FACT: CDC estimates 45 million Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse today
FACT: (1 in 3) children reside in an unsafe or challenging environment
FACT: 1593 deaths related to either physical or neglectful child abuse were reported in 2012
FACT: Domestic Child Sex Trafficking is most commonly committed by those who have direct control and access to the child; Family Members
Fact: In 2011 more than 2.3 Million Child Maltreatment Reports went without response or investigation. (largely due to not enough investigators)
FFY 2011 Child Maltreatment Report reveals 'Other' or 'Unknown' offenders against children only account for 6.6% of the 1.2 million reports investigated across the nation
See report details - https://survivorsjustice.com/child-maltreatment-report-ffy-2011/
Neglect can lead to many challenging behavioral problems from detachment to anger or perhaps overly striving for your attention. You may notice their difficulty in social interaction, communication skills and relationships. These are skills learned by healthy, safe, nurturing relationships at home. Other signs of NEGLECT; may be their dental health, physical hygiene from severe diaper rash to a buildup of dirt around the crevices of their wrists, around the hair line, on their ankles or knees. Learning proper hygiene and being kept reasonably clean, learning self care and care for others empowers a child's sense of equality and self worth.
You may see unexplained bruises in areas of the body that would not normally be bruised in casual playtime. Many of us know these signs, but a child will explain it away. They are being told they are the "bad" ones and they must be punished. Watch for the purple and yellow bruising on their faces, the upper arms, their back, the upper thigh or buttocks. Also any injuries causing headaches, dizziness, broken bones, strangulation, burns, belt marks or other such physical signs.
These are just some general signs of physical abuse more importantly are the behaviors of the physically abused child.
EXAMPLE: Does a child follow directions exactly? (When you ask a group of 5 children to hold their arm up until you tell them to release; those not abused or unafraid of being harmed will put their arm down when it starts hurting or they get bored. An abused child will keep their arm up until you give them permission to put it down. NO matter how uncomfortable the direction you give them, they will do their best not to disobey so they will not be at risk of being harmed/punished.)
If a young child displays early actions of sexual stimulation, remember we are not born with this knowledge. The acts of learning to touch themselves in certain manners and acting out these signs in playtime with other children or with their dolls, or stuffed animals IS NOT NORMAL. This should be very concerning for any child under the age of puberty. If your child or a playmate of your child is demonstrating these behaviors, then someone has taught them by either direct interactions, inappropriate television, or interacting with others. Their bodies will naturally react to the stimulation introduced by others, but it isn't a natural behavior until they are older and puberty begins. If you see a child demonstrating knowledge of sexual behaviors with themselves or others please REPORT IMMEDIATELY!!
Teens/preteens being sexually abused will rarely say anything due to the heavy feeling of guilt, shame, fear. Their abuser may do any of the following to ensure manipulation and protection of these secret behaviors.
Abusers may use:
Entice w/ gifts or special treats - such as visiting a special place or arranging a desirable event.
Interact online as friend/confidant to lure them to private places/meet ups
*If you can think of something that would lure or entice a teen/preteen - you can bet there is an abuser who has or will use this tactic and it might be a teen you see everyday*
When an older child/teen is being sexually manipulated or harmed you will notice things like the following;
**Research is finding 1 in 10 ADD/ADHD is actually misdiagnosed Early Onset PTSD
Record any conversations you have with them. It is quite easy to have your conversations misguided as influencing the child's knowledge and responses. BE CAREFUL & CALL AN EXPERT.
A few SAFE questions to address your concerns of their behavior
A) Is there a reason you keep touching yourself there?
B) Does it hurt or is it bothering you in some way?
C) Has someone else touched you there?
D) Did someone teach you how to do that?
E) Did you see it on television or in a movie?
These are innocent questions, but you must ask them WITHOUT showing alarm or concern. Remember if a child thinks you are concerned or unhappy with something they are doing, they will automatically assume blame on their part. Don't frighten your children into silence.
A child may try to avoid situations which place them alone with their abuser such as; not wanting to interact with a particular family member or friend; not wanting to hug or sit on their lap; not wanting to go places with them or where the abuser will be; remember to watch for signs of what your child IS NOT telling you. They may not know exactly how to verbalize their dislike, distrust, or what is happening to them. Pay attention to their actions and reactions around others
What is shared here are just a few examples of what to look for in young children who do not yet know how to verbalize what is happening to them or they may be too terrified to speak of what's being done. These are some of the basic signs that all adults should watch for in the children they connect with in family settings, neighborhoods, classrooms, and as we see/hear them relate to other children. It is the way a child avoids others, plays with their toys, or follows direction that may be the first SILENT SIGNS that someone is harming or threatening them.
There are many ways in which we, as a society, can provide the much needed rescue of a child and give them the tools for recovery; providing them with the positive interaction to influence a positive development in becoming healthy functional adults/parents/partners in relationships.
National Children's Alliance
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
If a child discloses abuse, it is critical to stay calm,
listen carefully, and NEVER blame the child. Thank
the child for telling you and reassure him or her of your
support. Please remember to call for help immediately.
If you know or suspect that a child is being or has been sexually abused, please report to local State Child Protection or Childhelp®
National Child Abuse Hotline at 1.800.4.A.CHILD
(1.800.422.4453) Visit the federally funded Child
Welfare Information Gateway at:
If you need immediate assistance, call 911.
Many communities also have local Children’s Advocacy
Centers (CACs) that offer coordinated support and
services to victims of child abuse (including sexual
abuse). For a state-by-state listing of accredited CACs,
visit the website of the National Children’s Alliance
NationalDomestic Violence Hotline
Rape,Abuse,Incest National Network
National Human Trafficking Hotline
TEXT - 233733
24/7 Live Chat - www.nhtrc.org
Oct 12th - SIU School of Medicine Conference
'Human Trafficking - They Never Asked'
Oct 30th - Domestic Violence Awareness Month Candlelight Vigil
Ignite Church, RT 50, Breese, IL (6-8pm)
Nov 13th - Christian County IAHCE - Taylorville
'The Beginning Steps of Human Trafficking'