Child abuse is a preventable problem. The importance of providing a safe environment should be the utmost concern of every adult. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes participation from everyone in a society to stem the tide of child abuse. Prevention of child abuse is something every citizen can take part in.
Category: For Adults
The Child Protective System (CPS) is broken and when CPS fails, children die. Over 1,000 children die of neglect or torture each year. In the care of CPS, studies have shown that children are 600% more likely to die a horrific death. In 2007, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) reported 1,760 child fatalities attributed to child abuse. Of those, more than half had prior Child Protective Services involvement before their deaths.
Never in history have sexual predators been given such an opportunity to communicate so freely and directly with children. The Internet and new avenues such as social networking (e.g. Facebook, MySpace), chat rooms, email, instant messaging, and forums provide a dangerous medium for predators to conduct their conquests. A recent study estimates that 1 in 5 children between the ages of 10 and 7 have been sexually solicited online and anyone who watches the news has heard examples of these predators luring children offline and sexually assaulting or even murdering their victims. There are ways to recognize an online predator and things kids can do to avoid them.
The earlier child abuse is discovered, the better the chance the child will recover and lead a normal life. It’s very important that it be caught early on. Fortunately, there are many warning signs that a child is being physically, emotionally, or sexually abused. With a little bit of observation and thoughtful evaluation, you can analyze the child’s situation and spot the warning signs that point towards a child in an abusive situation.
Good touch, bad touch (GTBT) is gradually learnt through a child’s day to day activities but we can accelerate this learnt behavior by making an effort to teach children the difference between good touch and bad touch at an early age. We live in a society where touching is common but people tend to overreact at times. In addition, threats or secrets go hand in hand with bad touches which further confuses the child. Parents must take the time to explain to their children what good touch and bad touch is and what danger signals to look for.
There is remarkably little known about child abusers and pedophilia. What little we do know typically comes from abusers who were caught and convicted, not from persons with pedophilia tendencies that choose to not act on those tendencies. Regardless, researchers have pieced together a bit about the psychology behind a sexual child offender.
From the mouth of an abuser: Parents are so naive. They’re worried about strangers and should be worried about their brother-in-law. They just don’t realize how devious we can be. I used to abuse children in the same room with their parents and they couldn’t see it or didn’t seem to know it was happening. Read the devious methods child abusers use to “groom” their victims in preparation for the abuse.
Physical indicators of sexual abuse are not always present and in fact, most examinations of sexually abused prepubertal girls result in normal examination findings due to the elasticity of the hymenal tissue and rapid healing of any injuries that may have occurred during the sexual abuse. Long term problems resulting from sexual abuse are rare but may include gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, non-ulcer dyspepsia, or chronic abdominal pain. Occasionally gynecological disorders may persist such as chronic pelvic pain, dysmenorrheal, or menstrual irregularities.
Emotional abuse, or psychological maltreatment, is a fairly common form of child abuse but one that is often difficult to identify or categorize. Although complex and difficult to define, experts agree that occasional negative actions or responses to a child are not considered emotional abuse (we all lose our heads at times and say things we regret later). Regardless, even occasional emotional abuse may be harmful to the child. As Douglas Besharov states in Recognizing Child Abuse, “emotional abuse is an assault on the child’s psyche, just as physical abuse is an assault on the child’s body.”
One of the most effective methods of therapy is Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy or TF-CBT (TFCBT). Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Theory is based on the theory that traumatic events produce information that is hard for the victim to categorize, process, and fit into their existing scheme. When a child cannot truly comprehend a traumatic event, the strong emotions that resulted from the traumatic event are left unprocessed. When the child attempts to process the information, they may either distort the facts to fit within the realm of what they already know or understand, or they may alter their beliefs to fit the unprocessed information into their existing scheme. Either is bad. It leads to guilt, shame, self-blame, and a host of other problems. To counter this, the child must be taught how to deal with the confusing emotions in order to correct maladaptive beliefs.