UNDERSTANDING SB1414 (Child Protection)
RECOGNIZING AND PREVENTING CHILD ABUSE FACILITATED BY ALEX HERNANDEZ
Curriculum for Recognizing and Preventing Child Abuse
Child Abuse is more than bruises and broken bones. While physical abuse is most noticeable, there are other types of child abuse. These include, emotional, sexual and neglect. By learning about abuse and what you can do, you can make a difference in a child’s life. The earlier an abused child gets help, the better chance that child has to heal. Learn about child abuse, break the cycle, and find out how you can help. This program will show you how.
The teaching methodology for this program are: Lecture, power point presentation, video, class discussion, hands on activities, question and answer, 25 question written test, and take home study material.
Objectives: Upon completion of this workshop the participant will:
Understand and recognize the symptoms associated with child abuse, sexual abuse, and molestation Define the effects of child abuse, sexual abuse and child molestation Know the patterns of behavior of child molesters and sex offenders Know how to minimize one-on-one isolated encounters between an adult and minor or between two minors Know the rules and procedures to address, reduce, and report child abuse, sexual abuse, molestation Have an awareness of child abusers who may be crossing the line Be aware of available hotlines and counseling services for child abusers Know what it takes for a caregiver to maintain self control Know how to talk to children who may have been abused
Myths and Truths Myth
#1: It's only abuse if it's violent Truth: Physical abuse is only one kind. Neglect, emotional, and sexual abuse are just as bad. Myth
#2: Only bad people abuse children Truth: Not all abusers intentionally harm children. Many have been victims of abuse, and don’t know how to care for children. Others may have mental or substance abuse problems.
Myths and Truths Myth
#3: Child abuse doesn't happen in “good” families Truth: Child abuse crosses all racial, economic, and cultural barriers. It occurs in rich and poor families. Myth
#4: Most child abusers are strangers Truth: Abuse by strangers does happen, but most abusers are friends and family members.
Myths and Truths Myth
#5: Abused children always grow up to be abusers Truth: The chances of an abused child to repeat their behavior as an adult are greater However,
many adults who were abused as children do not grow up to be abusers and are actually protectors and excellent caregivers
The importance of child abuse education The
earlier child abuse is detected, the better chance of recovery and treatment By learning the warning signs of child abuse and neglect, you can stop the problem and get both, the child and the abuser help But a warning sign doesn’t mean a child is being abused It’s important to look deeper, looking for a pattern of abusive behavior and warning signs
What is child neglect? Failing
to provide for a child's basic needs:
food clothing hygiene Supervision
children may not show signs of neglect, showing competence to the outside world, and even taking care of siblings
What is child neglect? Sometimes
a parent may be physically or mentally unable to care of a child. Due to depression, anxiety, or abuse alcohol/drugs
or drugged parents are unable to care for children, make good decisions, and lack self control and can lead to abuse and neglect
Warning signs of neglect in children
Ill-fitting clothes, filthy, inappropriate for the weather
Bad hygiene, (un-bathed, unwashed hair, body odor)
Untreated illnesses and physical injuries
Frequently unsupervised or left alone or allowed to play in unsafe environments
Frequently late or missing school
What are the effects of child neglect? Life
can damage a child’s:
self worth relationships with others
And their ability to function at:
home work school
What is emotional abuse?
Giving the child the silent treatment
Having limited physical contact —no hugs, kisses, or signs of affection
Belittling, shaming, and humiliation
Name calling and making negative comparisons
What is emotional abuse? Telling
a child he or she is “no good," "worthless," "bad," or "a mistake“
threatening, or bullying
What are the effects of emotional abuse? Being
told repeatedly that you are stupid or no good, is difficult to overcome. It becomes the child’s reality
esteem is damaged; as an adult, believes they cannot succeed
of trust and relationship difficulties
What are the effects of emotional abuse? Damages
a child’s mental health and social development
scars remain for a life time
survivors struggle with unexplained anxiety, depression, or anger
forget the pain
may turn to alcohol or drugs to
Warning signs of emotional abuse in children Excessively
withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong Extremes in behavior (extremely compliant, extremely demanding; extremely passive or extremely aggressive) Lack of attachment to parent or caregiver Acts either inappropriately adult (taking care of other children) or inappropriately infantile (rocking, thumb-sucking, tantrums)
Discipline Vs Physical Abuse There
is a difference between discipline and physical abuse
teaches right from wrong
abuse creates fear
What is physical abuse? Physical
harm or injury to the child
discipline; using a belt or inappropriate physical punishment for the age of the child
Restraining Exposure Forcing
a child against their will
to extreme heat or cold
a child to overeat
What is physical abuse?
Unpredictability of a physical assault. Having no clear boundaries or rules. Child is never sure what behavior will trigger a physical assault.
Lashing out in anger. Caregivers act out of anger. The angrier the adult, the more intense the physical abuse.
Using fear of physical punishment to control behavior. What the child is learning is how to avoid being hit, not how to behave.
Substance abuse also commonly leads to physical abuse
Warning signs of physical abuse in children Unexplained
bruises, welts, or cuts Always watchful and “on alert,” as if waiting for something bad to happen Injuries appear to have a pattern such as marks from a hand or belt Shies away from touch, flinches at sudden movements, or seems afraid to go home Wears inappropriate clothing to cover up injuries, such as long-sleeved shirts on hot days
What is sexual abuse? Exposure
to sexual situations or material Touching or fondling the private body parts of a child Sexual intercourse with a child Having the child touch or fondle the private parts of an adult Seductive touching or kissing a child
Who is at risk? It’s
not just girls who are at risk of sexual abuse. Boys and girls both suffer from sexual abuse
abuse of boys may be under reported due to shame and stigma
Effects of sexual abuse: Creates
guilt and shame Besides physical and emotional damage, sexual abuse causes life time problems Tormented by shame and guilt. Child may feel responsible for the abuse or feel they brought it upon themselves Can lead to self-loathing and sexual problems as they grow older— excessive promiscuity or an inability to have intimate relations Shame makes it very difficult for children to come forward. May worry that others won’t believe them or will be angry at them
Warning signs of sexual abuse in children:
Trouble walking or sitting
Knowledge or interest in sexual acts or seductive behavior
Avoids a specific person, no obvious reason
Refuses to change clothes in front of others or participate in physical activities
Pregnancy under the age of 14
Runs away from home
Tips for talking to an abused child
Avoid denial and remain calm. A common reaction to child abuse is denial and shock. If you display denial, shock or disgust, the child may be afraid and will shut down. Remain reassuring.
Don’t interrogate. Let the child explain to you in his or her own words. Don’t interrogate or ask leading questions. This confuses and flusters the child.
Tips for talking to an abused child Reassure
the child that they did nothing wrong. Reassure the child that you take what is said seriously, and that it is not the child’s fault
comes first. If your safety or the safety of the child may be threatened if you try to intervene, leave it to the professionals
Awareness about child molesters The
belief that a child will be kidnapped and forcibly molested is unlikely Although these incidents do happen, the majority of child molesters are adults who seduce children with subtle intimidation and persuasion, and are known to the child or the parents Sexual predators are scary; however sexual abuse is more common at the hands of someone the child knows and trusts— close relatives and friends
Patterns of behaviors of child molesters He/she
may pretend to be friendly and trustworthy
children feel comfortable by relating to their interests
to have children as friends rather than adult friends
Patterns of behaviors of child molesters May
talk with children as one would talk to an adult in order to equalize the relationship
prefer children in a specific age group and one gender over the other
work or volunteer with programs involving children
try to make friendships; for example, a mom’s boyfriend spending time with a child and talking about feelings for the child and his own loneliness to gain sympathy
Patterns of behaviors of child molesters May
take photographs of victims: dressed, nude, or in sexual acts
collect child erotica and child-adult pornography, fantasize when no victim is available; relive past sexual activities; justify inappropriate sexual behavior; or blackmail victims to keep them from telling
use methods like force, fear, bribery or tricks
Patterns of behaviors of child molesters May
give alcohol or drugs to potential victims to lower inhibitions or gain favor
seek out organizations that support sexual beliefs and practices
offer to babysit or take children on trips in order to manipulate situations to be near or molest children.
Supervise children at all times
Children are not to be left alone in offices or classrooms without adults present
Supervision by a parent of their own children meets the requirements above
Parents should be informed of that supervision before; between and after scheduled classes are the parent’s responsibility
Preventing one-on-one encounters Organizations
need to follow the two person rule
should be told to avoid one on one encounters with adults and instructed where to go in case they are left alone with an adult
Children should be taught that it's okay to say "no" to anyone who tries to harm them and run away to safety
Let the child know that it’s OK to scream if someone is trying to hurt them
Follow the two person rule When
interacting with children who are in attendance there must be at least two (2) caregivers present, one of whom is at least eighteen (18) years of age
means no less than one person in the room itself and one nearby observing
Minimize one on one encounters A
stranger offering a child a ride
stranger asking a child for help
stranger offering candy or money
adult walking a child away to an
isolated area Meeting Closed Out
a minor at Starbucks for coffee
door office meetings with minors
of town field trips/over night events
How do you know if per someone is crossing the line?
person can’t control their anger. May start as a small reprimand but gradually raises their voice until they shouting and yelling.
person feels disconnected. Person feels overwhelmed; does not want to deal with a child’s misbehavior. Person wants to be left alone and for the child to be quiet.
people have expressed concern. Consider carefully what people are saying about that person. Denial is not an uncommon reaction.
Professional help is available Professional
help is available: Breaking the cycle of abuse can be very difficult if the patterns are strongly entrenched.
If a person can’t seem to stop no matter how hard they try, it’s time to get help; be in therapy, take child guidance classes, or take other interventions.
What caregivers should know about self control
Learn how to get your emotions under control. Be aware of your emotions
If a person is temperamental, reactive, or has a “short fuse,” they will have a difficult time getting in touch with their level of emotions
Count to ten, take a deep slow breaths , and think before you act and respond
What caregivers should know about self control Take
care of yourself. You need to rest. Not enough rest and support, or feeling overwhelmed, makes a person more susceptible to anger
causes stress and over the long run will hurt you physically, mentally and emotionally
who are under constant stress, get sick more often, age quicker, and die sooner
Caregivers may need to recognize abusive behavior in themselves Professional help is available….. Call
1-800-4-A-CHILD to find support and resources that can help you break the cycle of abuse
(1-888-773-8368)Stop It Now
Crisis Counseling Help
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
Reporting child abuse If
you suspect child abuse, it’s your responsibility to see that the child gets help
people are reluctant to report child abuse
some of the concerns behind reporting may help put your mind at ease
Concerns about reporting child abuse I
don’t want to interfere in someone else’s family. Child abuse effects are lifelong, affecting relationships, self-esteem, and putting more children at risk. Help break the cycle.
if I break up someone’s home? A report does not mean a child is automatically removed from the home - unless the child is clearly in danger.
Concerns about reporting child abuse They
will know it was me who called. Reporting is anonymous. The child abuser cannot find out who made the report of child abuse.
I have to say It won’t make a difference. Better to be safe than sorry. Even if you don’t see the whole picture, others may have noticed as well, and a pattern can help identify child abuse.
Where do I report violations of child abuse
Your Department Head
Employee Relations Department: 915-831-6630
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services 1-800-252-5400
EL Paso Child Protective Services 915-542-4535 915-629-3321 915-747-4671
Or call the Stop It Now helpline to report any sexual abuse of children at (888) PREVENT - that is, (888) 773-8368
www.americanhumane.org/ www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_abuse www.helpguide.org/.../child_abuse_physical_ emotional_sexual_negl... www.jimhopper.com/abstats www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/whati scan.cfm ://www.clearcreekchapel.org/Documents/Spi ritual_Formation/Child%20Protection%20Policy .pdf)