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 More Than Statistics

                                    Child Abuse

 

The United States has one of the worst records among  industrialized nations – losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect!

  • 40 million adult Americans grew up living with domestic violence

  • Domestic Violence can cause P.T.S.D. in children and the effects on their brain are similarly to those experienced by combat veterans!!!!

  • Those who grow up with domestic violence are 6 times more likely to commit suicide and 50% more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol

  •  90% of sexually abuse is perpetrated by someone within the child's social sphere - for example, a relative, a family friend, a teacher, youth worker, religious leader, and neighbor.

  • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by the time they are 18

  • In one study, 80% of 21-year-olds, who were abused as children, had at least one psychological disorder

  • Around 80% of child abuse fatalities involve at least one parent as the perpetrator

  • As many as two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children

  • 14% of men and 36% of women in prison in the USA were abused children

    What you can do, for the children in your life, to Prevent Child Abuse

              Watch for Adults who:

  • Make you feel uneasy.....even if you can't put your finger on why.

  • Refuse children privacy or invade their privacy 

  • Insist on physical affection even when the child looks uncomfortable. 

  • Insist on “special time” alone from other adults and children.

  • Spend a lot of time with children instead of adults. 

  • Buy children expensive gifts for no apparent reason.

  • Appear to put a lot of effort into getting close to children.

  • Have had previous allegations against them before.

  • Your child or other children seem afraid of.

  • Your child or other children do not want to be alone with.

           Questions to Ask:

  • Ask organizations about criminal background checks, references.

  • Ask about training of staff / policies if suspected abuse.

  • If a child seems uncomfortable, or resistant to being with a particular

  • adult ask them why. Be persistent.

  • If an adult is taking a child on an outing, make sure to get specifics of it. Ensure they know that you are the type of parent that asks questions!

  • Always make a point of asking your child about their day. Use open questions and be persistent if they seem reluctant to give answers.

  • Think about whether activities would be preferable in a group. Ask why something it one-to-one.

Signs to Look for:                     

        Behavior Changes -

 

  • Being excessively clinging or crying when you leave

  • Having difficulty sleeping; having nightmares or fear of the dark

  • Returning to immature behaviors; sucking thumb, bed-wetting

  • Problems at school; discipline issues, poor attention, bad grades

  • Fear of a specific person or place. Isolating themselves.

  • Being "too perfect" and too well behaved; quiet; desperate to please

  • Radical mood swings

  • Being evasive when asked questions, or having memory loss

       Health Issues -

  • A change in eating habits; eating too much / too little 

  • Incontinence

  • Self-destructive behavior; head-banging, alcohol use, drugs, genital mutilation

  • Genital discomfort, bleeding, irritation, redness, itching, discharge, odor

  • Persistent urinary tract infections

  • General complaints; chronic headache, stomach cramps, sore throat

  • Depression / anxiety / suicidal ideation

                Inappropriate Sexual Development/Behavior

  • Excessive genital touching or masturbating in public

  • Non-age appropriate language; sexually graphic

  • Being sexually precocious and sexually suggestive

  • Hides secondary sexual characteristics; covers up, wears baggy clothes

  • Stops wearing make-up, stops washing, puts on weight

  • Fear of undressing or refusal to undress in gym class

  • Initiate inappropriate sexual contact with other children

                               Teach Children

A 3-year-old child old can be taught skills that lower their vulnerability of sexual abuse and increases their ability to tell if something does happen.

  • Teach your children early the proper names of body part

  • Tell them some body parts are private

  • Teach them body boundaries; No one should touch their private parts or ask the child to touch them

  • Tell your kids body secrets are not okay and they should always tell you if someone wants them keep a body secret

  • Tell your child that no one should take pictures of their private parts.

  • Teach your child how to get out of scary or uncomfortable situations.

                                                         The Myths

  • Only pretty little girls are sexually abused.

  • All molesters look like dirty old men. You can just tell.

  • Most child abusers are strangers.

  • Only men rape children.

  • My child would tell me if anything like this happened to them.

  • This could never happen to my child.

  • Sexual abusers are monsters and just look evil.

  • Teaching about CSA scares children, so it’s best to keep quiet.

  • If my child had been abused, I would just know.

  • It cannot happen in my family.

  • Sexual abuse is a family matter and should be dealt with as such.

 

What to Say to Children/Adult who has been abused:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is child abuse part of your past? Are you more than a statistic?

Go to our 'Break the Silence' page and add your story to start talking and keep talking, until child abuse becomes a thing of the past!

 

 

The statistics above were reported from; Bureau of Justice Statistics, Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Child Help, Sexual Assault of Young Children As Reported to Law Enforcement, by Howard Snyder, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services