullying 

burn note app logoBurn Note  –  This is a messaging app where all messages self-destruct (delete) after reading. This app only uses text messaging. Users cannot send images or videos. Parents would have no evidence that a conversation took place. This can lead to bullying or sexting or any other dangerous practice, and parents would have no idea.

afterschool appAfter School – The description for this app in the app store says it is an anonymous and private message board for your school. This app originally launched in late 2014. But after reports of threats of school shootings on the app, it was taken down. (Burns, 2014) It was rereleased a couple of months ago with new safety features in place. (Burns, 2015) However, we are still concerned about this app since users can still post anonymously, although there is now an option to post under your real name.

Hiding Apps

private photo logoBest Secret Folder – This is an iOS app that allows users to store photos secretly. The app icon is called “My Utilities” so others don’t even realize the app is on the phone.

gallery lock app logoGallery Lock – This is similar to Best Secret Folder, but it’s for Android users. It also offers a “watchdog” feature, which will snap a photo of the user with the front facing camera after 3 failed password attempts.

kyms logoKYMS (Keep Your Media Safe) –  This iOS and Android app hides all media including photos, videos, texts, documents, and PDFs.  It is disguised as a calculator app.

private photo logoPrivate Photo (Calculator %) – This is another app designed to hide photos. The app looks just like a calculator, except in the bottom right corner of the app icon is a % symbol. Users enter a code on what looks to be a working calculator. They can then access their storage of secret photos.

Video Recording and Sharing

meerkat logoMeerkat –  This app captures live streaming video through a mobile device. Users can link their Meerkat account to their Twitter or Facebook account to share their live streaming videos to followers. The problems with this are numerous. Live streaming opens the door to cyberbullying and predators.

periscope logoPeriscope – Similar to Meerkat. Periscope was just released this year, but users are already reporting sexual assault and bullying. (Tempesta, 2015)

Location Sharing – Click here for instructions on how to turn off location sharing on your child’s iPhone.

foursquare-logoFoursquare –  This is an app that allows users to geotag their exact location at any time. Problems with this are obvious to us as adults. But we need to teach our children why this is so dangerous.

Periscope –  We mention this one again because the app has a location-sharing feature that is on by default and must be turned off. Most teens will forget to do this, or not recognize the importance of this.

Social Media

9gag_logo9Gag.com –  This is an image and video sharing site. Users can upload a video or image to share. Then the videos or images are voted up or down, and users can leave comments. Some posts are cute and fun. But most are not. Users can even browse the NSFW (Not Safe For Work) section. NSFW videos are blacked out until a user clicks the button to play the video. But nothing is stopping anyone, including children and teens, from seeing the inappropriate content.

reddit logoReddit Forums – This is a social media website. The app for Reddit is actually called Alien Blue. Content is organized into “subreddits” according to topics. There are subreddits dedicated specifically to porn. A user only needs to click a button confirming they are 18 to enter these subreddits.

Miscellaneous

ifunny logoiFunny :)   – This is an image based joke app. “There’s enough swearing, sexual banter, soft porn images, and rude and hateful comments to negate anything else in the mix that’s remotely funny” (Villamagna, n.d.).

paltalk logoPaltalk – This app allows users to communicate in a group chat via video, Internet chat and voice.

Adult Player – (We did not include the app icon as it is pornographic.) This is an android app that does not appear in any vetted storefronts, such as Google Play. Instead, users install the app directly from a website. It is said to offer free porn. But it’s actually something called ransomware. The app uses the cameras forward facing camera to secretly capture an image of the user. The user is then locked out of the phone until a $500 ransom is paid.       

Texting

oovoo logo ooVoo

whatsapp logoWhatsApp

Micro-blogging

instagram app logo Instagram

tmblr app logoTumblr

twitter app logo Twitter

vine app logoVine

Chatting, Meeting, Dating

meet me logo MeetMe

skout app logoSkout

Other Useful Information

Lifestyle and photography categories on iTunes are the most likely categories to contain porn since iTunes doesn’t have a porn or “adult” category like Android. Apple does not allow true nudity, but people in their underwear are okay. And of course, some slip by.

Apple’s most recent update, iOS 9, has a way to hide pictures on your phone, no app needed.

How to Keep Your Kids Safe

It is necessary for parents to stay educated as new apps and social media sites become available. But obviously no parent can be on top of everything all the time. So the most important thing we can do as parents is to communicate with our children. Here are some other tips.

  • BE THE PARENT. Don’t allow your child to roam free in the dangerous and unhealthy environments many of these apps provide. Click on any apps you don’t recognize on your child’s phone.
  • Discuss the hidden dangers of social media that teens may not recognize. On many live streaming videos, tweens and teens can be seen giving out their full names and the city and state in which they live. Kids need to be taught not to over share on the Internet.
  • Set restrictions on their cell phones and check the phone often.
  • Internet filters are also a great option. But no filter will stop everything; so establishing yourself as someone your teen can talk to is vital.

This new world we live in can be scary. But if we are prepared and open with our kids, we can help them safely navigate social media.

The most important thing you can do as a parent to protect your children from dangers that are associated with the use of these apps is to talk with them frequently about their social lives. You can start by establishing yourself as an approachable parent and talking with them early and often about sexuality and romantic relationships. Without a strong bond and open communication, trying to regulate and monitor Internet use won’t be very effective. However, setting technology boundaries (when and where they access the Internet) and monitoring their online behavior can be effective if you have a strong foundation to build on. You can access a list of monitoring software I recommend here. Just remember to keep on top of it, there is no software that can eliminate risk or the need to parent. Ultimately, your goal is to raise an individual who can manage his/her online and offline behavior in a healthy way because he/she wants to. The process starts with you nurturing a strong emotional bond, leading by example and setting the boundaries. You can do it!

The Most Dangerous Apps for Kids | Family Tech Zone

5 Dangerous Apps You Don’t Know Your Kids Are Using

Banned: Most Dangerous iPhone Apps – CBS News

SOURCES:
TeenSafe
Educate Empower Kids 

 

 

Toxic Family Members

Posted by Sandra On January - 2 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

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Toxic Family Members Who Scapegoat

We tend to think of bullying as something that happens in the school yard amongst kids who are being mean and abusive to one another. However, over the many years of my practice I have come across cases in which the client presented with the problem and complaint that they felt picked on and excluded from their family of origin. They were distressed, anxious and depressed over this problem despite the fact that they had their own families with husbands or wives, children, careers and friends. Yet, they were experiencing life as though they were children living in their parental home.

Incredible as it might seem, there are families that scapegoat a loved one even into and including adulthood. For a variety of reasons we will explore one member becomes the target of accusations, blame, criticism and ostracism. While it’s happening, family members are totally unaware of what they are doing and would deny it if confronted with their behavior. Often, scapegoating begins in childhood and continues into and throughout adulthood.

Why would a family choose a loved one to bully and scapegoat? The answer has a lot to do with the concept of scapegoating and the purpose it serves. Scapegoating is often a way for families to hide problems that they cannot face. In the examples of cases I have worked with one or both parents were abusive to their children. In adulthood, scapegoating became a way for adult children to hide the fact of family history of abuse by blaming everything on one member who seemed vulnerable for attack. At times the scapegoat targeted by the sibling who was always the favorite of the family. In that way, the less favored sibling becomes the repository of everything that is wrong in the family. READ MORE HERE

10 Things to Remember About Toxic Family Members

7 Signs It’s Time to Cut (Toxic) Family Ties

The Family Dynamics of Severe Child Abuse | Psychology

“What is “toxic family of origin?

Identifying Toxic Family Dynamics

Dysfunctional Family Rules and Roles

12 Steps to Breaking Free from Being the Family Scapegoat

 

Child Abuse Prevention Tactics

Posted by Sandra On December - 19 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Best prevention means aligning resources, coordinating efforts

images (1)Child abuse prevention resources must focus on evidence-based intervention strategies and aggregating sound data, but the buck doesn’t stop there. Enhancing safety and resilience for at-risk children crosses many disciplines, including medicine, public health, education, childcare, law enforcement, child protection and foster and adoptive families.

The best prevention starts with aligning resources, coordinating efforts and engineering a safe and healthy environment to strengthen families and communities at risk. Vulnerable children require a deep investment, and police, hospitals, schools, foundations and social service agencies are only the first to help in the prevention of child abuse. Each of these organizations and coalitions gives vital support to children and families at risk, but the bottom line is: Invest in our children today, and we’ll all reap the benefits for years to come.

Editorial: Stiffen child abuse penalty (and) New ways to reduce child abuse

Abstract

Ninety-one child sex offenders were interviewed about the methods they used to target children, the age range of their victims, how they selected children and maintained them as victims, and what suggestions they had for preventing child sexual abuse. Offenders were selected from treatment programs, probation, special hospitals, and prisons. They were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Results indicate that offenders gained access to children through caretaking, such as babysitting; targeted children by using bribes, gifts and games; used force, anger, threats, and bribes to ensure their continuing compliance; and systematically desensitized children through touch, talk about sex, and persuasion. Nearly half the offenders had no bad feelings about sexually abusing children. The implications for prevention programs are discussed.

Abuse Prevention

WHAT IS ABUSE AND NEGLECT?

According to the Missouri Legislature the following definitions apply to abuse and neglect:

ABUSE:

Any physical injury, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse inflicted on a child other than by accidental means by those responsible for the child’s care, custody, and control; except that discipline including spanking, administered in a reasonable manner, shall not be construed to be abuse.

NEGLECT:

The failure to provide the child the proper or necessary support, education as required by law, nutrition, medical, surgical, or care necessary for the child’s well-being by those responsible for their care, custody, and control. Those responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child include, but are not limited to, the parents or guardian of the child, other members of the child’s household, or those exercising supervision over a child for any part of a twenty-four hour day. Those responsible for the care, custody, and control shall also include any adult who, based on their relationship to the parents of the child of the child, members of the child’s household or family, has access to the child.

Source: 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County, MO.

RECOGNIZING CHILD ABUSE

The first step in helping abused or neglected children is learning to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect. The presence of a single sign does not prove child abuse is occurring in a family, but a closer look at the situation may be warranted when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination.

The following signs may signal the presence of child abuse or neglect.

The Child:

  • Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance
  • Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention
  • Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes
  • Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen
  • Lacks adult supervision
  • Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn
  • Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home

The Parent:

  • Shows little concern for the child
  • Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child’s problems in school or at home
  • Asks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves
  • Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome
  • Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve
  • Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs

The Parent and Child:

  • Rarely touch or look at each other
  • Consider their relationship entirely negative
  • State that they do not like each other

Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

Parental Resilience: Protective & Promotive Factors

Numerous researchers have concluded that how parents respond to stressors is much more important than the stressor itself in determining the outcomes for themselves and their children. Parents are more likely to achieve healthy, favorable outcomes if they are resilient. Resilience is the process of managing stress and functioning well even when faced with challenges, adversity and trauma. Some stressors parents face can be managed easily so that problems get resolved; for example, calling a relative or friend to pick-up a child from school when a parent is delayed. But some stressors cannot be easily resolved. For example, parents cannot “fix” their child’s developmental disability, erase the abuse they suffered as a child or be able to move out of a crime-plagued neighborhood. Rather, parents are resilient when they are able to call forth their inner strength to proactively meet personal challenges and those in relation to their child, manage adversities, heal the effects of trauma and thrive given the unique characteristics and circumstances of their family. READ MORE HERE

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

Posted by Sandra On November - 29 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

hqdefaultWhat is fetal alcohol syndrome?

To establish the diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome, specific criteria must be met. These include (1) documentation of three characteristic facial abnormalities, (2) documentation of smaller than expected prenatal and/or postnatal length, weight, and head circumference growth parameters, and (3) documentation of central nervous system abnormalities. These criteria will be further described later in this article.

Fetal alcohol syndrome facts

  • Combined 2011 to 2012 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that 8.5 percent of pregnant women aged 15 to 44 drank alcohol in the past month. Also, 2.7 percent binge drank. Among women aged 15 to 44 who were not pregnant, 55.5 percent drank alcohol in the past month, and 24.7 percent binge drank. Most alcohol use by pregnant women occurred during the first trimester. Alcohol use was lower during the second and third trimesters than during the first (4.2 and 3.7 percent vs. 17.9 percent). These findings suggest that many pregnant women are getting the message and not drinking alcohol.
  • Infants of mothers who drank during pregnancy may experience a spectrum of consequences that range from “fetal alcohol effects” (FAE), alcohol-related birth defects(ARBD), and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Fetal alcohol syndrome is regarded as the most severe.
  • Some children sustain no obvious side effects of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

What causes fetal alcohol syndrome?

Alcohol is rapidly transported via placental blood flow from mother to fetus and is known to cause miscarriage and birth defects. Within two hours of maternal ingestion, fetal alcohol blood levels are similar to maternal alcohol blood levels. There is no established relationship between the amount of alcohol consumed and side effects sustained by the infant. This puzzling observation may reflect the maternal rate of alcohol breakdown via her liver.

It has been observed that alcohol consumed at any time during pregnancy may be associated with severe and permanent consequences. First trimester pregnancy alcohol ingestion is linked to the characteristic facial abnormalities of FAS as well as a reduction of intrauterine growth rate. Alcohol consumption during the second trimester also contributes to lower IQ, growth retardation in length and birth weight, as well as cognitive deficits of reading, spelling, and math. Third trimester alcohol consumption amplifies retardation in birth length and ultimate adult height potential.
READ MORE HERE

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: [email protected]
Twitter: @TruthIsHers
Facebook: Facebook.com/ Bobbi.Parish

TRAUMA RECOVERY UNIVERSITY LINKS:

  • Email:        [email protected]
  • Visit Athena’s Site: http://AthenaMoberg.com
    Visit Bobbi’s Site: http://BobbiParish.com
    LIVE broadcast: They broadcast their videos live each week on Mondays at 6pm PST. Anyone can watch them live at http://bit.ly/TraumaRecoveryU . You can interact with them, make comments and ask questions by tweeting with the hashtag #NoMoreShame. They monitor that hashtag during the broadcast and answer questions live on the air.

    The #NoMoreShame Project:
    E-Mail: [email protected]
    Twitter: @NMSProject
    Facebook: Facebook.com/NoMoreShameProject

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    Projects:
    Narcissistic Abuse Project: http://NarcDiaries.com
    Entrepreneurship Vlog: http://EntreTalk.com
    Teaching People How To Host Twitter Chats : http://2TweetGeeks.com
    Get Published in our next Anthology: http://NoMoreShameProject.com/anthology

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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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Through a Rapist’s Eyes—A Rapist Profile

Posted by Sandra On October - 4 - 2015 2 COMMENTS

Through a Rapist’s Eyes

 

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A Profile of the Child Molester and Grooming Techniques

During my two decades of work as an investigative reporter, I interviewed hundreds of convicted child molesters in prisons across America. My objective was to uncover how they had lured children and teens into abuse and worse. My intention was also to generate a criminal profile that could be shared with parents and law enforcement. Instead, I found child molesters and abductors to be a diverse group that possesses no tidy criminal profile and does not discriminate by race, gender, class or age.

So who are these sexual offenders?

  • Males and Females
  • Young Adults, Middle-Aged Adults, and Seniors
  • Upper Class, Middle Class, and Disadvantaged
  • All Races & Ethnicities
  • Vocationally Diverse

One child pornography sting operation by the U.S. Justice Department and Customs Postal Inspectors resulted in well over two hundred arrests. The occupations of those arrested was a virtual rainbow of American life, representing 44% of all occupations listed by the U.S. Department of Labor.

How many child molesters live in the United States?

Approximately 400,000 convicted pedophiles currently reside in the United States, according to Department of Justice estimates.*

Are there really female child molesters?

Yes. A 2000 statistical report by the US Department of Justice* found that female offenders victimized:

  • 12% of victims under the age of 6
  • 6% of victims ages 6 – 12
  • 3% of victims ages 12 – 17

How many victims does a child molester average?

Interviews guaranteeing complete confidentiality and immunity from prosecution, conducted by Emory University psychiatrist Dr. Gene Abel*, uncovered that:

  • Male offenders who abused girls had an average of 52 victims each.
  • Men who molested boys had an astonishing average of 150 victims each.
  • Only 3% of these crimes had ever been detected.

How do child molesters get into situations where they can exploit children?

Few child molesters are able to resist their powerful urges to initiate contact with children and will go to great lengths to do so. Common strategies include:

  • Befriending parents, particularly single parents, to gain access to their children.
  • Offering babysitting services to overextended parents or caregivers.
  • Taking jobs and participating in community events that involve children.
  • Attending sporting events for children and/or offering to coach children’s sports.
  • Volunteering in youth organizations, offering to chaperone overnight trips.
  • Loitering in places children frequent – playgrounds, malls, game arcades, etc.
  • Spending time in Internet gaming and social communities, learning the online interests and lingo of youngsters.
  • Becoming foster parents.

What is the most common method used by child molesters?

The Affection Lure. (See Think First & Stay Safe™ Parent Guide) Most victims of abuse are “groomed” over a period of weeks, months, or years. The Affection Lure is used both offline and online to seduce unsuspecting youngsters in need of love and attention. Child molesters have repeatedly told me: When there’s a physically or emotionally absent parent in the picture, it makes the child more vulnerable than ever.

Which age group is most often targeted by child molesters?

In the interviews I conducted, the majority of molesters cited a preference for children on the brink of puberty. This is the age of sexual awakening, making it easy for molesters to prey on the sexual curiosity and ignorance of youngsters. To quote one of the sexual offenders I interviewed, “Give me a kid who knows nothing about sex, and you’ve given me my next victim.”

While we as parents are inclined to give pre-teens and teens more freedom and less supervision, this age group is actually the most vulnerable to abuse and abduction. We must talk frankly and often to our children about “the birds and the bees” and not allow sex offenders to educate our children for us.

Wouldn’t a vigilant parent be able to detect a child molester, just by their actions?

Not necessarily. Remember, sex offenders who prey on children:

  • Are notoriously friendly, nice, kind, engaging and likeable.
  • Target their victims, often insinuating themselves into that child’s life – their family, school, house of worship, sports, and hobbies.
  • Are professional con artists and are expert at getting children and families to trust them.
  • Will smile at you, look you right in the eye and make you believe they are trustworthy.

Do kids and teens ever sexually abuse other children?

Sadly, yes – and many of these juvenile offenders are victims of sexual abuse themselves. A U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics report* found that:

  • 23% of all sexual offenders were under the age of 18.
  • 40% of offenders of victims under age 6 were themselves juveniles
  • 13% were 7-11 years old; 27% were 12-17 years old.
  • 39% of the offenders of victims ages 7-11 were juveniles.
  • 27% of the offenders of victims ages 12 -17 were juveniles.

What types of assaults were these?

Juvenile offenders under the age of 12 were responsible for:

  • 23% of forcible sodomies
  • 19% of forcible fondlings
  • 17% of sexual assaults with an object
  • 7% of forcible rapes

Juvenile offenders ages 12 – 18 were responsible for:

  • 36% of forcible sodomies
  • 27% of forcible fondlings
  • 23% of sexual assaults with an object
  • 17% of forcible rapes

When and where did these assaults usually happen?

The peak time for juvenile assaults was 3 pm, after school. Other spikes in the number of incidents were at the traditional meal times of 8 am, noon and 6 pm. Most of these assaults happened in the home of the victim, the home of the offender, or another residence.*

How many of these assaults were by family members?

  • 49% of offenders of victims under age 6 were family members.
  • 42% of offenders of victims ages 7-11 were family members.
  • 24% of offenders of victims ages 12 – 17 were family members.*

Are there groups of organized child molesters that prey on children?

Yes. Small groups of militant and highly organized child molesters operate worldwide, and many claim genuine concern for the welfare of children. The actual number of members in these organizations is unknown, though their power is evident. One pedophile organization’s newsletter correctly identified ten sting operations in five different states. Another exposed and compromised four federal sting operations. Clearly, these organizations have connections.

What are their beliefs and goals?

In general, these groups believe that sex with children is harmless; some even claim that sexual relations are healthy for children. Their goals include decriminalizing child molestation and lowering the age of consent.

Where do they meet?

In addition to attending conferences and conventions, members now meet primarily via the Internet where they may swap methods, success stories, even names, descriptions, and images of children. Since the early 1980’s, they have exploited the Internet to communicate with one another, spreading their propaganda to anyone who will listen.

Aren’t their activities illegal?

Most of these groups and members are careful to keep their public activities within the realm of protected civil liberties.

In 2006, a new political party (PNVD) was established in the Netherlands. Commonly referred to as “the Pedophile Party,” it seeks to lower the age of consent from 16 to 12. Opponents had asked The Hague District Court to bar the party from registering for national elections, but Judge H. Hofhuis ruled: “Freedom of expression, freedom … of association, including the freedom to set up a political party, can be seen as the basis for a democratic society.”

Are these groups a real threat?

While the average child molester does not belong to an organized group, we would be foolish not to take seriously any group whose members are committed to sexual activity with children.

_________________________________________________________
A group of RAPISTS and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:


1) The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle.  They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or  other style that can easily be grabbed–most likely a woman with long hair .  Women with short hair are not common targets.

2) The second thing men look for is clothing.  They will look for women who’s clothing is easy to remove quickly.  Many of them carry scissors around specifically to cut clothing.

3) They also look for women on their cell phone, searching through their purse, or doing other activities while walking because they are off-guard and can be easily overpowered.

4) Men are most likely to attack & rape in the early morning, between 5: 00a.m. and 8:30a.m.

5) The #1 place women are abducted from/attacked is grocery store parking lots. #2: office parking lots/garages.  #3: public restrooms.

6) The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to another location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.

7) Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years.

8) If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.

9) These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance. Keys are NOT a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon.  So, the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it.

10) Several defense mechanisms he taught us are: If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell,  look them in the face e and ask them a question, like what time is it or make general small talk: ‘I can’t believe it is so cold out here, or We’re in for a bad winter. Now you’ve seen their face and could identify them in a line-up; you lose appeal as a target.

11) If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell STOP! or STAY BACK!  Most of the rapists this man talked to said they’d leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back.  Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

12) If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes), yell I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.

13) If someone grabs you, you can’t beat them with strength but you can by outsmarting them.  If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the Arm (between the elbow and armpit)OR in the upper inner thigh VERY VERY HARD.  One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands – the guy needed stitches.  Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it – it hurts.

14) After the initial hit, always GO for the GROIN.  I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it is extremely painful.  You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble.  Start causing trouble and he’s out of there.

15) When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible.  The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

16) Of course the things we always hear still apply.  Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don’t dismiss it, go with your instincts!!! You may feel a little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.

Things You Need to Know About Child Molesters

Understanding the Perpetrator | Sexual Assault Prevention

The Etiology of Sexual Offending Behavior and Sex Offender

**********************************************************

MORE SAFETY TIPS:
1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do : The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. Learned this from a tourist guide in  New Orleans : If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you….chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse.  RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy.  The driver won’t see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc, and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.)  DON’T DO THIS!  The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go.  AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.
a)    If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car.  Your Air Bag will save you.  If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it.  As soon as the car crashes bail out and run.  It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot or parking garage:
A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor and in the back seat.
B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door.  Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
C.) Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs.(Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times. And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, preferably in a zigzag pattern!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP! It may get you raped or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well-educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked ‘for help’ into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

 

 

(SOURCE:  http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-61175.html)

(SOURCE:  http://www.ripleycounty.com/sheriff/rape.htm)

 

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)

child+predators+monitor

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

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OUR MISSION: To educate the public on child abuse signs & symptoms, statistics, intervention, reporting, prevention & assist victims & survivors in locating the proper resources necessary to enable & achieve a full recovery.

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