National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
Resources and information to help stop child abuse
This section of the web site will be devoted to offering news and information dedicated to helping the community become more engaged and committed to helping those currently suffering from child abuse and other related criminal activity.
To my mind, being of service to those who still suffer is a vital part of my recovery.
(This information was developed and written by child molesters in treatment at The Center for Behavioral Intervention in Beaverton Oregon.)
What is Child Sexual Abuse?
Child molestation usually begins with a sex offender gaining a child’s trust and friendship. The offender then begins “testing” the child’s ability to protect himself by telling sexual jokes, engaging in horseplay, back rubs, kissing or sexual games.
If the child appears comfortable or curious about this type of behavior, (and most healthy, normal children are) the offender will slowly increase the amount and type of touching to include more direct sexual touching. Child sexual abuse can include exposing, fondling, masturbation, oral sex, intercourse and pornography.
Recognizing child abuse and trauma isn't always easy, but it's an adult responsibility. Kids do not self-report.
Many times there are few obvious physical marks on a child, so the first step is to learn what to be aware of. The most typical things to watch for are changes in behavior, attitudes and performance, and these can be a little different for very young kids and those who are slightly older.
Next, adults need to learn how to talk to children in a non threatening way. Again there are slightly different techniques for very young kids, for those who are a bit older and for teens. Try not to over-react or express anger to what you're learning while you talk to a child.
Re-assure the youngster that they are not in trouble, and have done nothing wrong themselves. Kids are already deeply reluctant to discuss these confusing and painful experiences, and may have been warned by their abuser that harm will come to them or their family if they tell.
Finally, when an adult has enough of the story to be suspicious of abuse we need to know how and where to report it. Ultimately the in-depth investigation of the crimes of child abuse is most appropriately a job for the professional child welfare worker or law-enforcement. But officials rely on the community to do the initial reporting. Without our tips, predictors will continue to abuse our children with impunity. Obviously an immediate response is preferred when a child is in an emergency situation, and that's a call to 9-1-1. But many abuse cases should be reported through non-emergency "tip lines" like 1-800-4ACHILD
Indicators of sexual abuse
Children often show non-physical signs that they have been sexually abused. Experts say some kids may show many of these signs, while others only a few. Below is a list of some symptoms of sexual abuse and trauma in children that don't include obvious physical signs such as venereal disease and pregnancy.
Indicators of sexual abuse in young children include:
NOTE: For a list of many more of the signs and symptoms of the sexually abused child, to learn why most children will more than likely not tell, and to find out
what sexual predators do / say to silence children ..please visit Susan Suafoa-Dinino's:
1. Unexplained Injuries Visible signs of physical abuse may include unexplained burns or bruises in the shape of objects. You may also hear unconvincing explanations of a child's injuries.
6. Changes in sleeping Abused children may have frequent nightmares or have difficulty falling asleep, and as a result may appear tired or fatigued.
2. Changes in behavior Abuse can lead to many changes in a child's behavior. Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive.
7. Changes in school performance and attendance Abused children may have difficulty concentrating in school or have excessive absences, sometimes due to adults trying to hide the child's injuries from authorities.
3. Returning to earlier behaviors Abused children may display behaviors shown at earlier ages, such as thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, fear of the dark or strangers. For some children, even loss of acquired language or memory problems may be an issue.
8. Lack of personal care or hygiene Abused and neglected children may appear uncared for. They may present as consistently dirty and have severe body odor, or they may lack sufficient clothing for the weather.
4. Fear of going home Abused children may express apprehension or anxiety about leaving school or about going places with the person who is abusing them.
9. Risk-taking behaviors Young people who are being abused may engage in high-risk activities such as using drugs or alcohol or carrying a weapon.
5. Changes in eating The stress, fear and anxiety caused by abuse can lead to changes in a child's eating behaviors, which may result in weight gain or loss.
10. Inappropriate sexual behaviors Children who have been sexually abused may exhibit overly sexualized behavior or use explicit sexual language.
I was astonished recently when a lovely, successful middle-aged man I know shared with me that during the years he was growing up he suffered some pretty harsh child abuse. He described the abuse in some detail, literally bringing me to tears.
I was moved by his story especially because I knew him during those years. I was enough older that I was an adult when he was yet a 12-year-old. I knew him during the years when this abuse was occurring regularly. I might have been able to help.
And I didn't suspect a thing.
Moving through my own guilt about this, I have looked into the signs of child abuse that I might have missed. Sure enough, he did exhibit some of these characteristics, but I never connected the dots.
Every 10 seconds, child abuse is reported. Everyday, four to seven children die from child abuse and neglect. As unfathomable as it is to ever think someone would want to hurt a child, sadly, it's happening. What's even more heartbreaking is that many children are suffering in silence as their parents have no idea they're being victimized.
"We currently live in a day and age where abuse is on the rise and children are falling victims on daily basis, without their parent's awareness," notes Kemi Sogunle, award-winning author and founder of the nonprofit Love Not Hurt. As moms and dads, it's our job to do our best to protect our kids.
No matter how uncomfortable the subject of child abuse is, it needs to be discussed.
Here are common warning signs for parents to look out for, and steps moms and dads can take to help keep their children safe.
Common Misconceptions About Child Sexual Abuse
Child Sexual Assault Statistics
Recognizing Signs Of Sexual Abuse
Helping Your Child Who Has Been Sexually Assaulted
Childhood Sexual Abuse and University/College Women
The Impact of Child Sexual Abuse
Adverse childhood experiences are a public health crisis affecting more Americans than diabetes and heart disease combined.
Many people instinctively understand that compassionate support is important for people who have lived through abuse and trauma, but instinct can make for a poor teacher. Our initial response to a survivor's disclosure can have a profound impact on his chances for recovery.
by National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Division of Violence Prevention
• In 2011, U.S. state and local child protective services (CPS) received an estimated 3.7 million referrals of children being abused or neglected.
• CPS estimated that 681,000 children (9.1 per 1,000) were victims of maltreatment.
• Of the child victims, 79% were victims of neglect; 18% of physical abuse; 9% of sexual abuse; and 10% were victims of other types of maltreatment including threatened abuse, parent’s drug/alcohol abuse, or lack of supervision.
• CPS reports of child maltreatment may underestimate the true occurrence. Non-CPS studies estimate that 1 in 7 U.S. children experience some form of child maltreatment in their lifetimes.
• Between 1990 and 2010, CPS-reported rates of sexual violence declined 62%, physical abuse declined 56%, and neglect declined 10%.
• The total lifetime economic burden resulting from new cases of fatal and nonfatal child maltreatment in the United States is approximately $124 billion.
EDITOR'S NOTE: It is our experience that the "grooming" a child is only half the story. Many pedophiles are extremely clever, often charming, patient people, frequently thought of as among the most valued of community members. That's because they spend a lot of time grooming the parents, friends and neighbors of the children around them, just as they groom the kids themselves. It's not unusual for pedophiles to pick careers and / or volunteer positions that will deliberately place them in close proximity to the youngsters they crave. They'll then proceed to impress (or "groom") the adults around them by becoming the most reliable on-call volunteer, the most generous friend, the most giving neighbor or the favorite relative. Their presentation makes them seem to be completely sincere, among the most trustworthy and valuable community members. Parents of molested kids will often be shocked at their own naivety, but pedophiles are as clever as can be in grooming the adults around them, too.
from Carl Hart - NAASCA volunteer
September 20, 2011
An excellent article from: Darkness to Light
You can help protect children by understanding how sexual predators go about preparing a child for abuse.
Called "grooming," it involves actions and behaviors that allow the perpetrator to build trust with the child and often the parents as well. Grooming typically takes place over time and prior to the actual abuse.
Clint Van Zandt served with the FBI for 25 years and has been party to high-profile conflicts as the Waco siege, the Oklahoma City bombing, and Unabomber.
Now he offers crucial information for your family about the threat our children face in today's society.
Each FREE DVD includes a Child ID Kit where you can store your child's photo, fingerprints and DNA information. This DVD can save your child's life.
Dr. Van Zandt is a popular television and radio commentator concerning crime and human behavior. He's been interviewed on numerous shows and programs. This is some of the most comprehensive family security information available. This vital resource can be easily shared on Facebook and Twitter. Also consider his books and other security products: CLICK HERE
In 1996 the U.S. Congress made a grant to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to establish an Exploited Children Division. The Exploited Children Division serves as a resource center for the public, parents, law enforcement, and others about the issues surrounding the sexual exploitation of children.
Read the article and then download this TIP SHEET (pdf)
EDITOR'S NOTE: We highly recommend the many resources, tip sheets and valuable available through the "Stop It Now!" non profit web site:www.StopItNow.org
A neighbor tells you about a “pedophile down the street”, you learn of a “sexual predator” who's a member of your faith community, the local paper reports on “child molesters hanging around” at your kid's school. What can you do?
You thought your neighborhood was pretty safe. Suddenly, your sense of security is shaken. Media stereotypes about people who sexually abuse children can make it all seem overwhelming. You needn't be overwhelmed.
Start by learning the facts. Accurate information about the situation can help you turn fear into confidence that you really can keep your family safe. Here are some other things you can do to help make you feel secure again.
Internet Crimes Against Children- ICAC by Dr. Frank Kardasz
For the first time in history, law enforcement officers in the 21st century possess proactive methods to identify and bring to justice those who sexually abuse minors. In years past, law enforcement had to wait for reports of child abuse before investigations could begin. But today, using innovative undercover techniques and the Internet, investigators can proactively seek out and apprehend offenders. Although this is one of the greatest advancements in the history of the enforcement of crimes against children, investigators still cannot take full advantage of the innovations. More resources are needed.
Ultimate Parent's Guide to Internet Safety The Internet has brought us a great many things in the virtual space. In fact modern society wouldn't be able to run without it. But just like the physical world it can be a dangerous place for our children, especially if they're not taught the rules and codes of how to navigate social media and the web safely. When 97 percent of under 4s have used a mobile device at least once, it's clearly impractical to ban them from the net altogether. It's just not possible and would be a disservice to their education and adjustment to the world around them. However too much Internet use can also lead to a number of health and social problems. The following infographic looks at the facts and figures regarding children and the Internet, while offering tips and tools to encourage a safe and productive online environment.
Please contact us if you have any information to help in the fight against child exploitation. Your information will be forwarded to law enforcement for investigation and review and, when possible, to the appropriate Electronic Service Provider(s). Reports may be made 24-hours a day, 7 days a week online at www.cybertipline.com or by calling 1-800-843-5678
The primary goal of all National Children's Alliance (NCA) children's advocacy centers is to ensure that children disclosing abuse are not further victimized by the intervention systems designed to protect them.
Child abuse and neglect are a major problem – and a major concern – for communities throughout the United States. We all know that the problem exists. The real question becomes “What happens to a child victim once he or she discloses?”
Often, agency personnel from law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, medical, victim advocacy and mental health services will respond to child abuse cases. Traditionally, each agency or professional has a different role in the investigation and intervention process. Sometimes, their efforts to fulfill these roles will result in multiple interviews of the victim – and in re-traumatizing the victim they are seeking to assist.
In the past, there was no mechanism for coordinating these services. In 1985, however, a quiet revolution took place with the establishment of the first children's advocacy center in Huntsville, Alabama. Now, instead of the child victim navigating a difficult and confusing system of multiple, repetitive interviews, the system could be brought to the child. Children's advocacy centers (CACs) are modeled on the simple but powerful concept of coordination between community agencies and professionals involved in the intervention system.
Darkness To Light - Darkness to Light (www.D2L.org) is a nonprofit devoted to preventing sexual abuse of children, with the mission to empower people to prevent child sexual abuse.
Their programs raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse by educating adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse.
Since 2000, some 250,000 people-teachers, police officers, coaches-nationwide have participated in the training program, which is also available online, learning how to recognize signs of abuse.
a global nonprofit leader in personal safety education
by Bill Murray
EDITOR'S NOTE: Kidpower founder, Irene van der Zande, was our special guest on our Internet-based "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk radio show on March 9, 2012. To listen to the showCLICK HERE
We feel privileged at NAASCA to be able to recommend non profit efforts like Kidpower, that take a positive, skills-based approach to violence and abuse prevention.
Kidpower describes itself as a non-profit leader in bullying prevention, child abuse prevention, stranger awareness, and personal safety for children, teens, and adults, including those with special needs.
Resources for Parents & Guardians
The following information also comes from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:
We want to help you protect your children by teaching them to be safer and make smart decisions. The best way to combat sexual exploitation and abduction is to prevent it.
Safety Game - from the FBI - an adventure game for kids to learn about online safety. It's a fun way to get kids thinking about online safety without having a lot of pages of tips to read.
How Do I Teach My Child About Personal Safety
by Nancy McBride, National Safety Director
Many parents and guardians feel challenged to keep their children safer in our fast-paced and global society. They may wonder at what age they can begin teaching their children about personal safety.
Unfortunately, “one size” doesn't fit all. A child's ability to understand safety skills and put them into practice is determined not just by age, but also by the child's educational and developmental levels.To truly learn new safety skills, children need to model, rehearse and practice the skills to incorporate them into their daily lives.
Speak to your child in a calm and reassuring way. Fear is not an effective teaching tool; confidence is.
Speak openly about safety issues. If you approach child safety openly, your children will be more likely to come to you with problems or concerns.
Don't confuse children by warning against “strangers.” Danger to children is much greater from someone you or they know than from a “stranger.”
Teach children that no one has the right to force, trick, or pressure them into doing things they don't want to do.
Practice safety skills by creating “what if” scenarios. An outing to a mall or the park can serve as a chance for children to practice safety skills, such as checking with you before they go anywhere or do anything, and locating adults who can help if they need assistance.
Supervise your children. It is vital to their protection and safety. Children should not be put in the position of making safety choices if they are not old enough or skilled enough to make those choices.
Check out adults who have access to your children. The more involved you are in your child's life, the less likely it is that your child will seek attention from other, potentially dangerous adults.
Simple Rules for Children When They Need Help
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has a signature safety publication, Knowing My Rules for Safety, to help parents and guardians teach personal safety skills to children. The rules are simple and concise and provide encouragement and options for children who need an adult's help.
Here are the simple rules:
Knowing My Rules for Safety
I CHECK FIRST with my parents, guardians, or other trusted adults before going anywhere, helping anyone, accepting anything, or getting into a car.
I TAKE A FRIEND with me when going places or playing outside.
I TELL people "NO" if they try to touch me or hurt me. It's OK for me to stand up for myself.
I TELL my trusted adult if anything makes me feel sad, scared, or confused.
Sometimes there are people who trick or hurt others. No one has the right to do that to you. So use these rules, and remember you are STRONG, are SMART, and have the right to be SAFE.
TAKE A FRIEND
TELL PEOPLE “NO” IF THEY TRY TO TOUCH YOU OR HURT YOU
by Laurie Ann Smith (originally posted on Facebook)
I ask everyone who cares about the issues of child abuse, and the protection of children to take the 15 minute challenge.
Whether you set a timer for 15 minutes, or just watch the clock, I ask you to take 15 minutes .. to think about how much we can do in 15 minutes, or how little, but what each 15 minutes looks like to a child who is being beaten, burned, sexually abused, raped, and sodomized.
15 minutes is not a lot of time to most people. Waiting for the coffee to perk, going out to pick up the newspaper, waiting in traffic during rush hour, waiting in a grocery store line up, brushing your teeth and catching some of the late night news before bed time.
But 15 minutes to a child who is being abused in any way can have tragic and fatal consequences.
15 minutes of a child being sexually abused, raped, and sodomized will change their lives forever.
While the perpetrators of the abuse, the child sexual predators, the pedophiles, the family members, and other members of our society get their 15 minutes of gratification, the child is impacted with physical problems, emotional problems and psychological problems .. for life.
15 minutes to a child who is being abused in any way is a life sentence.
15 minutes is how long it took for my abuser to bind and gag me, rape and sodomize me, sexually abuse me.
And while this person got their 15 minutes of sexual gratification, I got a life sentence of pain in every way. All it took was 15 minutes to turn an 8 year old girl into a sex toy for my abuser.
Children cannot wait 15 minutes for someone to protect them, for someone to care, for something to be done.
Please take 15 minutes every now and then, and put yourself in an abused child's body and mind and remember why so many of us are fighting so hard to save them.
Thanks for all you do to help stop child abuse and save children's lives.