Child Sexual Abuse – Breaking the Silence – Part One

Child Sexual Abuse – Breaking the Silence

introduction by maggie christian

( a collection of Tips to be aware of which will aid in identifying the potentials for Child Sexual Abuse and that will enable all of us to read the signs if Child Sexual Abuse is occurring. This collection of Tips will be broken up into several parts for less difficult accessibility. If there are more Tips more parts to this collection will be added. this collection comes from the Facebook Page Notes of TAALK: Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse. I am just trying to spread the message so that as many people as possible can become aware of the plague of Child Sexual Abuse and how invasive it is in all possible ways with all possible people. The victims and survivors of Child Sexual Abuse need to know that we are not alone. I hope more people will spread this information so that awareness will be everywhere and Child Sexual Abuse will be recognized for what it is and preventative steps can be taken to protect the children who are now being abused and to let the victims and survivors know that we are acknowledged and Child Sexual Abuse will not be hidden away in some secret closet in which no one shares that secret. We want Child Sexual Abuse to be out in the open so that the world can see it does exist in an awful abundance and must be stopped and prevented and brought to an end whereever it exists. Let the healing begin before it starts. Please read these many pages. If you know of anyone that fits any of these descriptions and know of anyone who needs help and rescuing – reach out your hand and be there for all those children who are being abused or have been abused and help the survivors that were abused and live with the memories. We all that have been and are being abused will always have those memories. PLEASE BECOME AWARE OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE and HOW TO RECOGNIZE IT WHEN YOU SEE IT.)

Thanks for continuing your education on how to prevent child sexual abuse. Your increased awareness will make a difference in the lives of children around you.

If you have a tip that you’d like to share with others or you would like to provide feedback on this tip, please send us an email at taalktips@taalk.org

TAALK – Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse

TAALK Tip #50
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip:If a child discloses that they have been sexually abused, believe them and take immediate action to protect the child from the offender and report the incident to the police.

Statistic:Fabricated sexual abuse reports constitute only 1% to 4% of all reported cases. Of these reports, 75% are falsely reported by adults and 25% are reported by children. Children only fabricate ½% of the time.

TAALK Tip #49
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip:Any type of interest in or possession of child pornography is a huge red flag. Do not let someone who has displayed this behavior be alone with your children at any time.

Statistic:Research shows that 80% of those convicted of child pornography possession and/or distribution later self disclose committing contact sexual offenses.

TAALK Tip #48
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: If your child is babysitting, make sure you have an emergency phrase that they can use to signal you to come pick them up immediately. Something such as “I forgot to take my red sweater out of the dryer, can you get it out for me?” This can also be used in reverse if you leave your child home with a babysitter, have an emergency phrase that signals you to come home.

TAALK Tip #47
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: When hiring a nanny, let him/her know that you and your children are educated about child sexual abuse.

Fact: Pedophile’s prey on the naïve and vulnerable. If they know your child is aware and that you’re watching, they will find a less risky target.

TAALK Tip #46
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: When hiring a nanny or a babysitter, be very attuned to your children’s reaction to him/her. If they ever show fear or discomfort about being left with that person, trust their instinct and get someone else.

TAALK Tip #45
TAALK – Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Watch over your boys just as much as you do your girls. Don’t allow yourself to think that boys do not become victims of child sexual abuse or that they are strong enough to protect themselves.

Statistics: 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18.

TAALK Tip #44
TAALK – Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: If your daughter shows signs of eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, seek medical help immediately.

Statistics: Young girls who are sexually abused are more likely to develop eating disorders as adolescents.

TAALK Tip #43
TAALK – Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: If you child has anxiety or panic attacks, this is a very common sign of abuse and you should seek professional counseling right away to help determine the cause.

TAALK Tip #42
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: When your child wants to sleep over a friend’s house, ask the parents who will be at their house during the evening and overnight. Be aware of single adult situations. Also be aware of older siblings, especially boys. Ask your child who was there upon return. Also ask if they will leave the house while your child is there and what the planned activities are. Ask your child about these things upon return.

TAALK Tip #41
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Adults and/or older siblings who wonder around the house at night should be watched very closely. If you find your spouse or older child out of bed at night, you need to get up and go and find out where they are and why they’re not in bed. Be bold and ensure your children are safe!

Fact: I was speaking with a therapist the other day and she shared a case study of a family where the father left the bedroom every night for several hours and the mother never checked to see where he was. Later she found out that he was in their daughter’s room every night sexually abusing her.

TAALK Tip #40
TAALK – Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Offenders are drawn to opportunities to be around children. They will seek out youth serving organizations who do not have strict policies about child sexual abuse prevention. Insist on formal, strict, well documented policies.

TAALK Tip #39
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: “Grooming” behaviors are actions offenders take to gain the trust and friendship of children and/or their parents. Grooming behaviors towards parents include:
Offering to tutor your child who is struggling in school, often at no charge
Offering to drive your kids to sports practices, music lessons, etc.
Offering to watch your kids so you and your spouse have some time to alone
Buying you expensive gifts
Helping you out financially so there’s a feeling of indebtedness
Talking about how great your kids are (smart, beautiful, talented)

TAALK Tip #38
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
One of our tips recipients asked to me clarify “grooming” behavior. So I thought it would be good to share it with everyone.

Tip: “Grooming” behaviors are actions offenders take to gain the trust and friendship of children and/or their parents. Grooming behaviors towards children include:
* Showering kids with gifts * Giving kids treats, often ones their parents wouldn’t allow such as sweets * Taking kids on special outings such as to the park, movies, beach, pool, etc. * Positioning themselves as a friend rather than a parental figure * Becoming the only one who “understands” them. This is especially important when grooming an adolescent or young teen who is struggling with lack of understanding from their parents. * Letting kids get away with inappropriate behavior such as being rude, bad language, breaking rules, or dangerous behavior such as shooting a BB Gun, riding bikes without a helmet, riding on the hood of a car, etc. Always being the “fun” adult, playing games, coloring, rough housing * Asking kids to keep “little” secrets from their parents such as the treats or dangerous behaviors. Only after a child has proven they can keep “little” secrets, will the offender start to introduce “big” secrets such as sexual talk, pornography, sexual touching etc.

I’ll cover grooming behaviors towards adults tomorrow.

TAALK Tip #37
TAALK – Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip:If your child withdraws from friends, family or activities they previously enjoyed, look for other signs of abuse and seek professional counseling to help determine the cause.

TAALK Tip #36
TAALK – Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip:Sexual offenders often act out in order to temporarily decrease internal/emotional distress. So, if there is someone who has exhibited some grooming behavior, be particularly careful during times of high stress (emotional, financial, health, etc.).

TAALK Tip #35
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: When hiring a nanny, be sure to ask for AND call references. Ask specific questions about their children’s physical and emotional health, grades, and social behavior during the time the nanny was with them.

TAALK Tip #34
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Don’t allow yourself to have a “them and us” attitude. Perpetrators walk among us; they are from every race, religion and socio-economic sector; they are somebody’s son and somebody’s daughter; and they are often somebody’s husband, wife, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or cousin. Child sexual abuse knows no boundaries.

Statistic:30-40% of victims are abused by a family member.

TAALK Tip #33
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip:Install full-time monitoring software on your children’s computer to view every email, IM, chat, uploaded file, and MySpace profile. It’s not enough to use parental control software to block sites. Children today are computer savvy, they know how to get around these controls. We recommend eBlaster and/or Spector Pro (www.spectorsoft.com).

Statistic:1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the Internet.

TAALK Tip #32
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: There is rarely a reason for your child to have to be at school early or stay late unless there is a specific planned activity that they’re participating in. This could be a sign of time spent with an offender whether that be a teacher or administrator or even other children their age or older who are being abusive. Ask why!

TAALK Tip #31
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: All schools should have a child sexual abuse prevention policy that is in writing and includes strong screening policies for all faculty, administrative staff and grounds personnel. Insist on it!

TAALK Tip #30
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Internet Safety – Someone Shared this With Me -Today I’m sure your organisation is already aware of predetors using social networking sites to groom children online. I have recently become personally aware of a male in my local area has been arrested for doing this. The person in question has been using an email adress in his wifes name along with a picture of his teenage stepdaughter to set up a facebook account to get to young girls. I want to help make parents & carers aware that they must monitor who there kids are talking to. Our kids are still vunerable in their teenage years, even though they think that they are “old enough” not to need supervision. NO EFFORT IS TOO MUCH when it comes to protecting ALL CHILDREN.

TAALK Tip #29
TAALK – Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Never let your children go into a public bathroom alone. An adult should be with them until they are adolescents and then they can begin to use the buddy system and go with a group of friends or older sibling, as appropriate. You need to follow this rule even if it means bringing a child of the opposite gender into the restroom with you.

TAALK Tip #28
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: As your children move into adolescence and you allow them to be away from your side, teach them how to recognize pedophile behavior, how to remove themselves from the situation and to come and tell you immediately.

Fact:We held my daughter’s end of season softball party in a picnic area at the beach. The parents allowed a group of about 8 girls (eleven and twelve year olds) to play on the grass about 40 yards from where we were sitting. In the middle of the party, I looked up and saw the girls sitting in a circle playing clapping games with a male stranger about 30 years old! Needless to say this shocked me and I immediately went over and told this man he had to leave and that it was not okay for the girls to play with strangers.

TAALK Tip #27
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Be especially cautious of predators at children’s gatherings such as G rated movies and children’s concerts (Hannah Montana, etc.). These are venues where pedophiles can spend hours looking at young children and some may even try to create opportunities to molest. So, keep your children with you at all times.

TAALK Tip #26
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Never let your children post pictures of themselves in bathings suits on MySpace or any other social networking site.

Fact:When pedophile’s pornography collections are seized, investigators regularly find pictures that they’ve cut and pasted from MySpace as part of their personal collection.

TAALK Tip #25
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Have every adult in your household attend a child sexual abuse prevention class. Don’t ever put yourself in a position to have to say “I wish we would have known.” See our website for in person and on-line training classes.

Statistic:50% of abuse is by someone we know and trust.Thanks for continuing your education on how to prevent child sexual abuse. Your increased awareness will make a difference in the lives of children around you.

TAALK Tip #24
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: When hiring a babysitter, consider hiring a babysitting team. Often young girls team up when they are fairly new at babysitting. This will minimize the risk by avoiding leaving a child with a single caretaker.

Statistic: 50% of abuse is by someone we know and trust.Thanks for continuing your education on how to prevent child sexual abuse.

TAALK Tip #23
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Be leery of adults who shower kids with gifts. Also be aware of adults who shower the parents with gifts in an attempt to gain their trust and friendship.

Statistic:30-40% of abuse is by a family member and another 50% is by someone we know and trust.

TAALK Tip #22
TAALK – Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Teach your children that they should never be alone with a teacher or administrator. If they find themselves in this situation, they need to tell the teacher about your family’s rule against one adult/one child situations and ask that they immediately move to an open and observable area.

Statistic: More than 80% of sexual abuse cases happen in 1 child/ 1 adult situations. – Darkness to Light.

TAALK Tip #21
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: There are many abuser profiles. They are men and they are women. Some will only abuse their biological children, some will only abuse other’s children, some like boys and some like girls and then some have no boundaries at all. You may not have seen the whole picture though. So, don’t make the mistake of assuming a convicted or accused child molester will not cross outside of their known profile.

TAALK Tip #20
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Children of all ages and even adults for that matter, should avoid being alone in a pool or jacuzzi at night. It is very easy to rape a girl that’s only wearing a swimsuit and is not in a position to run away. It is also difficult for others to see what’s happening behind a fence, plants and under the water.

True story. A close friend shared that when she was young, lots of kids in her neighborhood would get into a jacuzzi at night at a neighbors house, and sometimes the dad of the house would get in with the kids and touch the girls under their bathing suits.

TAALK Tip #19
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: When your child has their annual check-up with the pediatrician, tell your child that the doctor needs to examine them and ask if it’s okay. Let them know that the doctor is going to look at (and touch, if applicable) their private parts. Tell them that this is okay because it needs to be done for medical reasons and that it’s okay because Mom or Dad is there along with the Doctor. Explain that it would not be okay for the Doctor to do this if they were alone.

TAALK Tip #18
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Be careful at restaurants that have indoor playgrounds such as McDonalds. If you see a man sitting by himself outside, not eating, it’s very likely he’s there just to watch the kids. I recommend you find another place to play.

TAALK Tip #17
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: When hiring a babysitter, bathe your children and have them in their pajamas before he/she arrives. Never give the babysitter a reason to have your children unclothed.

TAALK Tip #16
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: There are two types of child molesters: 1) Situational Molester: Not a true “pedophile” in that they do not prefer to have sex with a child, but turn to a child for sexual gratification due to stressors, curiosity, boredom or they are sexually/morally indiscriminate and 2) Preferential Molester: The classic “pedophile” who has recurring sexual fantasies involving children, they prefer children and seek them out.

TAALK Tip #15
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Never let your children sit near the pier at the beach. Pedophiles build their pornography collection by taking pictures of young children in their bathing suits from the pier that overlooks the sand at the beach. These pictures are typically modified to remove the bathing suit and add private parts and then uploaded to the internet within hours.

TAALK Tip #14
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: If you hire a babysitter who needs a ride home after your children are asleep, make prior arrangements for the babysitter’s parents to pick him/her up. You should never be alone in a car with a child.

TAALK Tip #13
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Be sure that all computers that have internet access are in a common room in your house. However, don’t be fooled into thinking this will actually deter your children from inappropriate internet behavior unless you’re going to sit right next to them. It will however, allow you to understand how much time they are spending on the internet which is important to ensuring they do not become addicted. Yes, there is now a recognized physical addiction to technology!

TAALK Tip #12
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Embrace and nurture the gift of fear in you and in your children as it can and will protect you if you’ll only listen.

Book: I recently read a book by Gavin de Becker called Protecting the Gift and he talks about how intuition sends many messengers to warn us, messengers such as doubt, suspicion, apprehension and hesitation, but the most urgent – and often the most valuable – is fear. He said that true fear is a gift because it is a survival signal that sounds in the presence of danger. This is a must read for every parent!

TAALK Tip #11
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: When evaluating a daycare center for your infant, be sure to ask about the diapering facilities. They should be in a location that is observable by multiple adults throughout the course of the day.

TAALK Tip #10
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Talk with your kids’ teachers about child sexual abuse. It’s important that they know that you’re aware and that you’ve made your children aware and taught them how to recognize dangerous situations. If the teacher is an offender, they’ll likely move on to another child who will be easier to groom.

Statistic:A seven-month Associated Press investigation found 2,570 educators whose teaching credentials were revoked, denied, voluntarily surrendered or limited from 2001 through 2005 following allegations of sexual misconduct. Young people were the victims in at least 1,801 of the cases, and more than 80 percent of those were students. More than half the educators who were punished by their states also were convicted of crimes related to the misconduct.

TAALK Tip #9
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: When your child wants to go to a friend’s house, ask the parents about their family internet policy. Where are the computers in the house located? Do they have parental control software? Do their kids have MySpace profiles, eMail, IM? These questions will allow you to understand the level of risk and negotiate an agreement with the friend’s parents and your child about use of the internet while at their house.

Statistic: 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet.

TAALK Tip #8
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: Be a role model. Avoid one adult/one child situations. Make sure when you do need to have a one adult/one child situation that it is observable and interruptable. Follow these behavior tips even when they’re inconvenient. You can’t hold others accountable if you aren’t willing to be.

Statistic: More than 80% of sexual abuse cases occur in one-adult/one-child situations.

TAALK Tip #7 – missing

TAALK Tip #6
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip:When your child will be spending time with another adult or older child, ask these caretakers what the plan is for their time together. Make sure that there is a specific plan and timeline. Ask your child about the details of how they spent their time when they return. Be aware of the child’s eye movement and body language and look for any signs of discomfort.

TAALK Tip #5
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: If you have multiple children, monitor their interactions closely. Also pay close attention if your family spends time with families that have multiple children at different ages. Abuse is more likely when there is several years age difference and the older one is in a position of authority or is admired by the
younger child.

TAALK recommends that you tell the parents of other children that you spend time with, that you and your children are educated about sexual abuse and that you regularly talk about good touch, bad touch, self respect and secrets. Ask that you (kids and adults) sit down together at one of your time together and discuss this as a group so everyone is on the same page. This gives the younger children power to speak up and are more likely to tell, if someone breaks the ‘rules’ you may have discussed with them as a group. Do this regularly to remind the kids and the adults that everyone is paying attention to keeping them safe.

Statistic: Nearly 40 percent of children who are abused are abused by older and larger children that they know.

TAALK Tip #4
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: When hiring a babysitter, consider hiring a young girl instead of a boy. This will minimize the risk because statistically there are fewer female offenders.

TAALK Tip #3
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: If you find that someone in your child’s life appears on the National Sex Offender Registry DO NOT let your child be alone with this person, not even for an instant. It doesn’t matter if they’re male or female, young or old. If they have abused once they have the propensity to abuse again. You should let them know that you’re aware of the conviction and that your family, including your children, are trained in child sexual abuse prevention and that you’re watching them.

TAALK Tip #2
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: When your child is invited to spend time or have a sleep over at a new friend’s house, find out the names of all the people who live in the house. Then take the time to look for each of them on the National Sex Offender’s Registery http://www.nsopr.gov/

True Story: I was speaking with a very diligent father about the epidemic and he shared that his daughter had been invited to a sleepover at a friend’s house. When he found out her parents were divorced and the sleepover was at her Dad’s house, he took the time to look on the National Sex Offender’s Registry and indeed found that her father had been convicted of child sexual abuse.

TAALK Tip #1
Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Child Sexual Abuse
Tip: When your child needs a medical test done such as an X-ray, CT or MRI, insist on one of the following: 1) being in the room, 2) leaving the door open and being just outside the door or 3) if there is a viewing window, stay where you can clearly see your child. Don’t allow the technican to tell you that you can’t stay due to exposure. There’s no reason why you can’t stand with the technician.

True Story: I had an opportunity to talk with a mother who’s son was sexually abused while getting a routine medical test done at a local hospital. She was just on the other side of a closed door. The technician had been released from another hospital for alleged sexual abuse and the records were sealed, allowing him to get another job where he had regular private access to young children.

Advocacy: Take the opportunity to tell the technician about the child sexual abuse statistics and that you’re committed to lowering the risk for your child and invite him/her to go to our website to learn more. This is a great way to raise his/her awareness as well.

About the universal eclectic

writer.poet.screenwriter. animal activist. support progressive political causes. film maker & photographer. advocate for the protection of children from child sexual, physical, emotional and spiritual abuse. lgbtq activist. lesbian. animal advocate. animal lover. daily journaling. dream interpretation. write poetry. fiction(novels & short stories).semi-autobiographical books. screenplays & blogs. cinephile. anglophile. technophile. love theatre. great television(esp. british).films. love books. love reading. collect quotations. collect dvds. love music (eclectic tastes). addicted to laptop computer. internet. facebook. twitter & other social networking. 'surfing' the net. wikipedia. texting. ustream. wordpress. blogging. love my family of 2 humans(myself & my partner) & 12 animals: 1 amazon parrot (saki). (6 cats (sanji, sigmund, schroeder, spike, soyer & spootiepaws). 1 rat (max). 2 degues (bubble & squeak) & 2 chinchillas (sagan & sundance). love animals. worked for humane society for 14 yrs. worked at westport public library as intern. worked at bennington college library. student assistant in college. co-produced gay & lesbian radio show at yale university. member of yale lesbians. board member of new haven, ct women’s' center. love stana katic. her films & her tv show 'castle' -my guilty pleasure. passion for & study of psychotherapy & other forms of psychology. believe in love as a metaphysical state of being. in love with being in love. support legalizing marijuana. support releasing non-violent drug offenders from prison. support abolishing the death penalty. support a woman's right to choose. support the arts in schools. support federal funding of pbs. npr & nea. stopping the government from being taken over by the gop and tea baggers. support for medicare, medicaid and health care for all.
This entry was posted in abuse, aggregation, bad touch, boundaries, bravery, causes, child abuse, child pornography, child sexual abuse, childhood, childhood trauma, children, control, courage, criminal behavior, dissociation, emotional support, emotions, enticement, fear, good touch, healing, incest, internet, media, memories, mental health, news, panic attacks, panic disorder, pedophilia, perpetrators, predators, prevention, progressive social issues, psychology, psychotherapy, relationships, secrets, sexual abuse, sexual offenses, sexuality, sickness, suffering, survivors, therapists, threats, time, today, tomorrow, touch, trust, victims, yesterday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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