Nearly 35 million U.S. children have experienced one or more types of childhood trauma

In the CDC’s ACE Study, the ten types of childhood adversity measured were:

 

  • physical, sexual, verbal abuse
  • physical and emotional neglect
  • a parent who’s an alcoholic (or addicted to other drugs) or diagnosed with a mental illness
  • witnessing a mother who experiences abuse
  • losing a parent to abandonment or divorce
  • a family member in jail

Nearly 35 million U.S. children have experienced one or more types of childhood trauma.

 

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Pinwheels for Prevention: National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Pinwheels for Prevention

Displaying pinwheels is important in raising awareness, because the number of pinwheels can be used to raise awareness of the large number of children who are suffering from abuse and neglect.

This video, courtesy of WYTV, Andrea Mistovich, coordinator for the Child Advocacy Center at the Akron Children’s Hospital Beeghly Campus, discusses the Pinwheels for Prevention Project.

“it’s child-friendly toy and you’ll notice it only takes a little bit of wind to make it move, just like it takes just one person to make a difference in a child’s life”

Why should you care about preventing child abuse?

from Prevent Child Abuse America

Around the country more and more pinwheels are being put on display.  On Tuesday, the Children’s Advocacy & Protection Center of Catawba County placed 1,500 pinwheels at Kiwanis Park. Prevent Child Abuse Utah in aiming to distribute 75,000 pinwheels this year, and handed out 50,000 last year.

The East lawn of the Historic Franklin County Courthouse in Union, Missouri

The East lawn of the Historic Franklin County Courthouse in Union, Missouri

Have you got your pinwheel yet? Is it visible?
What is happening in your area, and how you can join in?

A great blog on Pinwheels is here Pinwheels to Prevent Child Abuse. (Discussing Dissociation)

Further links:

For kids & young people – Child Abuse Prevention Month

About you & young people you know
Children suffering abuse or neglect often tell their friends first – here is how to help, or what to do if you are being neglected or abused.

Firstly, don’t ignore it!
Easy things to do are to find out more about how to help, and to tell your friend that it’s not their fault.

Secondly, don’t keep it secret – but be careful who you tell
Tell people who can help, especially if it’s their job to help – call a children’s helpline or charity, tell a doctor or teacher you trust, or your parents.

If the first person you tell doesn’t listen then just keep telling.
Don’t tell people who might gossip or find it interesting – adults are the best people to tell because they often know what to do, and can help reassure you.

Keeping secrets about child abuse only protects the person doing the abuse, and lets them carry on doing it.

Lastly – Don’t worry about being believed – report it anyway

Often young people being neglected or abused can be angry and misbehave. Sometimes they might have told lies about small things in the past, but lying about child abuse is very, very rare.
If you report abuse through a helpline, or to someone whose job means they can report abuse then they have a duty not to judge the child, only to investigate the neglect or abuse. The person might be abusing other people as well, or might have abused other people in the past.

How abusers might try to stop abusing being reported
Many abusers pick on ‘vulnerable’ children, such as those with problem behavior or a difficult family life, those with learning difficulties, those involved in minor crimes (like stealing or drinking alcohol). They think these children are less likely to be believed if they tell and often these children don’t have as many reliable adults to tell.

Abusers can groom someone to try to make them agree to the abuse, this is very common with sexual abuse. Grooming can involve giving cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, gifts or money – the idea is to make the child feel loyal to them and that they are a friend to the child. Sometimes abusers starting with ‘online friendships’ or ‘online dating’ and lie about their abuse, this is major cause of abuse.

Grooming can also involve manipulating the child in order to blackmail them – don’t tell or I will tell that you take drugs, don’t tell or I will post rude images of you on the internet. If they do try to post rude images then they are breaking the law and the pictures can be removed, and they have committed a crime.

Abusers lie. They can pretend to be nice people and safe people for children to be around. They often get parents and neighbors to trust them or do charity work, kids can see them as ‘cool’, especially if they break the rules sometimes. They might be friends with a lot of your friends. This is another way to stop children telling. Some people wrongly thing that women don’t abuse children. Some people wrongly thing that boys and young men should be able to stop abuse on their own or that they might be choosing to be sexual with an older woman – but sexual abuse happens to boys too.

You can report it online or by telephone anonymously.

You do not have to be sure it is abuse or neglect to report your suspicions.

Some abusers are parents.

This makes it very hard for a child to tell, because children love their parents and are afraid of what might happen to them. Here is a video from a parent who used to abuse her children, but got help to understand why and to stop the abuse.

Reporting neglect and abuse

United States https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/reslist/rl_dsp.cfm?rs_id=5&rate_chno=W-00082

New Zealand http://www.occ.org.nz/advice   http://www.childmatters.org.nz/
Australia http://www.police.wa.gov.au/YOURSAFETY/ChildProtection/ReportingChildAbuse/tabid/1241/Default.aspx   http://au.reachout.com/Emergency-Help
United Kingdom http://www.childline.org.uk

Reporting online child pornography, pedophile sites, grooming for abuse

Reporting pedophiles and images of children being hurt or abused on the internet is easy!
You can do it anonymously.

http://www.watchdoginternational.net/index.php/child-sexual-abuse/report-child-abuse

What can you do today for Child Abuse Prevention Month?

  • You can let your friends know you are a safe person to talk to about ‘bad’ things.
  • You can share posts like this to help other people learn more about abuse and reporting it.

              Where is the Report Child Abuse button on facebook??

http://opscarecrow.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/demanding-a-dedicated-reporting-function-for-cai/

  • You can join the Operation Scarecrow group on facebook so you have somewhere to report things to quickly
  • You can follow or ‘like’ http://www.justtell.org/
  • You can make your facebook, twitter, tumblr, myspace, pininterest, flickr accounts more secure – block anonymous access and reduce your friends list
  • You can add a blue ribbon or Child Abuse prevention/awareness image to your social networking site, or use it as your online image. You can even make one yourself.

Games!

http://www.familylearning.org.uk/internet_safety.html

http://www.kidsmart.org.uk/

http://primarygamesarena.com/redirect.php?id=377

  • You can find out even more about recognizing abuse and neglect here

http://helpguide.org/mental/child_abuse_physical_emotional_sexual_neglect.htm#reporting

 

It’s Child Abuse Awareness Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month (in the United States) – so today is the perfect day for a first blog entry.

Child Abuse is an umbrella term which also covers Child Neglect (emotional and physical), verbal abuse (such as swearing), abandonment and threats of harm to the child. Child Abuse can involve particular actions, or inaction (such as failure to provide for the child).

Preventing child abuse is not a job for parents or carers alone – the whole community has a role in preventing child abuse.

The six protective factors for preventing child abuse are:

  • Nuturing and Attachment
  • Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
  • Parental Resilience
  • Social Connections
  • Concrete Supports for Parents
  • Social and Emotional Competence of Children

If a child is being neglected or abused it does not necessarily mean the parents are ‘bad’ or are intentionally causing the child harm. It can mean a parent/carer/relative and someone else in contract with the child is causing the issue, or it can be a sign of a person who is in need of more support or who is unaware there is an issue. Reporting possible abuse or neglect is the best way to help improve a child’s life.
For the children you know, how can help them? If you have children yourself, are they aware of OK, and not OK? Do they know who they could tell if they are worried about their friends? Is there a child you know who often seems sad, afraid or angry, have you asked them why this is? Would you know the signs of possible abuse if you saw them – for example patterns of marks on a child’s ear, or an unusual way of acting towards others? You do not need to be 100% sure to report a possible case of neglect or abuse, professionals can look into it themselves.
If there a child you know who may be neglected or abused, contact a helpline today to report it.

Further information
https://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/
http://www.preventchildabuse.com/
http://www.ispcan.org

Raising awareness within our own communities is one of the key ways to prevent child abuse, and to stop it early.