Child Abuse Prevention

Research and our own experience show that
child sexual abuse is not inevitable. It’s preventable!

Please read the following information. After doing so please help us prevent another child from becoming a statistic by printing and distributing
this information sheet to as many families as you can. Thank you.

Child Abuse Prevention Starts at Home!

Experts estimate that one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthdays. 67 percent of all reported sexual assaults happen to children age 17 and under. Despite these alarming statistics, there are steps you as a parent can take to reduce your children’s risk of being sexually abused.

My husband and I thought our children could never fall prey to a pedophile so we never taught them abuse prevention strategies. One day tragedy struck….a trusted friend of the family….a pastor….and our child became a statistic. We lived through a grievous nightmare and we beg you to realize every child is at risk and no family is exempt. –- Director of New Hope Outreach

To find the best prevention information the New Hope Outreach staff has, over the last three years, read, gleaned and listened to the personal accounts of victims to compile concise information for child-safety and child abuse awareness and prevention workshops. This winter we finally found a book that covers the information we know is vital. The following book presents needed information for parents in a concise and easy to read format. Please…please…read this book and make it part of training your children:

Child Safety 101 Benny Mares :
An essential parenting guidebook written by retired LAPD officer and former international bodyguard. The author, Benny Mares, gives parents 101+ safety tips for protecting a child from dangerous situations and from those who seek to abduct and molest children. http://www.Childsafety101.com

The following web sites also provide very good resources for parents:
http://www.darkness2light.org Read: Seven Steps to Protecting Our Children
http://www.parentsformeganslaw.com
http://www.Titus2MenAndWomen.org Section: Child Abuse…It Happens
preventchildabuseny.org Child Abuse Prevention Begins at Home

PARENTS AND CARE-GIVERS:

“IF YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE WITH AN ADULT’S BEHAVIOR around children, trust your instincts. Learn as much as you can about problem behavior.
DON’T BE FOOLED into thinking all child molesters are strangers, dirty old men, homosexuals, mentally disabled, or addicted to drugs or alcohol.
THE GREATEST RISK COMES FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY, not strangers. 93 percent of victims know their abusers: 34 percent are abused by family members; 59 percent are abused by someone trusted by the family.

TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR CHILDREN:

  • Abusers often try to earn the trust of potential victims and their families. This enables them to more easily gain time alone with the children. Abusers are drawn to settings where they can easily gain access to children: schools, sports leagues, clubs, etc.
  • More than 80 percent of sexual abuse cases happen in one-adult/one-child situations. Think carefully before leaving your child alone with one adult. If possible, seek out group situations instead. If you can’t avoid leaving your child in one-adult/one-child situations, drop in unexpectedly.
  • Monitor your children’s Internet use. Abusers may use the Internet as a tool to interact privately with children, with the ultimate goal of luring children into physical contact.

OPEN, HONEST COMMUNICATION MAY BE THE BEST SEXUAL ABUSE PREVENTION TIP.

  • Always talk to your children about their daily activities. Show interest in their feelings. Encourage them to share their concerns and problems with you.
  • Age-appropriate–Teach your children about the body, what abuse is, and about sex. Teach them words that will help them feel comfortable discussing sex with you.
  • Explain that no one has the right to touch them in a way that makes them uncomfortable, including adults whom they know and trust. Roll play with them using “what if? Questions.”
  • Teach your children that it’s your job to protect them, and that you can protect them only if they tell you when something is wrong. Explain that people who hurt children may tell the children to keep it a secret. They may tell the children their parents will not believe them. They might threaten to hurt the parents if the child shares the secret. Teach your children that adults who say that are wrong, and that your children can share anything with you.
  • Make sure your children understand that if someone does make them feel uncomfortable or confused, you will not blame them. Reassure your children that sexual abuse is never the fault of the children.

CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN ABUSED OFTEN KEEP IT A SECRET.

The more you know about why children keep it a secret and how they communicate when they do try to tell, the easier it will be for you to break down barriers to communication.

UNDERSTAND WHY CHILDREN KEEP IT A SECRET:

  • They are afraid of upsetting or disappointing their parents.
  • They may be too embarrassed to tell their parents.
  • The abuser may threaten to hurt the child or the child’s family.
  • Children who do not disclose after the first encounter may be afraid or ashamed to tell when it happens again.
  • Young children may not understand there is something to tell. They are taught to respect and obey adults, and many abusers tell children the abuse is “OK” or a “game.”

UNDERSTAND HOW CHILDREN COMMUNICATE:

  • Children may communicate in a roundabout way by saying something such as, “I don’t like to be alone with Mr. Jones.” They may tell parts of what happened or pretend it happened to someone else to test an adult’s reaction.
  • Children who do disclose abuse may tell an adult other than a parent.
  • If adults respond emotionally or negatively to a disclosure, children will stop talking.”

–Prevent Child Abuse New York

PHYSICAL AND BEHAVIORAL SIGNS OF SEXUAL ABUSE:
Children who are too frightened to talk about sexual molestation may exhibit a variety of physical and
behavioral signals. Parents are responsible for noticing symptoms of abuse. Any of these signs are significant:

  1. Changes in behavior such as withdrawal, fearfulness, crying without provocation
  2. Appetite disturbances
  3. Fear of a person or an intense dislike at being left somewhere or with someone
  4. Recurrent nightmares, disturbed sleep patterns or fear of the dark
  5. Returning to more infantile behavior such as bedwetting, thumb sucking or excessive crying
  6. Torn or stained underclothing
  7. Vaginal or rectal bleeding, pain, itching, swollen genitals, vaginal discharge
  8. Unusual interest in or knowledge of sexual matters, expressing affection in ways inappropriate for a child of that age
  9. Fear of a person or an intense dislike at being left somewhere or with someone
  10. Other behavioral signals such as aggressive or disruptive behavior, running away, failing in school or delinquent behavior

IN THE UNITED STATES SEXUAL ABUSE HAS BEEN A TABOO ISSUE FOR TOO LONG. IT’S TIME TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN ABUSE PREVENTION BEFORE A CHILD MOLESTER MAKES THEM A STATISTIC!

If You Think Your Child Has Been Abused …Call the police and file a report. Remember that taking action is important because other children will continue to be at risk if a pedophile is not stopped! Child sexual abuse is a personal and a community concern please check and see if a pedophile is living in your neighborhood: http://www.familywatchdog.us
or check your Sheriff’s Department or State Police Department web site.

New Hope Outreach P.O. Box 732 Griffith, Indiana 46219
Phone: 219-838-1093 Email: new-hope-outreach@sbcglobal.net

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Published on May 13, 2008 at 12:23 am  Leave a Comment  

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