Once 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
Archive for the ‘Education’ Category
Your child is safe. But is his identity?
How to Spot A Sex-Offender 101
The 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
Grooming: How Child Molesters Create Willing Victims
There’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
Although 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
Harm, 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.
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
The 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…
SafeParent app helps parents recognize ‘red flags’
According 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 Civil Statutes of Limitations in Child Sexual Abuse Cases
Statutes 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
FBI warns ‘Virtual Kidnappings’ Are On the Rise
On 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
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
Alicia Kozakiewicz: Lured, Kidnapped, Raped at 13
ALICIA 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.
Posttraumatic 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
?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
The 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
The grooming process
Studies 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
Types of child abuse
READ MORE ABOUT:
- Understanding child abuse and neglect
- Effects of child abuse and neglect
- Types of child abuse
- Child sexual abuse: A hidden type of abuse
- Warning signs of child abuse
- Risk factors for child abuse
Child Abuse Hotlines:
NATIONAL CYBERSTALKING AND CYBERHARASSMENT LAWS
States have enacted “cyberstalking” or “cyberharassment” laws or have laws that explicitly include electronic forms of communication within more traditional stalking or harassment laws. In addition, recent concerns about protecting minors from online bullying or harassment have led states to enact “cyberbullying” laws. This chart identifies state laws that include specific references to electronic communication. However, other state laws may still apply to those who harass, threaten or bully others online, although specific language may make the laws easier to enforce. This chart classifies the various state laws addressing these three different types of online behaviors, as described below.
Cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet, email or other electronic communications to stalk, and generally refers to a pattern of threatening or malicious behaviors. Cyberstalking may be considered the most dangerous of the three types of Internet harassment, based on a posing credible threat of harm. Sanctions range from misdemeanors to felonies.
Cyberharassment. Cyberharassment differs from cyberstalking in that it may generally be defined as not involving a credible threat. Cyberharassment usually pertains to threatening or harassing email messages, instant messages, or to blog entries or websites dedicated solely to tormenting an individual. Some states approach cyberharrassment by including language addressing electronic communications in general harassment statutes, while others have created stand-alone cyberharassment statutes.
Children’s e-Safety laws target social media and cyber bullying
AUSTRALIA — The Federal Government has moved to crack down on cyber bullying with new legislation that targets social media sites and allows individual posts and offending material to be taken offline. The Parliamentary Secretary for Communications Paul Fletcher introduced the Enhancing Online Safety for Children Bill 2014 to parliament today with the goal of protecting the 20 percent of 8-to-17 year olds that he said have been victims of bullying online. The bill also sets up a Children’s e-Safety Commissioner to police cyber bullying and keep social media sites in check. READ MORE HERE
Your child being abused is every parents worst nightmare, but for one couple, it was happening right under their nose in their own home. Ben was just 13 when he became the victim of online grooming and ultimately sexual abuse by four adult men. His parents, increasingly concerned about his reclusive behavior, only discovered what was happening when they overheard a late night phone call between Ben and his abusers. What followed is a harrowing tale of not only unwinding the psychological control the groomers had over their son, but a struggle to get support and to see the abusers convicted. READ MORE HERE
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.