Focus on the cause. To do that, we must know the cause. What could possibly cause someone to suddenly molest a child? In general, sexual abusers act because they fit into one of four broad categories. They act because:
They are children or teenagers who are sexually curious or experimenting.
They have a medical or mental problem that needs treatment.
They are opportunists, who lack feelings for others and who have an antisocial personality disorder.
They have an ongoing sex drive directed toward children.
In the last year, there have been more than a dozen hazing incidents around the country involving high school boys who have sodomized other boys with foreign objects, reports Bloomberg. Over 40 boys have been reported victims. Most have been younger students. There’s a dearth of data concerning the size and scope of the national boy-on-boy anal hazing problem. Astonishingly, though, a study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence has claimed that nearly 10 percent of high school males report suffering some form of sexual assault including, in some cases, forced oral sex or rape. READ MORE HERE
Parents warned to check summer camps for possible pedophiles
With summer camp registration in full swing, parents should be wary of the individual counselors assigned to care for their offspring on a day-to-day basis, according to Yitzhak Kadman, director of the National Council for the Child. “Pedophiles often search out work with children,” Kadman warned on Monday. While there is a law stating that all institutions working with children must require their workers to provide a letter from the police stating whether they have a background in sexual crimes, many summer camps and companies that transport the children to them do not do background checks on their workers and the police do not enforce the law, said Kadman. “The problem here is twofold: first, there are no checks, and second, there is simply not enough awareness of the requirements,” he said. “Last year we took a list of summer camps and called their directors,” continued Kadman. “What we found was that 95 percent of them either did not have the required letters or they did not even know that they were required to produce such documentation. “It is very easy, all the employee needs to do is take the name and ID number of a worker and run it by the police,” said Kadman. “The police need to do what we did, go into the camps, ask for a list of workers and ask for the letters. If there are no letters then the camp [directors] must be prosecuted.” READ MORE HERE
Summer Camp Counselors: Just Who Exactly is Looking After Our Kids?
Breaking and Entering, Grand Theft Auto, Drunk in Public, Sex Offender. These charges seem like they belong to a career criminal. However, someone with this sort of rap sheet could be responsible for looking after your son or daughter overnight. Sounds scary? What if your child’s counselor was a pedophile? While summer camps provide an opportunity for children to meet new friends and gain new experiences, their counselors may also pose a danger to the well-being of your child. Let’s be honest, summer camps won’t hire just anybody. If a potential counselor looks like they may be a bad fit to be around kids, they probably won’t be working with your children. Conversely, potential counselors who are either impressive in person or appear well qualified usually get hired. Most of the time, the counselors who are hired are a great influence on children and do their jobs well. However, as the old expression says “a few bad apples will spoil the whole darn bunch.” Thus, no matter how many great counselors there are, it only takes a few undesirables to harm your child or disrupt his or her life. READ MORE HERE
Summer is Child Molesting Time: Beware of Summer Camps
Summertime is child molesting time. Summer camps are the worst. Boys alone, without parent supervision, invariably present a problem of homosexual behavior. Day camps, summer camps and any place where children are attract child molesters. Pedophiles are especially active in those jobs where little children are brought to the bathroom. Pedarests like to watch children swimming at the community pool. Summer, when children are outdoors and away from home, is a child molester’s delight. What can a parent do? First of all, you must tell your child about the problem. When you do, be careful not to make it sound too frightening or too interesting. In my house, I tell my kids about the “piggy men.” One day, a piggy man went near my son, and my son fled and ran right to me. I was five steps from that piggy men when he escaped in his car. The great strength of the piggie men is that we are ashamed and too modest to tell our children about them. Once a child realizes that “we don’t talk about such things,” the piggy man uses this to keep the child quiet. Children can be involved with piggy men for a long time because of this. A parent must therefore always be on the watch. If a child acts withdrawn or as if something is wrong, the parent has to find out. Child molesting is extremely prevalent even in deeply religious communities. READ MORE HERE
The Pedophile Effect
Summer’s here, and that means keeping your kids indoors, where it’s safe!
I really hate child molesters. Despise ’em, even. I’d love nothing more than to see them all neutered and worse. I could rant on and on about how depraved and horribly selfish it is to destroy a kid’s developing psyche for the sake of some twisted fetish, but condemning perverts does not a daring commentary make. There’s no local wing of the pro-pedophile camp that would want to write next week’s rebuttal. At least, I hope there isn’t. (If you do take personal offense to anything in the above statements, please feel free to send New Times an angry letter, I guess.) READ MORE HERE
Ken Lanning’s college-age daughter recently suggested to him that something good may come out of the Penn State University scandal in that more people will be made aware of how acquaintance child molesters operate. He told her he was a bit too jaded to believe that. Mr. Lanning, a retired FBI profiler who wrote the analysis many police use in investigating child sex offenders, has seen all the big cases come and go. Yet each time a new one surfaces, it floods the media for a while and everyone seems shocked. READ MORE HERE
Preventing Sexual Abuse At Summer Camp: Five Tips for Parents
Every summer approximately 10 million children will pack up their clothes, bedding and favorite pillows and head off to summer camp. Most will return home with wonderful memories of new friends and fun filled days. Some will return home with devastating memories that will last a lifetime – memories of being sexually abused. According to Psychology Today, adolescents account for approximately 50% of all sexual abuse. Unfortunately, summer camp is an ideal place for abusers; in recent years, sexual abuse has occured at Christian camps, publicly funded camps, Boy Scout camps, and even the camp run by the school President Obama’s daughters attend. While no camp is immune from the possibility of sexual abuse, there are five important steps parents can take to prevent their child from becoming a victim of abuse. READ MORE HERE
SEX OFFENDER RECIDIVISM: Recidivism Among Untreated Offenders
Recidivism (repeated offenses after conviction) for most serious crimes is high. According to a U.S. Department of Justice report,46 of the more than 100,000 persons released from prisons in 11 states in 1983, an estimated 62.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within three years. A RAND report which looked at prison populations generally concluded that “released inmates, as a group, pose a very serious threat to public safety, but we cannot predict with useful accuracy which inmates will recidivate.” In California, the state Department of Justice concluded that “sex offenders do not differ significantly in terms of overall recidivism from most other types of offenders.” In understanding recidivism among child molesters, an important question is what level of recidivism can be expected in the absence of treatment, and whether any characteristics of offenders have been identified that predict an above- or below-average risk of recidivism. To address these topics, we must first consider the problem of measuring recidivism. READ MORE HERE
Myth: All sex offenders are the same and they can be easily detected.
Sex offenders are not all the same and in order to effectively respond to abusers, their differences should be noted.
A “one size fits all” approach does not contribute to community safety, since the most dangerous offenders will often be supervised the same as low risk offenders.
Some sex offenders prefer child victims and some adult victims. Some are opportunistic and may not have a specific preference.
A small percentage of those who offend children would be considered “pedophiles” and would be described as having a sexual preference for undeveloped bodies without secondary sexual characteristics.
The majority of child abusers have more of a “thinking problem” rather than a sexual preference for children. These offenders have a capacity to sexually assault children rather than having a sexual preference for children and they tend to have significant “cross over” rates, often committing rape or other types of sexual assault.
A small percentage of those who commit sexual assault have sexual preference for sexual violence, victim humiliation and shame, which usually renders them dysfunctional under consenting circumstances.
The majority of rapists have more of a “thinking problem” rather than an arousal connection to violence, demonstrating a capacity to rape under certain circumstances. These situational rapists tend to have significant “cross over” rates into molesting children.
Myth: Juveniles never commit sexual assaults.
It is estimated that in the United States, juveniles account for up to one fifth of all rapes and up to one half of all cases of child molestation committed each year. (CSOM, 1999)
Juveniles are 36% of all sex offenders who victimize children. Seven out of eight are at least 12 years old, and 93% are boys. (Crimes Against Children Research Center, UNH, 2010)
Juveniles are more likely than adults to commit sex offenses in groups, and their victims are younger and more likely to be male. (Crimes Against Children Research Center, UNH, 2010)
Subsequent sexual recidivism among juveniles was relatively infrequent once the offending was officially recognized. (Righthand & Welch 2001)
Myth: Sex offenders prey on strangers.
Statistics indicate that the majority of rape victims know their offender. A 1998 National Violence Against Women Survey revealed that 76% of rapes were committed by a current or former husband, live-in partner, or date acquaintance.
A Bureau of Justice Statistics study found 9 out of 10 rapes involved a single offender with whom the victim had a prior relationship as a family member, intimate partner, or acquaintance. (Greenfield 1997)
For child abuse victims, 60% of boys and 80% of girls were assaulted by a family member or acquaintance. (Lieb, Quinsey, Berliner, 1998)
“Almost two thirds of all rapes were committed by someone who is known to the victim. 73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger—38% of perpetrators were a friend or acquaintance of the victims, 28% were an intimate and 7% were another relative.” (National Crime Victimization Survey, 2005)
Myth: Sexual assault offenders are very different than those who molest children.
Several studies suggest that many offenders commit crimes of child molestation and rape.
64% of rapists molested children and 59% of intra-familial child abusers sexually assaulted adolescents or adults outside the home. (O’Connell, 1998)
32% of rapists also offended a child, 34% of extra-familial abusers offended outside the home, and 50% of intra-familial child abusers sexually assaulted adults/teens outside the home. (Weinrott & Sailer, 1991)
Using polygraph (lie detector) verification, 82% of child abusers admitted raping adults. 50% of those who raped adults also admitted to molesting children. (Heil, Ahimeyer, Simons & English, 2003)
These crossover studies suggest that considering managing sex offenders, allocating resources or passing laws for “only” child molesters or “only” rapists may be misguided.
Myth: Sexual offenders commit their crimes as a result of being sexually abused themselves.
Most sex offenders were not sexually assaulted as children and most children who are victimized do not grow up to become offenders.
Among adult and juvenile offenders (verified by polygraph examination), approximately 30% had been sexually abused. (Hindman, Peters 2001)
Those offenders who molest young boys, however, tend to have higher rates of childhood sexual abuse. (Becker, Murphy 1998)
Juvenile offenders were determined to have higher rates of physical and sexual abuse in their childhoods (Hunter, Becker 1998)
This issue is important since many factors other than being abused in childhood contribute to sexual offending and prevention of sexual assault must consider those additional issues.
Myth: Tough penalties and harsh punishments are the best response to sexual assault.
Sex offender registration, sex offender notification and increased prison sentences have not shown to be effective in reducing recidivism.
When all sex offenders are managed the same, resources are shared and the most dangerous offenders may be supervised the same as less dangerous offenders.
Studies show that comparing sex offenders sentenced to prison versus community sentences, the recidivism rate was 7% higher for prisoners compared to those offenders kept in the community. Additionally, longer prison terms also increased risk upon release. (Smith, Goffin & Gendreau, 2002)
Sex offender notification and registration has not been found to be significantly effective since secrecy is such a part of sexual offending. Studies show that registration and notification have little impact on stopping offending; however, when crimes were committed, apprehension was easier. (Washington State Institute for Public Policy, Leib 1996)
When sex offenders are driven underground (without supervision) because of harsh penalties, they are considerably more dangerous.
When offenders are connected to their communities, when they are allowed to work and are intensely involved with a therapeutic community, recidivism was significantly reduced. (Wilson, Picheca & Prinzo, 2005)
Since most individuals are offended by someone known to them (often in their family), harsh penalties can further traumatize victims. Sadly, others in the relationship realm of the victim and offender often turn against the person making the report.
Even though punishment makes communities, legislatures, and many in the media feel vindicated, that response is not always shared by victims.
Additionally, harsh penalties often make victims, or the caretakers of victims, reluctant to report and subject the acquaintance or family member to punishment, sometimes even making the sexual assault problem worse.
Myth: The majority of sex offenders are caught, convicted and in prison for a lifetime sentence.
Studies suggest that sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes. In 2005, an estimated 60% of rapes were never reported to police. (U.S. DOJ, 2005 National Crime Victimization Study)Most advocates believe even fewer rapes are reported to police.
It is believed that the 265,000 convicted sex offenders under the authority of corrections represents only 10% of sex offenders. (Greenfield, 1997)
With low reporting rates, many sex offenders remain in American communities, undetected.
In spite of harsh punishments, most sex offenders do not remain in prison and will be released into communities and will be returned to their community of conviction.
Harsh punishments tend to provide a false sense of safety for most Americans in spite of the reality that they may not be more effective than creative prevention efforts.
Factoring in unreported rapes, only about 6% of sex offenders ever spend a day in jail. (RAINN, 2011)
Myth: Sexual offending is on the increase.
Despite the increase in publicity about sexual crimes, the actual rate of reported sexual assault has decreased in recent years.
The rate of reported rape decreased by 85% from the 1970s to the present. (DOJ, 2006)
The drop in reported rates however, must be considered in the context of under reporting of sexual assault.
Myth: Sex offender treatment doesn’t work.
In answering the question regarding whether treatment is effective for sex offenders, several distinctions must be made.
Treatment success rates will depend upon the (1) the type of offender (arousal rapist, incest offender, etc.), (2) the type of treatment, and (3) the management/supervision of the offender.
Several studies present optimistic conclusion about the effectiveness of treatment that are empirically based, offense-specific and comprehensive. (Lieb, Quinsey & Berliner, 1998)
Even though harsh penalties for sex offenders are more common responses than treatment, studies show that community (cognitive/behavioral) treatment decreased risk more than prison treatment and more than only supervision/management of sex offenders. (Aos, Miller & Drake, 2006)
Sexual offense recidivism rates are much lower than commonly believed, averaging between 14 and 20% over 5-year follow-up periods. Studies that have tracked sex offenders over longer follow-up periods have found that pedophiles who molest boys, and rapists of adult women, were the types of offenders most likely to recidivate at rates of 52% and 39% respectively. Repeat offenders are more likely to reoffend than first-time offenders. Those who comply with probation and treatment have lower reoffense rates that those who violate the conditions of their release. Sex offenders who target strangers are more dangerous than those with victims inside their own family. It is also important to recognize that official recidivism statistics are always lower than actual reoffense rates, because some sex offenders commit many sex crimes that go unreported and undetected. (ATSA, 2011)
Prison sentences without sex offender treatment have not been found to reduce recidivism. (Aos, Miller, Drake 2006)
The most effective response to sexual offenders in the community is a combination and partnership of treatment and supervision.
Research has found that identifying youth with sexual behavioral problems and implementing early treatment is significantly effective. (Worling, 2010)
It is also important to consider the victim’s needs in treating sex offenders. Treatment should remain innovative and victim-centered, where healing for those who suffer is of paramount importance.
Myth: Once a sex offender, always a sex offender.
Clearly, some sex offenders choose not to change their behavior, but generally recidivism tendencies reveal promising data.
Rapists had a 19% reconviction rate for sexual offenses and 46% reconviction rate for new, non-sexual offenses over a 5 year period.
Another study found reconviction rates for child molesters to be 20% and for rapists, 23%. (Quinsey, Rice, Harris, 1995)
It is noteworthy that recidivism rates for sex offenders are lower than for the general criminal population. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
Reconviction data suggest that sexual offenders do not necessarily continue their abusive patterns.
Persons who commit sex offenses are not a homogeneous group and as a result, research has identified varying differences in re-offense patterns.
Treatment has effective outcomes, especially if sexual and non-sexual recidivism is considered.
It is also important to recognize that the medical model of “cure” is inappropriate for considering sexual criminal conduct.
So far in 2013 there have been at least fifteen (15) deaths of children unattended in vehicles; seven which has been confirmed as heatstroke and eight which, based upon the known circumstances, are most likely heatstroke (2013 list). Last year there were at least thirty-two deaths of children (see 2012 list) due to hyperthermia (heatstroke) after being left in or having gained access to hot cars, trucks, vans and SUV’s. Since 1998 there have been at least 574 documented cases of heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles. This study shows that these incidents can occur on days with relatively mild (i.e., ~ 70 degrees F) temperatures and that vehicles can reach life-threatening temperatures very rapidly. READ MORE HERE
Total number of U.S. heatstroke deaths of children left in cars, 2013:15
Total number of U.S. heatstroke deaths of children left in cars, 2012: 32
Total number of U.S. heatstroke deaths of children left in cars, 1998-present: 574
Average number of U.S. child heatstroke fatalities per year since 1998:37
Child sexual abuse is any interaction between a child and an adult (or another child) in which the child is used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or an observer. A central characteristic of any abuse is domination of the child by the perpetrator through deception, force, or coercion into sexual activity. Children, due to their age, cannot give meaningful consent to sexual activity.
Child sexual abuse includes touching and non-touching behaviors:
inappropriate touching or fondling of the child’s genitals, breasts, or buttocks
sexual or digital (with fingers) penetration
pornography (forcing the child to view or use of the child in)
New figures revealing the impact of child abuse show as many as one in ten survivors have contemplated or attempted suicide, amid demands for better support from health practitioners including GPs.Analysis of more than 3500 calls over the past four years to a helpline operated by peak body Adults Surviving Child Abuse shows 67 per cent of people who said they had experienced sexual, physical or emotional abuse as a child suffered mental health problems as a result. Nearly 80 per cent of callers said their personal relationships had been affected and 18 per cent said their physical health had suffered. READ MORE HERE
Statistics show that in the last year approximately 1 in 10 children have experienced some form of maltreatment.* Teachers and school staff are have a unique ability to monitor children’s health and well-being on a daily basis. Sudden changes in mood, behavior, or health may only be apparent to those closest to the child. Many abused or neglected children are too young to articulate what has happened to them, or to understand right from wrong. Even teenagers may not understand that it is illegal to be sexual with adults or beaten by a parent. When the abuser is a loved one, the dynamic may cause a great deal of psychological conflict for the victim and lead them to hide the abuse. Many signs of abuse are therefore subtle, and will take a trained eye to catch. Here is what to lookout for among your students. READ MORE HERE
Child Abuse & Neglect – Part 1: What are the warning signs & indicators
Child Abuse & Neglect – Part 2: What are the warning signs & indicators
Cyber-bullying 101: How to Recognize, Prevent and Deal With It
Lawmakers in Florida have taken steps to strengthen their already-stringent rules against cyberbullying. The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill that prohibits harassment of students or teachers through the use of computers on- or off-campus. It also increases the authority school officials have to punish students for bullying.
Fifteen years ago, there were no laws against bullying. These laws began to appear shortly after the 1999 Columbine shootings in Littleton, Colo., that left 12 students and a teacher dead. Today, Montana is the only state without an anti-bullying statute. Many states continue to strengthen existing anti-bullying laws by placing the burden of responsibility on schools to monitor for and take action against bullying.
New Jersey Steps It Up
New Jersey enforces some of the strictest anti-bullying laws in the nation, with 11,000 instances reported in the law’s first year alone. New Jersey school officials can take action after a single incident of bullying or in cases where the bullying occurs off school grounds.
However, the complexities of cyberbullying have begun to appear in the appeals courts. In some cases, defendants argued that school officials overreacted to a minor incident. Others maintained administrators did not understand teenage vernacular and had misinterpreted affectionate slang for intimidating language.
Since the New Jersey anti-bullying law went into effect in 2011, at least 16 students, parents and teachers have filed appeals with the state’s commissioner of education. In addition to concerns over suspension or expulsion, these defendants worry about the life-long implications of a criminal record over teenage antics.
The Intricacies of Cyberbullying
These appeals are the result of society’s struggle to define what a cyberbully is and measure the scope of the problem. A cyberbully uses technology to harass, threaten, embarrass or target someone else.
While bullying at school or during afterschool activities has been around forever, technology puts children in the path of cyberbullies every waking moment. Children have more exposure to TV and Internet than ever before. Home entertainment satellite packages alone come with 285 channels, says Slackware.org, making it difficult to control a child’s exposure to adult content, and children can be victimized any time they have access to a computer, tablet or phone.
Signs of cyberbullying can be hard to detect. Victims often react passively, choosing to keep the problem a secret out of fear of further bullying. Many victims become afraid to participate in class or sports, causing a decline in performance and anti-social behavior.
The anti-crime organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids conducted a nationwide 2006 poll on cyberbullying. The poll found that one in three teens and one in six pre-teens has been a victim.
The effects of cyberbullying include lowered confidence, self-esteem and sense of security, as well as diminished academic and athletic performance. Left unaddressed, cyberbullying can cause serious emotional distress, depression, and hopelessness.
Help Prevent It
Reducing cyberbullying begins at home on the family computer, tablet, or child’s cell phone. Parents believe they know what their children are doing online but teenagers disagree, saying parents know little to nothing about what kids do in cyberspace. In fact, according to a survey conducted byCox Communications, most adolescents say their parents do not limit their online activities at all.
The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or US-CERT, has some of the most reasonable suggestions to prevent cyberbullying. This group maintains that, while bullying can indicate a tendency to more serious or even violent behaviors, most cyberbullies grow out of this behavior.
On their official website for the Department of Homeland Security, US-CERT lays out several effective ways someone can protect themselves or their children online. The first suggestion is to develop good online habits and pass them onto children. Parents should strive to keep the lines of communication open and remain vigilant for signs of bullying. Limiting the amount of information available online is wise, such as pictures, interests and personal habits.
What To Do If It Happens in Your Family
Don’t escalate the situation. Document all activity by saving emails or text messages. Do not reply to angry messages and block the offender if necessary. Report the offender to school authorities or police where appropriate.
Specific Changes in Brain Structure After Different Forms of Child Abuse
Different forms of childhood abuse increase the risk for mental illness as well as sexual dysfunction in adulthood, but little has been known about how that happens. An international team of researchers, including the Miller School’s Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, has discovered a neural basis for this association. The study, published in the June 1 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, shows that sexually abused and emotionally mistreated children exhibit specific and differential changes in the architecture of their brain that reflect the nature of the mistreatment. READ MORE HERE
The Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) seeks to build an effective, international partnership of law enforcement agencies, non government organisations and industry to help protect children from online child abuse. The Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) is actively involved in investigating suspicious behavior online with or towards a child. The Report Abuse button is an effective mechanism for reporting suspected sexual predator behavior.
Sexual predator behavior includes:
making and downloading images of children being sexually abused
approaching a child online for sex (e.g. sexual activity via text or webcam)
grooming – this is the deliberate actions taken by an adult to form a trusting relationship with a child online, with the intent of later facilitating sexual contact. This can take place in chat rooms, instant messaging, social networking sites and email
contact offending – once contact has been made with a child online, child sex offenders then move towards meeting up in person for sexual purposes.
If you or a child is in immediate danger, contact your local police.
If there is no immediate danger to you or a child, you can report directly to the VGT:
WHY ARE WE KILLING OURSELVES? AND HOW CAN WE STOP IT?
Self-harm now takes more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. This year, America is likely to reach a grim milestone: the 40,000th death by suicide, the highest annual total on record, and one reached years ahead of what would be expected by population growth alone. We blew past an even bigger milestone revealed in November, when a study lead by Ian Rockett, an epidemiologist at West Virginia University, showed that suicide had become the leading cause of “injury death” in America. As the CDC noted again this spring, suicide outpaces the rate of death on the road—and for that matter anywhere else people accidentally harm themselves. Somewhere Ralph Nader is smiling, but the takeaway is darkly profound: we’ve become our own greatest danger.
This development evades simple explanation. The shift in suicides began long before the recession, for example, and although the changes accelerated after 2007, when the unemployment rate began to rise, no more than a quarter of those new suicides have been tied to joblessness, according to researchers. Guns aren’t all to blame either, since the suicide rate has grown even as the portion of suicides by firearm has remained stable.
The fact is, self-harm has become a worldwide concern. This emerged in the new Global Burden of Disease report, published in The Lancet this past December. It’s the largest ever effort to document what ails, injures, and exterminates the species. But allow me to save you the reading. Humankind’s biggest health problem is humankind. READ MORE HERE
The little boy didn’t look good: gaunt features, discolored bruises on his face. He hadn’t been to preschool for many days and was already “delayed” in his learning. His stepmom and dad, who had been reported to the Missouri child welfare hotline for possible abuse and neglect, were in charge of his care. These factors, considered alone, might have led the Children’s Division investigator to recommend that 4-year-old Lucas Barnes Webb be removed from the home and placed in state custody. But since a change in state law in 2004, the investigator had factors to consider on the other side as well: Although Lucas had recently told an adult that his stepmom kicked him in the stomach, he didn’t tell the investigator he was being abused. He and his brother often played rough; the bruises could be a result of that. Police weren’t going to pursue charges. And the house had plenty of food. READ MORE HERE
National Missing Children’s Day is May 25. News of abducted children frightens us all, but there are precautions we can take to protect our kids. Child safety is a team effort between parents, caregivers, attentive adults and the children themselves. Consider these steps to improve your child’s safety:
Talk to Your Kids
Talk to your kids about potentially dangerous people and situations. Don’t wait for the “perfect moment;” instead, choose casual moments, such as dinner or during an evening walk, to have these discussions. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, Take 25 is a national safety initiative formed to help prevent child abductions. The idea is to take 25 minutes to talk to children, neighbors and friends about child safety. Visit NCPC.org or Take25.org to learn more about organizing a Take 25 rally to raise awareness in your community.
Teach Home Safety
Being safe at home goes beyond staying away from sharp objects and the stove. Teach children to keep the door locked and to answer it only for people they know. If you have a security system, teach your child how to use it. Many systems go beyond burglary prevention and offer monitoring packages that include sensors designed to detect fire, freezing and flooding, according to SecurityCompanies.com. Others allow remote access, meaning you can check in on your kids from your smartphone, laptop or tablet.
Take Precautions Online
Children should never give out their personal information online. Strict privacy settings help, but all it takes is a “copy paste” for private information to become public. Children shouldn’t arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they’ve met online, either. A friendly “13-year-old girl” could be a 50-year-old sex offender or a 30-year-old identity thief.
Keep Pictures and Records Current
Have a photo taken of your child every six months and check to see if your local police department endorses a fingerprinting program for children—this would aid in potential search efforts. You can also use a personal identification kit at home; the McGruff Safe Kids Identification kit includes an ID card and fingerprinting kit, as well as kid-friendly information about potential dangers and tips on being safe.
Keep medical and dental records current. If you’re separated or divorced, and you are the custodial parent, know where there is a copy of your custody arrangement. If a child is taken by someone he or she knows, this information assures your home is recognized as the place your child belongs.
No Name Tags
Many parents put a child’s name and address on their clothes or backpacks in case they get lost. But just like it is important to protect a child’s identity online, it is important to do so offline as well. Child predators will often read a name off a necklace or piece of clothing in order to gain a child’s trust and lure them away. Instead, put this information on the inside flap of a backpack or on the bottom of your child’s shoe.
Pete is a freelance writer and single dad who lives in Maryland.
Some important information about kidnappings in the U.S. – The first step in protecting your child from potential abductors is to know what you’re dealing with. Here are some important — and potentially surprising — facts about child abductions in the United States:
Every 40 seconds in the United States, a child becomes missing or is abducted.
In 2001, 840,279 people (adults and children) were reported missing to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The FBI estimates that 85 to 90 percent of those (roughly 750,000 people or 2,000 per day) reported missing were children. The vast majority of these cases are resolved within hours.
Based on the identity of the perpetrator, there are three distinct types of kidnapping: kidnapping by a relative of the victim or “family kidnapping” (49 percent), kidnapping by an acquaintance of the victim or “acquaintance kidnapping” (27 percent), and kidnapping by a stranger to the victim or “stranger kidnapping” (24 percent).
Family kidnapping is committed primarily by parents, involves a larger percentage of female perpetrators (43 percent) than other types of kidnapping offenses, occurs more frequently to children under 6, equally victimizes juveniles of both sexes, and most often originates in the home.
Acquaintance kidnapping involves a comparatively high percentage of juvenile perpetrators, has the largest percentage of female and teenage victims, is more often associated with other crimes (especially sexual and physical assault), occurs at homes and residences, and has the highest percentage of injured victims.
Stranger kidnapping victimizes more females than males, occurs primarily at outdoor locations, victimizes both teenagers and school-age children, is associated with sexual assaults in the case of girl victims and robberies in the case of boy victims (although not exclusively so), and is the type of kidnapping most likely to involve the use of a firearm.
Only about one child out of each 10,000 missing children reported to the local police is not found alive. However, about 20 percent of the children reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in nonfamily abductions are not found alive.
In 80 percent of abductions by strangers, the first contact between the child and the abductor occurs within a quarter mile of the child’s home.
Most potential abductors grab their victims on the street or try to lure them into their vehicles.
About 74 percent of the victims of nonfamily child abduction are girls.
Acting quickly is critical. Seventy-four percent of abducted children who are ultimately murdered are dead within three hours of the abduction.
One in five children 10 to 17 years old receive unwanted sexual solicitations online.
In a 1998 study of parents’ worries by pediatricians at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, nearly three-quarters of parents said they feared their children might be abducted. One-third of parents said this was a frequent worry — a degree of fear greater than that held for any other concern, including car accidents, sports injuries, or drug addiction.
Sources: Federal Bureau of Investigation; National Crime Information Center; U.S. Justice Dept.; Vanished Children’s Alliance; Redbook, February 1998; State of Washington’s Office of the Attorney General; United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Juvenile Justice Bulletin, June 2000
The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child’s condition.
Date rape happens when someone you are going out with forces you or tricks you into having sex when you don’t want to. It doesn’t have to involve sexual intercourse, it can include things like penetration using an object or finger or forcing you to have oral sex. The person may use threats, get you very drunk, drug you, or trick you to get you to have sex when you don’t want to. This is not acceptable behavior Regardless of the relationship, sex without consent is RAPE. Any unwanted sexual contact or behavior is against the law. READ MORE HERE
It’s heartbreaking, and it happens. Virtually every day, children are exploited and lured away from their families by cyber sexual predators. The FBI is committed to stopping these crimes through our Innocent Images National Initiative. Based in Maryland, it joins FBI agents with local and international task force members who collaborate in online undercover investigations specifically geared towards stopping those who prey on our children. READ MORE HERE
One in five children between 10 and 17 years of age have reported receiving an unwanted sexual solicitation while online, a new study finds. The solicitation mostly occurred in chat rooms and through e-mail. But the kids are generally all right, the study says. The researchers found teenagers are savvy when it comes to Internet use and while the overtures disturbed them, none of the children in the study encountered any violence. READ MORE HERE
Shocking Statistics Reveal…
Each Year Internet Predators Commit:
Over 16,000 Abductions
:: Over 100 Murders
:: Thousands of Rapes
Over 39,000 Verified Registered Sex Offenders have profiles on MySpace
(Those are just the ones who have registered their real names!)
Internet Experts agree that:
Millions of Sexual Predators and Perverts
Over 90% are online just watching and waiting for the “right moment”…
Internet Predators often Cross State Lines to reach their victims
Approximately 93 percent of all Americans between 12 and 17 years old are internet users (as of 2007)
One in five U.S. teenagers who regularly log on to the Internet says they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the Web. Solicitations were defined as requests to engage in sexual activities or sexual talk, or to give out personal sexual information. (only 25% of those told a parent)
About 30% of the victims of Internet sexual exploitation are boys.
Internet sexual predators tend to fall between the ages of 18 and 55, although some are older or younger. Their targets tend to be between the ages of 11 and 15
In 100% of the cases, teens that are the victims of sexual predators have gone willingly to meet with them.
There are over 644,865 Registered Sex Offenders in the United States (2008).
Teens are willing to meet with strangers: 16 percent of teens considered meeting someone they’ve only talked to online and 8 percent have actually met someone they only knew online.
75% of children are willing to share personal information online about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and services.
Cyber predators are on an ever-changing hunt. They know they’re only as successful as their last deception. The latest looks like a game. ”If parents could see what we see on a daily basis, they would be shocked,” said Christopher Heaverin of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. He is a cyber detective who knows it’s not just the blatantly sexual games used to lure children to predators. It’s also Xbox and Playstation, anything that allows conversation without seeing a face. READ MORE HERE
DID YOU KNOW? – 73% of children who have offline sexual encounters with offenders do so more than once.
Although the Internet did not create child predators, it has significantly increased the opportunities predators have to meet victims while minimizing detection. They can communicate with children anonymously through instant messaging, social networking sites, chat rooms, message boards, and even cell phones. Online predators do not fit any one mold or stereotype; seemingly upstanding citizens have been caught enticing children for sexual acts. Contrary to popular belief, most online predators are not pedophiles. Pedophiles target pre-pubescent children, while online predators typically target adolescents who engage in risky online behavior. READ MORE HERE
In late 1993, the Criminal Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office undertook a 3-1/2 year research project, partially funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, to study the investigation of child abduction murder cases. In this first research project, published in 1997, researchers reviewed more than 600 child abduction murder cases across the United States, then interviewed the investigating detectives. This data provided law enforcement valuable insight into what investigative techniques tend to be most productive. Now the Attorney General’s Office has released a follow-up study, including 175 additional solved cases. The additional cases generally reflect and support the findings in the original report with several significant and definite differences:
With more killers identified, researchers found threat that the killer will be a friend or acquaintance is nearly equal to that of a stranger.
The probability that the killer’s name will come up during the first week of the investigation has decreased.
The use of pornography by killers as a trigger to murder has increased.
In 74 percent of the missing children homicide cases studied, the child murder victim was female and the average age was 11 years old.
In 44 percent of the cases studied, the victims and killers were strangers, but in 42 percent of the cases, the victims and killers were friends or acquaintances.
Only about 14 percent of the cases studied involved parents or intimates killing the child.
Almost two-thirds of the killers in these cases have prior arrests for violent crimes, with slightly more than half of those prior crimes committed against children.
The primary motive for the child abduction killer in the cases studied was sexual assault.
In nearly 60 percent of the cases studied, more than two hours passed between the time someone realized the child was missing and the time police were notified.
In 76 percent of the missing children homicide cases studied, the child was dead within three hours of the abduction–and in 88.5 percent of the cases the child was dead within 24 hours.
Key recommendations to protect children:
Be aware that children are not immune from abduction because they are close to home. More than half of the study’s abductions took place within three city blocks of the victim’s home.
Be certain that your children are supervised – even if they are in their own front yard or neighborhood street. Approximately one-third of the abductions studied took occurred within one-half block of the victim’s home.
Teach your children not to ever approach a car– whether the occupant is a stranger or not– no matter what the occupant the tells them or asks them.
Be aware of strangers and unusual behavior in your neighborhoods. Many child abductions are witnessed by people who do not realize that a crime is being committed.
If your child is ever missing, CALL POLICE IMMEDIATELY. An immediate response to a missing or abducted child may be the difference between life and death.
Child Abuse is defined as the mistreatment of children or minors, resulting in a variety of harmful and damaging results with regard to both the safety and wellbeing of the victim. Child abuse can range in the details and circumstances in which the offense takes place; child abuse can take place in a direct, physical fashion, which includes attacks and sexual assault – however, child abuse can take place verbally and psychologically. Regardless of the nature of the child abuse offense, results of this kind of abuse may result in negative aftereffects, both short-term and long-term in nature; a wide variety of Facts About Child Abuse exist, which state that victims of child abuse are prone to physical injury, bodily harm, the development of mental and psychological disorders, and in certain cases – death.
(CNN) – One of the longest-lasting effects of conflict is one that is all too often hidden away, breaking down social fabric and affecting those it touches for the rest of their lives. Rape and sexual violence are easy to overlook — private tragedies with public stigmas. According to a new report from Save the Children, children bear the brunt of this unseen crisis, enduring the unthinkable when they are most vulnerable. And sexual violence against children is more common than we dare to think. More than half of the victims of sexual violence are children, according to our report. In places of active or past conflict, from Liberia to Colombia to Afghanistan, children — both boys and girls — have been afflicted by this horrendous crime. One study cited in the report shows that in post-conflict Liberia, a staggering 80% of victims of sexual violence were children, and the majority of those had been raped. READ MORE HERE
My “healing from child abuse” journey began with the movie Mommie Dearest. I had heard all the talk about it being about child abuse and like many others, I was curious. As I left the theater, I remember thinking “That’s child abuse? That’s nothing.” But later that night, as I lay in bed, I was left with the question; “If that’s child abuse, what happened to me?” That question was the first step into this healing journey. The thirty some years since have been slow and painful. I have come to terms with how extreme the treatment I received as a child was. I recently decided to revisit that movie, but first, I would read the book. I was curious as to how I would perceive Christina Crawford’s treatment now, as a person fully in touch with what child abuse is. Would I still perceive it as “nothing?” READ MORE HERE
Today’s broadcast highlights key moments from Joyce’s personal testimony as she sits down with Ginger Stache to discuss how you can turn your abusive past into a message of hope. This personal portrayal is not just about the journey from extreme childhood abuse to healing and restoration in Joyce Meyer’s life… but also the One Life that made it all possible – Jesus Christ – and how that one life can do the same for you. Joyce shares how Jesus can help anyone overcome their struggles and find true freedom in their life.
Cyberbully follows Taylor Hillridge (Emily Osment), a teenage girl who falls victim to online bullying, and the cost it nearly takes on her and her family. Taylor is a pretty 17-year-old high school student but a little awkward, and painfully aware of it. When her mom gives her a computer for her birthday, Taylor is excited by the prospect of freedom and the independence of going online without her mother always looking over her shoulder. However, Taylor soon finds herself the victim of betrayal and bullying while visiting a social website, and afraid to face her peers at school, including her best friend (Kay Panabaker), she is pushed to a breaking point. Taylor’s mom, Kris (Kelly Rowan), reels from the incident and takes on the school system and state legislation to help prevent others from going through the same harrowing ordeal as her daughter. READ MORE HERE
WATCH THE FULL MOVIE BELOW:
————————————————————————————- CYBERBULLYING TOOLS FOR PARENTS:
I have always been fairly frank with my kids. I started the difficult conversations about things like sex, sexuality, drugs, and peer pressure when they were very young. As they grew older, the conversations evolved and I felt confident that they were comfortable talking to me. So, I patted myself on the back, thinking I’d done my job well. Last year, though, I was blindsided when someone in my family was sentenced on charges of possession of sexually explicit material. This was a difficult conversation I never thought to have with my kids — a conversation about child pornography and sexual predators. KEEP READING
APRIL is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize that we each can play a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in our communities. Child maltreatment is defined as “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.” The four major types of child maltreatment, neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse, affect millions of children each year. They often take place in the home and come from a person the child knows well – a parent, relative, babysitter or friend of the family.
What causes these devastating acts to occur? Research has identified certain factors relating to the child, family, community, and society that are associated with an increased risk of abuse and neglect. When multiple risk factors are present, the risk is greater. Examples include young mothers and fathers unprepared for the responsibilities of raising a child, overwhelmed single parents with little support, and families placed under stress by poverty, divorce or a child’s disability. Families can also be stressed by worries about employment, finances, health, substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, other problems, or are simply unaware of how to care for their children’s basic needs. Research has also shown that child maltreatment results in negative long-term health and mental health outcomes, including: mental illness, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, social problems with adults and other children, teen pregnancy, lack of success in school, alcohol and drug use, and domestic violence.
As National Child Abuse Prevention Month is observed, it is important to know that family members, educators, public officials, faith-based, and community organizations all play important roles in helping to ensure that the children are safe and can grow surrounded by love and stability.
Please check your local areas for Child Abuse Prevention Events and learn how you can help!! You can also check our 2013 CALENDAR for our upcoming events and to learn about the 1st National MILLION MARCH AGAINST CHILD ABUSE planned for Monday, April 22, 2013.
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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.