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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Child Sex Exploitation Websites Have Increased 136%

Posted by Sandra On April - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

90% of images now show victims aged ten or less

downloadThe number of web pages containing child pornography has more than doubled over the past year. Researchers have also revealed the material features increasingly young children. Nine out of every ten images of child sexual abuse found online in 2014 showed children aged ten and under, according to the Internet Watch Foundation. That was a dramatic increase from the year before, when around two-thirds of the child porn it found featured children of such a young age. They were part of a worrying rise in the amount of child abuse the IWF discovered online. Overall, experts from the regulator removed more than 31,000 web pages featuring vile images of sexual abuse in 2014, soaring 136 per cent from around 13,000 the previous year. READ MORE HERE

Online child sex abuse images soar

How to Report Child Pornography – US Department of Justice

 

 

Warning Signs of Sex Abuse

Posted by Sandra On April - 9 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Warning Signs in Children of Possible Sexual Abuse 

80472385-Sad-childStop It Now! has developed a warning signs tip sheet to help identify possible warning signs. Any one sign does not mean that a child was sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that you begin asking questions and consider seeking help. Any one sign doesn’t mean that a child was sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that you begin asking questions and consider seeking help. Young children often do not report sexual abuse to a parent because they are ashamed, feel loyal to the person who is abusing them, or have been threatened not to tell. You may notice some changes in your child, however as a parent it is imperative that you are aware of what signs to look for that may indicate child sexual abuse.

 

Behavior you may see in a child or adolescent:

    • Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
    • Seems distracted or distant at odd times
    • Has a sudden change in eating habits
    • Refuses to eat
    • Loses or drastically increases appetite
    • Has trouble swallowing
    • Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity, or withdrawal
    • Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
    • Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
    • Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
    • Writes, draws, plays, or dreams of sexual or frightening images
    • Talks about a new older friend
    • Suddenly has money, toys, or other gifts without reason
    • Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty, or bad
    • Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language, and knowledge

What to look for in adults and children

What is considered child sexual abuse?

Child sexual abuse includes touching and non-touching activity. Some examples of touching activity include:

  • touching a child’s genitals or private parts for sexual pleasure
  • making a child touch someone else’s genitals, play sexual games or have sex putting objects or body parts (like fingers, tongue or penis) inside the vagina, in the mouth or in the anus of a child for sexual pleasure

Some examples of non-touching activity include:

  • showing pornography to a child
  • deliberately exposing an adult’s genitals to a child
  • photographing a child in sexual poses
  • encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts
  • inappropriately watching a child undress or use the bathroom
As well as the activities described above, there is also the serious and growing problem of people making and downloading sexual images of children on the Internet. To view child abuse images is to participate in the abuse of a child. Those who do so may also be abusing children they know. People who look at this material need help to prevent their behaviour from becoming even more serious.

Warning signs in children and adolescents of possible child sexual abuse

Children often show us rather than tell us that something is upsetting them. There may be many reasons for changes in their behaviour, but if we notice a combination of worrying signs it may be time to call for help or advice.

What to watch out for in children:

  • Acting out in an inappropriate sexual way with toys or objects
  • Nightmares, sleeping problems
  • Becoming withdrawn or very clingy
  • Becoming unusually secretive
  • Sudden unexplained personality changes, mood swings and seeming insecure
  • Regressing to younger behaviors, e.g. bedwetting
  • Unaccountable fear of particular places or people
  • Outburst of anger
  • Changes in eating habits
  • New adult words for body parts and no obvious source
  • Talk of a new, older friend and unexplained money or gifts
  • Self-harm (cutting, burning or other harmful activities)
  • Physical signs, such as, unexplained soreness or bruises around genitals or mouth, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy
  • Running away
  • Not wanting to be alone with a particular child or young person

Any one sign doesn’t mean that a child was or is being sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that you should begin to ask questions and consider seeking help. Keep in mind that some of these signs can emerge at other times of stress such as:

  • During a divorce
  • Death of a family member or pet
  • Problems at school or with friends
  • Other anxiety-inducing or traumatic events

Physical warning signs

Physical signs of sexual abuse are rare, however, if you see these signs, take your child to a doctor. Your doctor can help you understand what may be happening and test for sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
  • Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
  • Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

Signs that an adult may be using their relationship with a child for sexual reasons

The signs that an adult is using their relationship with a child for sexual reasons may not be obvious. We may feel uncomfortable about the way they play with the child, or seem always to be favouring them and creating reasons for them to be alone. There may be cause for concern about the behaviour of an adult or young person if they:

  • Refuse to allow a child sufficient privacy or to make their own decisions on personal matters.
  • Insist on physical affection such as kissing, hugging or wrestling even when the child clearly does not want it.
  • Are overly interested in the sexual development of a child or teenager.
  • Insist on time alone with a child with no interruptions.
  • Spend most of their spare time with children and have little interest in spending time with people their own age.
  • Regularly offer to baby-sit children for free or take children on overnight outings alone.
  • Buy children expensive gifts or give them money for no apparent reason.
  • Frequently walk in on children/teenagers in the bathroom.
  • Treat a particular child as a favourite, making them feel ‘special’ compared with others in the family.
  • Pick on a particular child.

Child abuse among children and young people

Age appropriate sexual behavior

We all know that children pass through different stages of development as they grow, and that their awareness and curiosity about sexual matters change as they pass from infancy into childhood and then through puberty to adolescence. Each child is an individual and will develop in his or her own way. However, there is a generally accepted range of behaviors linked to a child’s age and developmental stage. Sometimes these will involve some exploration with other children of a similar age. It can be difficult to tell the difference between age appropriate sexual exploration and warning signs of harmful behavior. Occasionally we may need to explain to children why we would prefer them not to continue with a particular behavior.

This is a chance to talk with them about keeping themselves and others safe and to let them know that you are someone who will listen. Disabled children may develop at different rates, depending on the nature of their disability, and they can be more vulnerable to abuse. Children with learning disabilities, for example, may behave sexually in ways that are out of step with their age. Particular care may be needed in educating such children to understand their sexual development and to ensure that they can communicate effectively about any worries they have.

It is important to recognise that while people from different backgrounds have different expectations about what is acceptable behaviour in children, sexual abuse happens across all races and cultures. Remember that each child develops at his or her own pace and not every child will show the behaviours described below. If you have any worries or questions about a child you know, talk to someone about it.

Pre-school children (0-5) years commonly:

  • Use childish ‘sexual’ language to talk about body parts
  • Ask how babies are made and where they come from
  • Touch or rub their own genitals
  • Show and look at private parts

They rarely:

  • Discuss sexual acts or use sexually explicit language
  • Have physical sexual contact with other children
  • Show adult-like sexual behaviour or knowledge  

School-age children (6-12 years) commonly:

  • Ask questions about menstruation, pregnancy and other sexual behavior
  • Experiment with other children, often during games, kissing, touching, showing and role playing
  • Masturbate in private

They rarely:

  • Masturbate in public
  • Show adult like sexual behaviour or knowledge

Adolescents:

  • Ask questions about relationships and sexual behavior
  • Use sexual language and talk between themselves about sexual acts
  • Masturbate in private
  • Experiment sexually with adolescents of similar age

NB. About one-third of adolescents have sexual intercourse before the age of 16.

They rarely:

  • Masturbate in public
  • Have sexual contact with much younger children or adults 

Warning signs of sexually harmful behaviour

One of the hardest things for parents to discover is that their child may have sexually harmed or abused another child. In this situation, denial, shock and anger are normal reactions. If it is not responded to quickly and sensitively, the effect on the whole family can be devastating. For this reason it is vital to contact someone for advice about what to do as soon as you suspect that something is wrong. The positive message is that early help for the child or young person and their family can make a real difference. Evidence suggests that the earlier children can get help, the more chance there is of preventing them moving on to more serious behaviour. It is important to be alert to the early warning signs that something is going wrong. If you are in this situation, remember that you are not alone. Many other parents have been through similar experiences, and, as a result, the child and family found the help they needed are were able to rebuild their lives. The first step is to decide that it would be helpful to talk it over with someone else.

Do you know a child or adolescent who:

  • Seeks out the company of younger children and spends an unusual amount of time in their company?
  • Takes younger children to ‘secret’ places or hideaways or plays ‘special’ games with them (e.g. doctor and patient, removing clothing etc.) especially games unusual to their age?
  • Insists on hugging or kissing a child when the child does not want to?
  • Tells you they do not want to be alone with a child or becomes anxious when a particular child comes to visit?
  • Frequently uses aggressive or sexual language about adults or children?
  • Shows sexual material to younger children?
  • Makes sexually abusive telephone calls?
  • Shares alcohol or drugs with younger children or teens?
  • Views child pornography on the internet or elsewhere?
  • Exposes his or her genitals to younger children?
  • Forces sex on another adolescent or child?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should talk to the child or young person and seek advice.

What you can do if you see warning signs

If you are concerned about the sexualized behaviors in a parent, cousin, sibling, friend, or neighbor, you should consider contacting the police or children’s services in your area, they can take action if appropriate. If you choose not to do that, care enough to talk to the person whose behavior is worrying you.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CHILD SEX ABUSE CLICK HERE

What Is Child “Grooming?”

Posted by Sandra On March - 31 - 2015 Comments Off

downloadPerpetrators of child sexual abuse (CSA) may gain the trust of potential child victims and their caregivers by methodically “grooming” them. This process begins with identifying potential victims, gaining their trust, and breaking down their defenses. These grooming tactics are often directed at potential youth victims as well as the adult caregivers—parents, other youth-serving professionals, and the community-at-large. After gaining access to children and youth by achieving this trust, the perpetrator initiates some kind of contact that s/he finds sexually gratifying. This sexual contact may range from voyeurism to rape and other forms of child sexual abuse. Grooming helps the offender gain access to the victim, and sets up a relationship grounded in secrecy so that the crime is less likely to be discovered. READ MORE HERE

 

Child Sexual Abuse – 6 Stages of Grooming – Oprah.com

Grooming Children for Sexual Molestation

The Grooming Process | Department for Children and Families

Child Sexual Abuse & Grooming

Sexual Offender Tactics and Grooming

101 Ways to Move From Victim-Survivor-Thriver

Posted by Sandra On March - 30 - 2015 Comments Off

imagesThe cold hard fact is that far too many of us are going through pain. I know, I’ve spoken to enough of you about it. But if you know me, even after you’ve seen my documentary and read my book about it and heard me speak – you know that I am all about moving on. Yes, life is hard and the worst nightmare – child sexual abuse – is so prevalent it can make you ill. But I believe that the more survivors and loved ones of survivors heal and move forward, the more we will end the epidemic by not repeating it.

The majority of people who read my blog and know me from speaking gigs have told me that me speaking about moving on (and doing it with cursing and laughter) is way they love me. Ah, I love you too! Those who hate what I talk about will always be haters and should read this list too. A DM from a Twitter friend promoted this list by asking me, surprised, if I really had moved on from my story and how in the world I did it. Here you go! READ MORE HERE

 

10 Signs of Child Abuse

Posted by Sandra On March - 29 - 2015 Comments Off

download (1)Readers, the first step to curbing child abuse is recognizing it. If you see, or suspect, any form of child abuse PLEASE report it! Take action – it could save a child’s life. Report child abuse to your local or state child protective service agency, or to your neighborhood police precinct.You can become aware of child abuse by recognizing the signs. Here are 10 signs that can help:

1. Unexplained injuries: There may be unconvincing explanations for a child’s injuries.

2. Changes in behavior: Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive.

3. Returning to earlier behavior: Abused children may display behaviors shown when they were younger, such as thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, fear of the dark or strangers. Loss of basic language or memory problems may occur.

READ MORE HERE

10 Signs of Child Abuse & Neglect

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Criminal Victim Resources

Posted by Sandra On March - 27 - 2015 Comments Off

Criminal Victim Resources

843149769Crime victims often are asked to testify in court or make a statement under oath in order to help prosecutors convict the perpetrator, and occasionally may receive restitution. Additionally, victims may claim monetary damages in civil court. But crime victims may also require assistance outside of the justice system, such as counseling; shelter; and other such needs. The following is a list of crime victim resources, including non-profit organizations and government agencies.

 

Resources
General
Information on domestic violence and sexual assault for the Deaf community. Downloadable brochures for Deaf children and adults on keeping safe and dealing with violence.
Information about human trafficking, including services available to victims in English, Polish, Spanish, and Russian.
Information on the services offered by the Victims of Exploitation and Trafficking Assistance (VETA) program, including legal representation and case management. Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline number.
Information on dating violence and how to get help, including Break the Cycle’s program offering legal representation to teen victims.
Crime and victims statistics, including results from the National Crime Victimization Survey.
Information on prevalence and impact of child maltreatment. Includes state laws relating to child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption. Frequently asked questions.
Information on child abuse, including types of child abuse and signs of abuse. Downloadable brochures and posters. Information for children who are being abused, including how to get help.
Information on trafficking, including the services the Coalition offers to victims such as representation in removal proceedings and securing release from detention.
Resources for parents, educators, youth, and children about operating safely in cyberspace. Information for victims on cybercrime, including identity theft and online stalking. Downloadable brochures and online classes.
Information on preventing, detecting and responding to identity theft. Downloadable brochures and online identity theft quiz.
Provides victims in federal cases with information on how to file a complaint against an employee of the Department of Justice (includes any attorney, investigator, or law enforcement officer within the Department) if they feel their rights have been violated. Information about federal victims’ rights. Downloadable complaint forms.
Information on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), including articles and video reviews. Q & A with PTSD expert. List of international trauma support groups.
Resources for victims of identity theft, including a “Victim Guide 101.” Information on how to get connected with a local support advocate.
Online mechanism for victims to report Internet crime. IC3 refers complaints to appropriate law enforcement agencies. Frequently asked questions and crime prevention tips.
Information for survivors of sexual assault and their support persons. Frequently asked questions. Foundation offers financial assistance to support persons to defray costs of transportation and housing, so the victim’s support person can attend criminal justice system proceedings.
List of toll-free helpline numbers for victims from the Office of Justice Programs, United States Department of Justice.
Information on relationship violence. Downloadable handbooks for parents, women, girls and boys. Materials available in Spanish. Information on the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline.
Information on the criminal justice system, victims’ rights, and victim compensation. Online chats and message boards for victim support. Search for local assistance by zip code or state. Contact information for MADD’s victim assistance program.
Information about tribal courts, tribal court jurisdiction, the Major Crimes Act, judge selection for tribal courts, and tribal code construction. Online directory with links to tribal courts and tribal justice systems.
Downloadable “GetHelp” bulletins on all types of crime and victimization, victims’ rights, compensation, and civil justice, among many others. Toll-free helpline and email address for victims to receive information and referrals to services. Special information for teen victims of crime.
Information on elder abuse. Frequently asked questions. List of elder abuse laws. Clickable map of resources across the country.
Online directory of services for victims of domestic abuse in later life and their advocates. Downloadable fact sheets. Frequently asked questions.
Information for victims on safety planning, violence at the workplace, internet safety, and identity theft.
Information on civil remedies for victims of crime, including how to select an attorney. Downloadable brochure about civil justice for victims. Toll-free number to obtain attorney referrals.
NCVLI assists attorneys who provide direct legal services to victims. Establishes legal clinics to represent crime victims in criminal courts. Files amicus briefs in trial and appellate courts on the rights of victims. Provides information, resources, and trainings on victims’ rights to ensure these rights are enforced in courts.
Information on all types of crime and victimization. Downloadable publications for victims.
Information on the services the Hotline offers. Resources for victims about abuse, safety planning, and Internet safety. Information for immigrants, teens, family members, and other support persons.
National resource directory of domestic violence programs offering services in Spanish.
Information on victimization, trauma, and how to find help. Specific information on crime victims with disabilities, elderly victims, and domestic violence. Criminal justice system glossary. Links to national and state victim resources.
Articles and other materials about sexual violence. Links to other victim resources.
Resources for stalking victims, including materials on safety planning, what to do if you are being stalked, and address confidentiality programs. Downloadable incident and behavior log. Stalking laws and court cases.
Online directory of victim services. Links to other resources and victim assistance programs by crime. Resources for international victims, victims of mass terrorism, and trafficking. Frequently asked questions.
Information on human trafficking, including slave labor and sexual servitude. Materials on identifying and helping trafficking victims.
Searchable database of non-emergency crime victim services in the United States and abroad. Search by location, type of victimization, service needed and agency type.
Resources for families and other survivors of homicide victims. Information on grief, criminal justice system terminology, victim impact statements, and victim notification. Online support forums for victims.
Information on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. Downloadable brochures.
Resources for victims of identity theft. Some fact sheets available in Spanish.
Online searchable directory of rape crisis centers. Statistics and other information on sexual assault, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and incest.
Information on all types of victimization and the services offered by Safe Horizon.
Information about the federal campus sexual assault victims bill of rights and other federal laws relating to campus sexual assault. What to do if you have been a victim of a sexual assault on campus. Links to other victim resources.
Information about what to do if you are a victim of identity theft.
Information on stalking, including how to recognize stalking, cyberstalking, safety planning, and types of stalkers.
Information about stalking, including recognizing stalking, cyberstalking, and safety planning. Online discussion boards for victim support.
Resources for victims of stalking, including safety planning, protective orders, and stalker behavior.
Resources for parents, grandparents, and siblings of a child who has died. Brochures for parents, grandparents, teachers, funeral directors, and many others. Local TCF chapter clickable map.
Provides searchable information on offenders in many states who are currently in custody. Allows victims to register to receive email notification about a change in an offender’s status.
Searchable database of materials on victims of crime with disabilities. Online discussion forum.
Information for survivors of sexual trauma. Downloadable brochures, including a brochure for men. Information on how to pick a therapist.
Information about online safety for parents, educators, librarians, law enforcement, and children and youth. Materials on cell phone safety. Online reporting mechanism for harassment, stalking via the Internet, and cyberbullying.
State-by-state domestic violence legal information and resources. Includes information for immigrant victims and victims in the military. Resources for seeking protective orders, safety planning, and Internet safety. List of online chats and message boards for victim support.
Military Go to Top
Information about the victim and witness assistance program. Contact information for Victim and Witness Assistance Points of Contact for each military branch. Online forms for victim notification and compensation. PowerPoint overview of the military justice system.
Information for victims on reporting options, the military’s confidentiality policy, and the investigative process. Frequently asked questions.
Fact sheets on the military justice system. Information on military jurisdiction, commander’s disciplinary options, trial procedures, and a review of clemency, parole, and pardons, among many other topics.
Information on domestic violence and the military response. How to recognize abuse. Downloadable directory of Family Advocacy Programs.
Alabama Go to Top
General information on victims’ rights, compensation, pardons and parole, victim notification, and more. Downloadable victim notification form. List of Alabama victim service officers by county. Victim assistance hotline number.
Information on victims’ rights in the pardons/parole process. List of scheduled parole hearings.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable victim compensation application form. Online form to check the status of a compensation claim. Information on victims’ rights, the trial process, and the corrections process. Frequently asked questions.
Alaska Go to Top
Information on victims’ rights and restitution collection. Links to other Alaskan victim services programs. Frequently asked questions. Includes a “Kids Go to Court” coloring book.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable application form. How to appeal a denial of compensation application.
Information about victim notification and the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system. Downloadable notification form. Victim impact statements information and related forms. Links to other Alaskan and national vies. Toll-free number
Downloadable handbook, in English or Spanish, with information on the criminal justice process, definitions of commonly used terms, victims’ rights, and safety planning. Directory of other Alaskan victim resources.
Information about victims’ rights and the victims’ rights enforcement process. How to file a complaint for violation of rights. Downloadable information sheet, “How a typical case is prosecuted in Alaska.”
American Samoa Go to Top
Contact information for the American Samoa victim compensation program.
Arizona Go to Top
Information concerning duties of the office, including victims’ rights enforcement and victims’ rights training. Downloadable brochures on victims’ rights to leave work, restitution, and the criminal appeals process, among others. Contact information for other Arizona victim service programs.
Victim compensation information. Contact information for victim compensation programs by county. Downloadable compensation application.
Online database to track inmates via the Internet. Information about post-conviction notification, orders of protection, restitution, and restorative justice. Frequently asked questions. Links to other state and national victim resources.
Searchable database provides information about court cases from 142 of 180 Arizona courts (list of courts posted on Web site). Email notification for changes to cases in Maricopa County.
Information about Arizona’s Victims’ Rights Enforcement Officer which receives and investigates complaints of crime victims concerning denial of victim’s rights. Online complaint form.
Victims’ rights information and overview of the criminal justice system. Downloadable forms including Request for Notice of Conditions of Release and Motion To Allow Support Person for Victim During Trial Testimony. Contact information for other Arizona victim resources. Information on the Crime Victims’ Legal Assistance Project.
Arkansas Go to Top
Victim compensation information. Downloadable application forms. Information about stalking, elder abuse, and missing children.
Downloadable guide to the justice system in Arkansas. Clemency and parole information. Contact information for other Arkansas and national victim resources.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable compensation claim form.
Information about the state’s Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system, including how to register.
California Go to Top
Overview of California’s Office of Victim Services. Information on victims’ rights. Downloadable form to request notification of criminal appeals. Frequently asked questions and informational brochures. Information about California and national victim resources.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable victim compensation form. Spanish forms. Brochure on victim restitution. Directory of victim witness assistance programs across the state.
Information about victims’ rights and the correctional system, parole board hearings, and cases in which the offender is a juvenile. Downloadable victim notification form. Restitution information. Links to additional resources.
Overview of the Center and toll-free line for resources and referrals for victims. Links to California and national victim resources.
Colorado Go to Top
Victim compensation information. Downloadable compensation claim form.
Information on victim services available and victims’ rights generally. Online victim notification request form. Online victim impact form. Information on other Colorado resources. Frequently asked questions.
Information on Colorado’s Victims’ Rights Coordinating Committee which investigates victims’ rights violations complaints. Downloadable complaint form.
Information on victims’ rights in English and Spanish. Victim compensation information and downloadable compensation claim form. Links to other Colorado and national victim resources.
Online directory of victim services in Colorado. Other information for victims and advocates.
Connecticut Go to Top
Victim compensation information. Downloadable compensation application in English and Spanish.
Downloadable request for victim notification. Victim Services contact information.
Victims’ rights information in English and Spanish. Victim compensation and restitution information. Frequently asked questions Downloadable notification registration form. List of court-based advocates across the state. Links to other Connecticut and national victim resources.
Information on the duties of the office, including monitoring the treatment of victims in the criminal justice system and receiving and investigating crime victim complaints of mistreatment by state agency or other entity providing services to victims. Summary of victims’ rights. Contact information for other state and national victim resources.
Delaware Go to Top
Information about the criminal justice process and victims’ rights. Telephone list for Delaware victim service agencies and related resources. Frequently asked questions.
Victim compensation information and contact numbers for staff of the program.
Information on the services offered by the Unit. Frequently asked questions.
Information about the Victim Services Section of the Delaware State Police and its 24-hour hotline. Contact numbers for other Delaware victim service resources.
District of Columbia Go to Top
Victim compensation information and downloadable application form.
Victim compensation and notification information. Frequently asked questions. List of D.C. and national victim resources.
Information about victims’ rights and compensation. Links and numbers for other D.C. and national resources for victims.
Florida Go to Top
Information on victims’ rights. Victim compensation information and downloadable compensation application. Clickable map directory of Florida victim services.
Downloadable victim compensation application form in English, Spanish and Creole. Brochure on victim compensation.
Information for victims about what to expect after sentencing. Online victim notification request form. Online Inmate Information Search. Frequently asked questions. Additional Florida and national resources for victims.
Georgia Go to Top
Information on victim notification. Downloadable victim notification form.
Information on victims’ rights in the parole process. Downloadable victim notification form and online change of address form. Online victim impact form. Other Georgia victim services links.
The Helpline, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, assists callers with finding resources as well as information about the Georgia Crime Victim Assistance Compensation Program.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable victim compensation application form.
Downloadable Georgia victim services directory.
Guam Go to Top
Contact information for Guam victim compensation program.
Information on family violence and the duties of a peace officer. Phone numbers for local victim resources. Frequently asked questions.
Hawaii Go to Top
Information about crime victim compensation. Downloadable compensation application form. Frequently asked questions. Phone numbers for numerous other Hawaii service providers.
Information on victims’ rights, including the right to restitution, notification, and compensation, and the right to give a victim impact statement. List of phone numbers for other Hawaii services for victims.
Information on victims’ rights, submitting a Crime Victims’ Rights Act Complaint Form, victim notification, steps in a criminal prosecution, and preparing to testify. Links to Hawaiian and national victim resources.
Idaho Go to Top
Manual describes the rights of crime victims in the state of Idaho.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable compensation application form and instructions.
Information about the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system. Link to online registration for VINE.
Illinois Go to Top
Information on the services offered by the division. Downloadable brochure about registering for the state’s Automated Victim Notification System. Toll-free number to provide victims with referrals for service. Numerous downloadable brochures on topics such as compensation for funeral providers and hospitals, post-traumatic stress disorder, and victim impact statements.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable compensation application form.
Information on the services of the Victims Services Unit. Recent news relating to victim services in Illinois. Toll-free number.
Database of agencies and centers that provide assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Can be downloaded or printed.
Indiana Go to Top
Information about victim notification, the appeals process and victims’ rights, and the state’s Address Confidentiality Program.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable application form in English and Spanish.
Downloadable victim notification form. Information on Parole Board hearings. Information on “wrap-around services” for victim safety after offender release. Link to the Offender Public Information Search Web site.
Iowa Go to Top
Information on the services the Division offers. Information on crime victim compensation.
Information on crime victim compensation. Downloadable compensation application.
Information on the Victim and Restorative Justice Programs, restitution, victim notification, victim impact statements. List of common terms relating to the criminal justice system. Criminal justice system flowchart. Frequently asked questions. Offender information look-up. Links to more resources.
Kansas Go to Top
Information on the services provided by the office.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable compensation application form and eligibility requirements brochure.
Information on notification and downloadable registration brochure. Information on parole and public comment periods. Definition of commonly used terms in the correctional system. Link to secure Web page for victims to obtain information specific to their case.
Kentucky Go to Top
Information on the services offered. Downloadable brochures on victim impact statements and specific information about domestic violence. Link to information on the state victim notification system. Links to Kentucky and national victim service providers. Toll-free victim hotline.
Victim compensation information. Frequently asked questions. Downloadable compensation application form.
Information on the services of the Office and the state’s victim notification system (VINE). Frequently asked questions.
Information on the state’s victim notification system. Frequently asked questions, including how to register to receive notification.
Louisiana Go to Top
Information on victims’ rights under Louisiana law.
Crime victim reparations (compensation) information. Frequently asked questions. Downloadable application form. Downloadable statewide victim services directory.
Information on the Bureau’s services. Information on victim notification and downloadable registration form. Information on probation and parole and victim offender dialogue.
General information for victims of crime. Contact information for victim/witness coordinators across the state.
Maine Go to Top
Information on criminal justice system and frequently asked questions for homicide survivors and victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse. Information about victim compensation, including eligibility checklist and downloadable application forms. Links to Maine service providers and national resources.
Victim compensation information. Online eligibility checklist and downloadable application form.
Information on victims’ rights, including restitution and notification. Online registration form for victim notification program.
Maryland Go to Top
Information on the services provided by the office. Links to other victim services in the state.
Information on victim compensation. Downloadable compensation application.
Information about victims’ rights, including notification and restitution. Flowcharts describing the criminal and juvenile justice system process. Links to Maryland and national resources. Information on victims’ rights compliance.
Information on Maryland’s Compliance Initiative which works to ensure fair treatment of victims by the criminal justice system. Toll-free compliance line through which victims can make complaints and get referrals.
Information on the services the DPSCS offers. Information on victims’ rights and parole and probation. Downloadable flow chart describing victims’ rights in the criminal justice system. Links to compensation division and other state and national resources. Link to victim notification program (VINELink), http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/victimservs/commitment/main_pages/vs-vine.shtml.
Massachusetts Go to Top
Victim compensation information and downloadable application form in English and Spanish. Phone numbers for victim witness programs across the state and other victim resources.
Click on “Victim Services Unit” (no direct link exists). Frequently asked questions. Information about victim notification and certification to receive notification. Contact information for other Massachusetts and national resources.
Information on local victim services for victims of all types of crimes. Safety planning information and court advocacy for domestic abuse survivors. Information on MOVAs victims’ rights law project.
Information on the Center’s services, including free legal help for sexual assault victims in matters relating to privacy problems, education problems, immigration problems, or employment problems as a result of the crime. Resources for pro bono attorneys. Information on victim compensation.
Michigan Go to Top
Victim compensation information and downloadable application.
Information on victims’ rights, including victim notification. Compensation information and downloadable application.
Information on victims’ rights. Summary of how a case progresses through the criminal justice system. Frequently asked questions. Commonly used terms defined. Information on victim compensation. Contact information for Victim Assistance Coordinators across the state. Links to Michigan and national resources.
Information on the services the Alliance offers. Links to helpful resources.
Minnesota Go to Top
Information on crime victim programs in Minnesota, including online directory of service providers. Information about the crime victim reparations (compensation) program and emergency fund for certain property loss.
Victim reparations (compensation) information. Downloadable application form in English, Spanish, and Somali.
Information on the Crime Victim Justice Unit’s mission to ensure compliance with victims’ rights laws. How to make a complaint for a victims’ rights violation. Downloadable complaint forms.
Mississippi Go to Top
Information on victims’ rights and the services offered by the office. Information on victim compensation and a “victim assistance fund” for crime scene cleanup and court-related travel. Downloadable request form for exercise of victims’ rights. Checklist for victims’ rights when working with the media.
Information on victim compensation. Frequently asked questions. Downloadable compensation application form.
Victim notification information and online request form. Criminal justice system handbook for victims.
Missouri Go to Top
Information on crime victims’ rights. Online request form for victim notification of criminal appellate proceedings. Links to state and national organizations that assist crime victims. List of victim service providers and victim witness advocates across the state. Downloadable information booklet on the criminal justice system process.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable application form and online eligibility checklist in English and Spanish.
Downloadable victim notification form. Frequently asked questions. Information about parole hearings.
How to file a victims’ rights violation complaint. Information on the Missouri Victim Automated Notification System. Clickable map of victim service providers by county.
Glossary of criminal justice terms and information on the criminal justice process in Missouri. List of state and county prosecutor-based victim advocates. Victim services listed by county and by topic. State and national toll-free help numbers.
Montana Go to Top
Victim compensation information, including eligibility requirements and how to file a claim.
Information on victim notification and downloadable forms to register. Contact information for victim information officers at each Montana correctional facility. Information on the victim offender dialogue program.
Information on the services the office provides. Specific information on domestic violence, identity theft, rape exam payments, and restorative justice. List of crime victim services by city. Many downloadable resource documents, including booklets on victims’ rights and the criminal justice system.
Nebraska Go to Top
Information on the state victim notification system (Victim Information and Notification Everyday/VINE). Information on victim compensation (reparations). Downloadable guide to the criminal justice system. Frequently asked questions.
Victim reparations information. Downloadable compensation claim form.
Links to each correctional facility’s victim assistant representatives. Information on VINE and how to register. Links to other national resources. Frequently asked questions.
Nevada Go to Top
Information on victims’ rights and the parole process, including the right to notification of parole hearings. Downloadable notification registration form. Downloadable guide to parole hearings.
Victim compensation information, including frequently asked questions.
Information on the services the Unit offers. Downloadable victim notification registration forms. Information on the state’s Confidential Address Program.
New Hampshire Go to Top
Office mainly provides information and support for homicide survivors. Web site contains downloadable guides on the New Hampshire criminal justice system and victims’ right to give an impact statement. Contact information for victim witness assistance programs and domestic and sexual assault service providers across the state. Information on the state’s Address Confidentiality Program.
Information on probation and parole, notification, protection from intimidation and harassment, and restitution, among others. List of victim services liaisons in the state’s correctional facilities.
Information on the services of the Network, including trauma intervention, court advocacy, and a program for kids and teens, “Grieving Assistance Program for Students.”
Victim compensation information. Downloadable application form and compensation brochure.
Listing of victim services and other related resources across the state of New Hampshire.
New Jersey Go to Top
Information on victim compensation, including frequently asked questions. Downloadable compensation application form. Web site also includes lists of rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and victim witness offices across the state.
Information on victims’ rights and the services the NJCVLC offers, including pro bono legal assistance to victims.
Frequently asked questions. Information on other victim resources in the state. Offender status search Web page.
Information on the services the office offers, including court accompaniment and counseling and support services. Information on the state’s victim notification system, including how to register. Downloadable guide to the criminal justice system. Links to other state victim services and resources. Lists of victim witness programs throughout the state.
Information on the state victim notification system (VINELink). Online registration to receive notice of parole board hearings.
New Mexico Go to Top
Information on victims’ rights and the services available through the Victim Services Advocate. Web site also contains information on child sexual abuse and Internet exploitation of children.
Victim reparations (compensation) information. Downloadable application in English and Spanish.
Information on the services of the Program, including a toll-free victim assistance number. Frequently asked questions.
Information on victims’ rights and pro bono services offered by the Project, including representation at court hearings, assistance with victim impact statements, and filing for restitution and compensation. Downloadable victims’ rights brochure. Contact information for other victim resources by county.
New York Go to Top
Web site posts the state’s toll-free victim helpline number.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable application in English and Spanish. Listing by county of victim witness programs across the state. Downloadable restitution brochure.
Information on victim impact at parole proceedings and suggested topics for victim impact statements. Downloadable registration form or online registration for the state victim notification system (VINE).
Information on the state victim notification system (VINE). Offender status search available.
North Carolina Go to Top
Information on victims’ rights, the appeals process, and the state’s Address Confidentiality Program. Frequently asked questions. Links to other victim resources across the state.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable compensation application.
Information about victim notification, victim input into parole or post-release supervision. Downloadable victim notification request form. Online offender look-up.
Information on the Statewide Automated Victim Assistance and Notification (SAVAN). Online registration.
Clickable map of victim services across the state. Link to online offender search and victim compensation program Web site.
North Dakota Go to Top
Victim compensation information, including frequently asked questions.
Victims’ rights and compensation information. Contact information for Victim and Witness Assistance programs across the state. Links to state and national victim resources.
Victims’ rights after sentencing and victim notification information. Downloadable notification registration form.
Ohio Go to Top
Information on victim notification and victim compensation. Online directory of victim services across the state. Materials on the Identity Theft Verification PASSPORT Program.
Victim compensation information. Online application and downloadable application form in English and Spanish. Online compensation claim status check.
Information on the services the Office provides. Downloadable registration form for victim notification. List of victim coordinators in each correctional facility. Information on parole. Online offender status search.
Victims’ rights information, including downloadable brochure on Ohio’s victims’ rights laws.
Oklahoma Go to Top
Information on the services the Unit offers, including “Safeline,” a toll free, V/TDD accessible 24-hour hotline for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
Victim compensation information and downloadable application form in English and Spanish. Online compensation claim status lookup.
Information on the services offered by the Department, including victim notification. Downloadable notification form. Pardon and parole information.
Oregon Go to Top
Information on victim compensation and Victim Information & Notification Everyday (VINE). Victim services directory and directory of all the certified county and city victim/witness assistance programs located throughout Oregon.
Information on victim compensation. Downloadable compensation application form.
Victims’ rights information, including downloadable brochure. Contact numbers for District Attorney’s Victim Assistance programs by county. Links to other victim resources.
Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) information and link to register.
Pennsylvania Go to Top
Information on victim compensation. Downloadable compensation claim form. Online claim status check. Downloadable handbook of victim service referrals arranged by county. Frequently asked questions.
Information about victims’ rights, including the right to notification, the right to restitution, and the right to give input. Online registration for victim notification. Clickable map of victim services across the state. Information about the state’s Address Confidentiality Program. Frequently asked questions.
Puerto Rico Go to Top
Information on Puerto Rico’s victim compensation program in Spanish.
Rhode Island Go to Top
Description of the services the Victim Services Team offers.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable compensation application in English and Spanish. Frequently asked questions.
Information about the state’s notification system (Victim Information and Notification Everyday/VINE), including how to register. Frequently asked questions.
Information on the parole process and victim input into parole hearings. Frequently asked questions.
South Carolina Go to Top
Information on the criminal justice process. List of other resources for victim assistance.
Information about victim compensation. Downloadable application. Frequently asked questions.
Information on South Carolina’s Crime Victim Ombudsman which reviews and attempts to resolve victim complaints against the criminal or juvenile justice systems or victim assistance programs. Downloadable complaint form.
Online registration for victim notification of hearings. Information on probation, parole and pardons, restitution, and submitting a videotaped statement to the parole board. List of contact information for victim services coordinators in several counties. Online offender search.
Information on victims’ rights and victim compensation. Links to other state and national victim resources.
Information on the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network’s crime victim legal network which provides free legal representation to victims in asserting their constitutional rights. Information on specific crimes and subjects such as restitution. Links to state, national, and other resources for victims.
South Dakota Go to Top
Victim compensation information. Downloadable application form. Frequently asked questions.
Information about victims’ rights. Downloadable victim notification request form.
Information on victims’ rights and the impact of crime.
Tennessee Go to Top
Information about victims’ rights. Downloadable victim notification form. Links to state and national victim resources.
Information on victim compensation. Downloadable application forms. Frequently asked questions.
Information about the state’s notification system, Victim Offender Information Caller Emissary, or VOICE hotline. Downloadable registration form. Felony Offender Information Lookup (FOIL) Online. What to expect at a parole hearing brochure.
Information about the criminal justice system, including “Misdemeanors & Felonies,” “What Happens After The Trial,” and “Length of Prison Terms in Tennessee.”
Glossary of criminal justice system terms. Information on victim compensation. Suggestions for witnesses going to court. Phone numbers for victim service providers across the state, including victim witness coordinators.
Texas Go to Top
Information on statewide victim notification system, protective orders, victims’ rights, and victim compensation. Downloadable compensation forms. Links to sexual assault services programs.
Victim compensation information, including relocation assistance for victims of family and sexual violence and travel reimbursement. Downloadable application form.
Information on the services of the Division, including a toll-free victim referral line. Information on victim notification and how to register. Frequently asked questions. Statewide and national resource directory. Numerous brochures on victim-related topics.
Utah Go to Top
Information on the services the office provides.
Victim compensation information and downloadable application form.
Information on the services the Office provides and the state’s victim notification system, Victim Information & Notification Everyday (VINE).
Contact information for victim advocate programs across the state.
Vermont Go to Top
Information on victims’ rights. List of other state and national victim resources.
Information for victims on victim services and the criminal justice system. Vermont Victim Services Resource Directory and searchable directory by county. Links to other state victim resources.
Victim compensation information and downloadable application form.
Information about victims’ rights and the corrections system. Victim notification information and downloadable registration form. Online offender status search.
Virgin Islands Go to Top
Information on the impact of crime and the services the program offers. Links to other local victim resources.
Contact information for the Virgin Islands victim compensation program.
Information on services the Coalition offers. Links to national and local victim resources. Information for teens on dating violence, sexual assault, and healthy relationships.
Virginia Go to Top
Information on victim notification and downloadable registration form. Appeals process information.
Victim compensation information. Downloadable application form. Frequently asked questions.
Information on the services the Unit offers. Toll-free number for victims. Information on the state’s victim notification system, Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) and downloadable registration form.
Information on services the Victims Services Section offers, including the toll-free DCJS INFO-Line for victims. Frequently asked questions.
Washington Go to Top
Information on victims’ rights. List of other Washington state resources for victims.
Victim compensation information and downloadable application form. Links to other state and national victim resources.
Information on the victim notification program and how to enroll. Frequently asked questions. Information on safety planning and the “victim wrap-around program.”
Information on the state Victim/Witness Notification Program and how to enroll.
Information about victims’ rights at parole proceedings and how to request an opportunity to make a statement to the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board.
Information about the services of the Office of Crime Victim Advocacy, including advocacy for victims who have had trouble accessing services or whose rights have been denied. Directory of local, state, and national resources for victims, searchable by county. Downloadable brochures on topics such as restitution and posttraumatic stress disorder.
West Virginia Go to Top
Information on the services provided. Information on the state victim notification system (Victim Information & Notification Everyday/VINE) and downloadable registration form.
Information on victim compensation, including eligibility requirements and how to apply.
Downloadable directory of victim services providers by county.
Wisconsin Go to Top
Information on victims’ rights and what to do if you believe your rights have been violated. Information on victim compensation and downloadable application form. Victim service agencies listed by county and by crime. Frequently asked questions.
Victim compensation information, including frequently asked questions. Downloadable compensation brochure and application. Main Office of Crime Victim Services site, http://www.doj.state.wi.us/cvs/OCVS_pages/For_Victims.asp
Information on the Wisconsin Crime Victims’ Rights Board, which can review victim complaints of rights violations. Downloadable sample formal complaint form.
Information on the state’s victim notification system and offender information search, Visual Offender Information Center/ Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VOICE/VINE). Frequently asked questions.
Wyoming Go to Top
Victim compensation information, including frequently asked questions. Downloadable application form.
Information on victims’ rights. Frequently asked questions. List of victim service providers by county.
Information on the state’s victim notification program. Downloadable victim notification request form.

_________________________________________

Legal Aid and other Low-Cost Legal Help

If you cannot afford a lawyer, legal aid may be able to help you:

There are legal aid offices (also called legal services) throughout the United States. Legal aid offices are not-for-profit agencies that provide free legal help to people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.  While many legal aid offices only help people with very low incomes, some offices have more flexible income rules.

Legal aid usually handles cases involving:

  • Domestic violence– if your partner is abusing you, legal aid can help you obtain a protective order, a child custody order and divorce.
  • Family law– if you have a child custody or divorce case, legal aid may be able to help.  Call your local legal aid office or ask the Judge in your case to appoint a legal aid lawyer to represent you in court.
  • Housing– if you are being evicted from your home or if your house is in foreclosure, legal aid may be able to help.
  • Public Benefits– if you have a problem with welfare, Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Social Security, legal aid may be able to help.

Many legal aid offices may be able to handle other problems including immigration, consumer, and disability issues.   Some legal aid offices focus on one area of law, such as disability law, or housing law.  Some legal aid offices get funding from the government and that may limit the kind of cases they can take.

To find a legal aid office near you:  Go to www.LawHelp.org and select the state where you live to find out who in your state may be able to help with your legal problem.

_________________________________________

SOURCES:

http://www.crimevictims.gov/crime.html

https://www.victimsofcrime.org/help-for-crime-victims

https://www.victimlaw.org/victimlaw/commonAction.do?invoke=loadResources

http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-legal-help/crime-victim-resources.html

http://avda-tx.org/victim-advocacy/249794

The Pain of Betrayal

Posted by Sandra On March - 20 - 2015 Comments Off

90% of child sex abuse victims are abused by a family member or someone they know and trust

How can I overcome the pain of betrayal?

a1945308ae4bf555b32b74a22f4f74c4Betrayal is a gross violation of trust and can be one of the most devastating forms of pain inflicted upon a human being. The suffering of betrayal is often magnified by a sense of vulnerability and exposure. For many, the pain of betrayal is worse than physical violence, deceit, or prejudice. Betrayal destroys the foundation of trust. It’s a shame when innocent people are betrayed and hurt by people they once loved and trusted. The emotional and physical pain inflicted with this type of betrayal can traumatize the victim for a lifetime. The closer the relationship, the greater the pain of betrayal. 

Betrayal is one of the most painful human experiences. Discovering that someone we trusted has deeply hurt us pulls the reality rug from under us. When we see the word “betrayal” we may immediately think “affair.” But betrayal comes in many forms. Abandonment, vicious gossip, and spreading lies also may be experienced as betrayal. A damaging aspect of betrayal is that our sense of reality is undermined. What felt like solid trust suddenly crumbles. Our innocence is shattered. We’re left wondering: What happened? How could this happen? Who is this person? Some betrayals leave us with little choice but to heal and move on with our lives, such as when we’re suddenly abandoned.

Abuse is another form of betrayal that can have long-term consequences for an individual’s adjustment. According to betrayal trauma theory, if you’ve been the victim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of the person caring for you, you may repress or block the experiences from your memory in order to continue to survive. The closer you are to that abuser, the greater the degree of trauma you experience. and the higher your risk for long-term mental health problems.

 In research by University of Oregon psychologist Christina Gamache Martin and colleagues (2011), college students were asked to report whether they had experienced a variety of types of traumatic events. Those who reported abuse at the hands of someone they were close to were most likely to report symptoms of depression, dissociation, andpost-traumatic stress disorder. However, not only was the experience of abuse important, but also the way the participants appraised, or thought about, the abuse. Feeling betrayed, ashamed, anxious, and angry as well as blaming themselves were reactions that accentuated the effect of the abuse itself on their mental health.
Despite the pain, there are ways we can overcome betrayal. The power comes directly from the strength of forgiveness. Read more about recovering from betrayal in the articles below:

How to Deal With Betrayal: 8 Steps

What to Do When You’ve Been Betrayed

25 Ways To Deal With Betrayal – Discovering Purpose

So You’ve Been Betrayed – 7 Steps on How to Survive

 

 

 

 

Alarming Cyberbullying Stats

Posted by Sandra On March - 10 - 2015 Comments Off

image-blog-CyberBullying-1One of the prime areas of focus on this website is providing environmental education for our children. In doing so, we would be remiss if we did not provide alarms to both children and parents concerning internet safety. KidsHealth, the most-visited site on the Web for information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years, recently posted a short article that addresses the disturbing and sometimes tragic effects associated with cyberbullying. READ MORE HERE

Bullying Statistics

Cyberbullying Statistics

Facebook’s New Anti-Bullying Tools

Whitehouse Conference for Bullying Prevention

 

Michigan #2 In Child Trafficking

Posted by Sandra On March - 6 - 2015 Comments Off

20130815-234804Michigan ranks No. 2 for human trafficking sex trade behind only Nevada. In an effort to crack down on adults and juveniles abducted and used as sex slaves Gov. Rick Snyder is announcing a new team to fight crime.  Snyder has appointed Cpl. Erin Diamond from the Wayne County Sheriffs Department. Diamond will chair and lead investigations for the state’s new Human Trafficking Commission. You may recognize Diamond, he’s arrested thousands of sex offenders over the years investigating online with the Wayne County Sheriff Department.  This new team picked by Snyder will enhance the crime fighting strategy, Diamond said. “Before it was just enforcement,” he said. “‘Let’s go get the bad guy assaulting children and move on with it.’ This is a whole different aspect where we’ve realized that the victims need help. “We’ve always talked about helping the victims. This is the first major efforts to bring all the players to the table and say what can we do as a team.” The team played a big role in the safe return of 16-year-old Aaron and his 13-year-old sister Emma Blackwell. The teens were abducted at gunpoint in Indianapolis, Indiana at the start of this week. READ MORE HERE

Recognizing the Signs

How to Identify a Human Trafficking Victim

Identify and Assist a Trafficking Victim

20 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking

REPORT CHILD TRAFFICKING – United States:  (888) 373-7888

National Human Trafficking Resource Center

SMS: 233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”)
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish and 200 more languages

Protecting Kids From ID Theft

Posted by Sandra On March - 2 - 2015 Comments Off

downloadOnce your identity has been stolen, recovery can be a long, tedious process. Protecting your kids’ identity can be especially difficult. Babies, toddlers and teens can all become victims of the recent Anthem breach. Since many of them have little or no credit, thieves could use their Social Security numbers for no good. That could be devastating to these kids’ futures. There are ways to protect them. Anthem offers two years of free credit monitoring through All Clear Pro – which offers protection for kids via its Child Scan service. READ MORE HERE

Child Identity Theft | Consumer Information

FS 120 | Fact Sheets – Identity Theft Resource Center

Child Identity Theft | TransUnion

Child Identity Theft Education Kit – Equifax

Protect Your Child’s Identity | Protect My ID

Your child is safe. But is his identity?
Find out with a Free ChildScan Report.

How to Spot A Sex Offender

Posted by Sandra On February - 23 - 2015 Comments Off

How to Spot A Sex-Offender 101

Little Girl and Scary Shadow on WhiteThe information that I want to share was gathered in a five-year “field study” in which I lived with, worked with, socialized and shared daily therapy with hundred of sex-offenders. This information is not born of debate or ivory tower theories, but from experience, including my own journey, which I published in book form, with the blessings of those men who shared. The basis of this disorder is trauma; the nature of it is insidious, widespread, dangerous and often subtle. A combination of behaviors in certain settings, in context, can provide a signal, a warning – a discordant note – possibly saving the innocence of a child without destroying all innocent bystanders. These are the common themes, and certainly not all offenders fit them. Offenders often appear normal and blend into mainstream society. My intent is to shine a light on these individuals while at the same time not casting dispersion on innocent people.   This is a start in prevention. READ MORE HERE

How Child Molesters Groom Kids

Posted by Sandra On February - 22 - 2015 Comments Off

Grooming: How Child Molesters Create Willing Victims 

child traffickingThere’s an old urban legend that if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, he’ll naturally hop out; however, if you place a frog in a pot of cool water and gradually increase the heat, you’ll end up with a cooked frog. I can’t say whether this is true for frogs, but it certainly is true for many children who are sexually molested. The gradual cooking process is known as “grooming,” and the increased heat is the evaporation of physical and emotional boundaries. The Webster’s Dictionary definition of “grooming” includes “training for a particular purpose.” For child molesters, that purpose is a sexual relationship.

 

The Real Danger

Most people still want to believe that child molesters are deviant strangers who abduct children or entice them with candy and puppies. We teach our children to be wary of strangers, to shout “NO!” or run away and tell a trusted adult if anyone should ever approach them in such a manner. We teach them about “good touches” and “bad touches” and believe they will tell us immediately if they receive a “bad touch.” Our intentions are good, but we’re preparing them for the exception, not the reality in sexual abuse.

In reality, the molester is more likely to be the trusted adult and the touch is more likely to feel good. There are family members, friends and neighbors, even teachers, coaches and clergy who treat children better than most adults, listen to what they are really saying and strive to meet their emotional, physical and spiritual needs as a means of fulfilling their own sexual needs and desires. The “nicer” the molester appears and the more “troubled” the child appears, the more difficult it is to detect and believe the sexual abuse. READ MORE HERE

Child Abuse Risk Factors

Posted by Sandra On February - 15 - 2015 Comments Off

imagesAlthough we often focus on children being harmed or mistreated by strangers, most abuse is perpetrated by a parent or caretaker,someone who is supposed to love and care for the child. When we think of a parent who abuses a child the image is often of an angry, intoxicated person who is physically or emotionally abusive and intentionally harming the child. In most cases the child is actually being neglected. The Children’s Bureau (U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2010) reported the percent of all child abuse victims who had experienced neglect in 2008 was just over 73%. The image of the intoxicated parent, however, is often accurate, as many parents who neglect and abuse their children are misusing substances. They are also often victims of domestic violence, and were themselves victims of child abuse and neglect. Often, these adults lack parenting skills and the resources or capacity to meet the needs of the children in their care. Unfortunately,there is no specific indicator that is known to cause child abuse and neglect. Researchers and professionalsin the field have identified risk factors impacting families that have been found to increase the probability of child abuse and neglect and poor developmental outcomesfor children. Risk factors can be found at the child, parent, family, and community levels. It makes sense really, as risk increases,so does the possibility of child abuse and neglect. READ MORE HERE

 

child-abuse-22-638

Risk and Protective Factors|Child Maltreatment|Violence

Child abuse Risk factors – Mayo Clinic

Factors That Contribute to Child Abuse and Neglect

Risk Factors of Child Abuse | Child Matters

Child Abuse: Making a Change

 

Why Does Child Abuse Occur?

Posted by Sandra On January - 31 - 2015 Comments Off

imagesHarm, or risk of harm to children and young people, can occur when stress, tiredness, lack of skills, information and support combine to make the pressures of caring for children overwhelming. There is generally not a single factor that results in the abuse or neglect of a child; it is usually a combination of various factors. In addition, the duration (such as the duration of an illness) or intensity (such as the level of drug or alcohol abuse) can make it more or less likely that a child will be at risk for abuse. When trying to understand child abuse and neglect, we often look at possible factors in the adult, factors based on something in society, and factors based on something about the child.

WHERE DOES CHILD ABUSE OCCUR?
·1 in poor, middle class, well-to-do homes
·2 in any ethnic, cultural, occupational, religious and age groups
·3 in child’s own home or outside it
·4 in rural areas, suburbs, cities
·5 involving one or both parents
Tragically, though, it most often happens at home and usually the abuser is known to the child. Generally, the abuser is a caretaker. A caretaker can be a parent, stepparent, relative or baby-sitter

WHY DOES CHILD ABUSE OCCUR?
There is no easy answer to this question, because many factors are involved. However, child abuse is most likely to occur when parents are struggling with:

  • Stress…Pressures from money problems, everyday frustrations, illness or heavy responsibilities.
  • A painful childhood…Adults who were mistreated as children may, without meaning to, continue the pattern of abuse with their own children.
  • Alcohol or other drugs…can blind a parent to a child’s needs or may reduce inhibitions and tolerance levels so that parents may be more likely to lash out.
  • Isolation…Without friends or relatives nearby, parents can feel overwhelmed by the demands of raising a child.
  • Inexperience with children or unrealistic expectations…If parents don’t know what to expect from children, they may expect too much. Besides lacking the parenting skills necessary to raise a child, the parents may have no models of successful family relationships from which to learn.
  • Immaturity…Very young, insecure parents often can’t understand their child’s behavior and needs.
  • Unmet emotional needs…Parents may expect children to take care of them and to satisfy their need for love, protection and self-esteem.

Child abuse and neglect are complex problems. There is no one single cause. Different forms of child abuse are caused by different factors or different combinations of factors. Some of the factors which can lead to child abuse are described below. At the core of all forms of child abuse is a lack of basic respect for children.

Community tolerance of violence against children.
There is still some acceptance in the community for the use of physical force for the purposes of discipline and punishment of children. When held strongly by individual parents, these attitudes can support the physical and emotional abuse of children. This behaviour would not be tolerated between adults.
Lack of community understanding about the consequences of child abuse and neglect on children.
Research has shown that the general public have a poor understanding of the true extent of the problem of child abuse in Australia. As a result, child abuse does not readily register as an issue of community concern. This leaves all of us without the knowledge and the confidence to know what to do to prevent child abuse in the first place or take action if we are worried about the safety of a child.
Adults who are sexually and physically violent.
Some adults engage in physical and sexual violence towards other adults and children. This violence may often stem from individual psychological problems, low self esteem and a history of abuse and violence in their own childhood. Sex offenders hurt children because of a range of complex psychological and emotional problems.
Parents under stress.
Child abuse can occur when parents experience stress and find it difficult to ask for or use support. Stress can be caused by unemployment, financial problems, divorce and separation. Parents under stress can sometimes transfer their feelings of frustration onto their children. The stress can also affect their judgment and decision making as a parent.
Parents with health or mental health problems.
Child abuse and neglect can sometimes occur when parents have a personal problem or illness which affects their ability to parent their children. Many parents with a mental illness that is being treated and who receive adequate support can parent their children well. Parents who have a mental illness that is unrecognised or untreated or who lack important supports may neglect or abuse their children. Their illness may make it difficult for them to identify or meet their child.s growing needs for security or stimulation.
Parents with alcohol or drug problems.
Parents who are addicted to illicit drugs or alcohol can leave their children in unsafe environments or without adequate supervision. When substance or alcohol affected, some parents may be more prone to using violence against their partners and/or their children. Without adequate support, parents with an intellectual disability may sometimes not be able to care for their children.
Parents lack parenting skills.
Sometimes child abuse and neglect can be caused by parents who have poor parenting skills. This may be because they did not have positive role models in their own parents. Sometimes, a lack of confidence and low self esteem prevent parents from knowing how to change harmful or negative parenting styles.
Families who are isolated.
Families who are socially isolated are sometimes not able to find people to support them if they start having problems with their children. Often families who are isolated have no extended family network and often feel left out of their community. Sometimes, families experience isolation because of the loss of a parent through death or separation. Some families experience isolation because they become homeless and have to live in temporary accommodation.

CAN CHILD ABUSE BE PREVENTED?
Prevention is the only sure cure for child abuse and neglect. Through family education and support programs, the vicious and tragic cycle of abuse can be stopped. Our plan for prevention includes:

  • Helping parents learn to raise and nurture their children without physical or emotional violence. This can be done through support groups and parenting programs and through public awareness campaigns.
  • Organizing and supporting early intervention programs like Healthy Families Virginia, that provide continuous support to families from the birth of a child through age five.
  • Training teachers, day care workers, doctors and other professionals about how to prevent abuse and how to recognize and treat abuse when it does occur.
  • Supporting laws and programs that protect children from the pain of abuse.

Factors That Contribute to Child Abuse and Neglect

Child Sexual Abuse Facts

Study: Child Abuse & Neglect Laws Are Not Being Enforced

Posted by Sandra On January - 29 - 2015 Comments Off

download (1)Laws intended to protect children from abuse and neglect are not being properly enforced, and the federal government is to blame. That’s according to a study by the Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law, which says children are suffering as a result. The numbers are grim. Almost 680,000 children in the United States were the victims of abuse and neglect in 2013. More than 1,500 of them died. Federal officials say they’re encouraged that the numbers are lower than they were in 2012. But children’s advocates say abuse is so often not reported that it’s impossible to know if there’s really been a decline. READ MORE HERE

Parent Tips for Abuse Prevention

Posted by Sandra On January - 26 - 2015 Comments Off

7071152003-child abuse preventionThe American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers these tips for parents. Please feel free to use them in any print or broadcast story with appropriate attribution of source. Sexual abuse is a difficult subject for most people to discuss, and especially difficult for parents to discuss with their children. But as frightening as the topic may be, sexual abuse is a serious and, unfortunately, common problem that affects both boys and girls. In most cases, the person who sexually abuses a child is an adult or older child known to the victim, often an authority figure that the child knows, trusts or loves. The offender usually uses coercion and manipulation, not physical force, to engage the child.

 

What parents should know about child sexual abuse:

  • Most offenders are known to the child; they may be family members, relatives, friends, teachers, coaches, babysitters, and others in positions of authority.
  • Children most susceptible to sexual abuse have obedient, compliant and respectful personalities. They may be children from unhappy or broken homes, as these youngsters may be eager for attention and affection.
  • Children who are victims of sexual abuse can display many or few behavioral symptoms. They may withdraw from family or friends, display poor school performance, experience depression, anxiety, or exhibit aggressive and self-destructive behavior. Or they may not display any outward abnormal behavior.
  • Child sexual abuse often involves more than a single incident, and can go on for months or years.
  • Sexual abuse includes any kind of sexual act or behavior with a child, and includes activities involving genital contact as well as non-contact events- such as showing pornographic images to children, taking pornographic photographs of a child…

READ MORE HERE

 

New App Flags Predators

Posted by Sandra On January - 24 - 2015 Comments Off

SafeParent app helps parents recognize ‘red flags’

safeparentwebAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in six boys and one in four girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. And it may surprise you that 90% of those victims are molested by someone they know, according to the Justice Department. So what can parents do to protect their children from sexual predators? A new app created by Jeff Herman, child advocate and attorney for victims of sexual abuse, may be the answer. “Most children are groomed before they are sexually abused,” Herman told HLN. “The grooming process follows typical patterns that can be identified as red flags. After representing hundreds of victims of sexual abuse it became readily apparent to me that many kids can be protected from sexual abuse if their parents recognized these red flags and responded.” READ MORE HERE

State Statute of Limitations

Posted by Sandra On January - 22 - 2015 Comments Off

State Civil Statutes of Limitations in Child Sexual Abuse Cases

imagesStatutes of Limitations (SOL) is the time in which a lawsuit is initiated by an injured person or victim. In most cases, unless there is a special circumstance, the SOL begins to run from the date of the occurrence that caused the injury. Statutes of limitations are enacted by the legislature, which might extend or reduce time limits, based on certain restrictions.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, nearly every state has a basic suspension of the statute of limitation (“tolling”) for civil actions while a person is a minor. Many states have also adopted additional extensions specifically for cases involving sexual abuse of children. Extensions for filing civil actions for child sexual abuse are most often based upon the discovery rule — by the time the victim discovers the sexual abuse or the relationship of the conduct to the injuries, the ordinary time limitation may have expired. This “delayed discovery” may be due to emotional and psychological trauma and is often accompanied by repression of the memory of abuse. Child victims frequently do not discover the relationship of their psychological injuries to the abuse until well into adulthood — usually during the course of psychological counseling or therapy. They may not even discover the fact of such abuse until they undergo such therapy.

For information on the State Criminal Statutes of Limitations, please visit the National Association for the Prosecution of Child Abuse statutes.   VIEW STATE STATUTES HERE

State Statutes Search – CLICK HERE

A State-by-State Statute Comparison

Virtual Kidnapping On The Rise

Posted by Sandra On January - 20 - 2015 Comments Off

FBI warns ‘Virtual Kidnappings’ Are On the Rise

Handcuffs on laptop keyboardOn Tuesday, the FBI and NYPD released statements warning the public about the increased number in cases of ‘virtual kidnapping’. New York seems to be the latest area for this virtual scheme that has been used by criminals all across the country. The FBI reports that hundreds of New Yorkers have been victimized by this latest scam.

The virtual kidnapping scam has about four different versions that are used by con artists. The most common version involves a random person, receiving a call from a scammer, who will claim to be holding one of their relative for ransom. The con artist will usually demand a ransom between $600 – $900. The caller gives specific instructions where to wire the payment, which usually ends up in an account in Puerto Rico. Occasionally, they will call back and claim not to have received payment and demand more money. The callers usually call from one of the following zip codes: 787, 939 or 853. These zip codes are located in Puerto Rico. READ MORE HERE

20 Ways To Fight Trafficking

Posted by Sandra On January - 11 - 2015 Comments Off

images (1)Child victims of trafficking are recruited, transported, transferred, harbored or received for the purpose of exploitation. They may be forced to work in sweatshops, on construction sites or in houses as domestic servants; on the streets as child beggars, in wars as child soldiers, on farms, in traveling sales crews or in restaurants and hotels. Some are forced to work in brothels and strip clubs or for escort and massage services.

After first learning about human trafficking, many people want to help in some way but do not know how. Here are just a few ideas for your consideration.

1. Learn the red flags that may indicate human trafficking and ask follow up questions so that you can help identify a potential trafficking victim. Human trafficking awareness training is available for individuals,businesses, first responders, law enforcement, and federal employees.

2. In the United States, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 (24/7) to get help and connect with a service provider in your area, report a tip with information on potential human trafficking activity; or learn more by requesting training, technical assistance, or resources. Call federal law enforcement directly to report suspicious activity and get help from the Department of Homeland Security at 1-866-347-2423 (24/7), or submit a tip online at www.ice.gov/tips, or from the U.S. Department of Justice at 1-888-428-7581 from 9:00am to 5:00pm (EST). Victims, including undocumented individuals, are eligible for services and immigration assistance. READ MORE HERE

VISIT UNICEF

Empower

stop child trafficking

THE ALICIA PROJECT

Posted by Sandra On January - 4 - 2015 Comments Off

Alicia Kozakiewicz: Lured, Kidnapped, Raped at 13

066912-5d4055d2-859c-11e4-b6d1-a55c994c6803ALICIA Kozakiewicz was lured by a sexual predator, raped, tortured and held against her will for four days. She was just 13 years old. How she survived that experience is incomprehensible, but her rescue is also equally unbelievable. While it may sound like the stuff of Hollywood films, the reality of what happened to her in January 2002 was a nightmare she can never forget. READ MORE HERE

_____________________

About the Alicia Project:

The Alicia Project aims to educate children, families, teachers, law enforcement agencies, and government and social agencies internationally through telling her personal testimony in classrooms, conferences, public forums and by focusing on internet safety, abduction, and child sexual exploitation. The Alicia Project raises awareness of, and effects change for, issues such as internet safety, missing persons, human trafficking, and child safety education. The aim of The Alicia Project is the prevention of predatory crime against children, online and off, through education, communication, and effective legislation. Ms Kozakiewicz is also working alongside the National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT), as well as working to secure the passage of my namesake, Alicia’s Law, in all 50 states across the US. To date, this law has passed in the states of Virginia, Texas, California, Idaho, Tennessee, and Hawaii. Alicia’s Law creates a dedicated, steady stream of funding, which provides training, boots on the ground, and resources to the internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces. For internet safety tips and more on this story visit The Alicia Project.

PTSD In Children & Teens

Posted by Sandra On December - 28 - 2014 Comments Off

downloadPosttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children and adolescents occurs as a result of a child’s exposure to 1 or more major traumatic events. Such events can take many forms, including physical or sexual assaults, natural disasters, accidents, traumatic death or injury of a loved one, and emotional abuse or neglect. READ MORE HERE

PTSD in Children and Teens

PTSD – American Academy of Child and Adolescent

PTSD Symptoms in Children Age Six and Younger

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Helpguide.org

Post-traumatic stress disorder in children

Recovered Memories of Sexual Assault

Posted by Sandra On December - 27 - 2014 Comments Off

download (2)

?I Was Sexually Assaulted As A Child And Didn’t Remember for Years

Charles was sobbing violently when I came upon him in the woods. The sight of it still haunts me, all these years later. He was tall and blond, popular with the girls and one of the best all-around athletes. And I… I was the boy who liked comic books. We’d both spent multiple summers at that sports camp, passing our days in some form of competitive activity played out over acres of partially manicured Maine forest. We were 13 at the time, and I liked him, so when I saw him so visibly upset and so uncharacteristically vulnerable, I did what many adolescent boys might not have done: I leaned in. READ MORE HERE

Questions and Answers about Memories of Childhood Abuse

Trusting Your Memories of Sexual Abuse

Recovered Memories of Sexual Abuse

Memories & Abuse | Pandora’s Project

The Reality of Repressed Memories

State-by-State Child Deaths

Posted by Sandra On December - 18 - 2014 Comments Off

30528-enzThe Associated Press asked all 50 states, the District of Columbia and military services to provide information on children who died of abuse or neglect over a six-year span, even as authorities were investigating them or their families or providing some form of protective services. The overall tally for children who died under such circumstances was 786.

Here is the list of U.S. child deaths (6-year time span):

Alabama: 10 deaths, from fiscal year 2009 through 2013 (missing 2008)

Alaska: 4, from 2008 through 2013

Arkansas: 18, from 2008 through 2013 (missing 2009)

Colorado: 18, from 2008 through 2013

Connecticut: 13, from 2008 through 2013

District of Columbia: 4, from 2008 through 2013

Florida: 117, from 2009 through 2013 (missing 2008)

Hawaii: 1, from fiscal year 2008 through 2013

Idaho: 0, from fiscal year 2008 through 2013

Illinois: 33, from fiscal year 2008 through 2013

Indiana: 7, from fiscal year 2008 through 2013

Iowa: 2, from fiscal year 2008 through 2013

Kansas: 10, from fiscal year 2008 through 2013

READ MORE HERE

 

Child Sex Offender Grooming

Posted by Sandra On December - 14 - 2014 Comments Off

The grooming process

child traffickingStudies of sexual offenders have found that deliberate tactics are often used to select victims and engage them in sexual abuse. This is described as the grooming process. Sexual offenders have often claimed to identify vulnerable children – for example, those who are less able to tell about the abuse, or who are unhappy or needy. There are a number of specific techniques that offenders use to mask their behavior prior to the assault, as well as during and after the assault. Many deliberately establish themselves as the kind of person you wouldn’t suspect to be a sex offender because they are “too nice” or an upstanding person in the community who helps a lot of people out. This is a powerful tactic as it allows offenders to become embedded in a community and be involved in a number of socially responsible activities such as youth groups, churches and schools, which can give the offender access to a number of potential victims without ever being suspected. This double life causes parents and others to drop their guards and to allow access to their children without suspecting anything. It is important to also note, that the majority of offenders are known to the family, and too often are family members. 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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