Presentation on theme: "Keeping Our Children Safe from Sexual Abuse. HB 1041 This bill requires districts to adopt and implement a policy addressing sexual abuse of children,"— Presentation transcript:
Keeping Our Children Safe from Sexual Abuse
HB 1041 This bill requires districts to adopt and implement a policy addressing sexual abuse of children, and to educate faculty, students and parents about this issue.
This issue.. …. is not new. Districts have worked with students, families, law enforcement and community resources for many years.
Signs and Symptoms Inappropriate knowledge of sexual acts for child’s age Avoidance of certain people Withdrawal from the family Becoming either very aggressive or very passive Onset of self-destructive behaviors such as alcohol or drug abuse, self-mutilation, promiscuity or attempted suicide
And… STD’s or pregnancy, especially under the age of 14 Physical trauma or physical symptoms such as urinary tract infections. Spending a great deal of time on the computer – especially at night – quickly minimizing screen or cutting off the monitor when an adult enters the room Pornography on the computer (or in print)
Finally….. The child may receive phone calls, emails or text messages from someone the parents don’t know Child may have a cell phone, money or gifts the parent didn’t give him/her.
These may also be symptoms of other problems, so be careful of jumping to conclusions. Are there several of these symptoms ? Is there opportunity? Don’t hesitate to use professional community resources to figure out what is going on.
So, How Do We Protect our Children? Communication is key! Help your child learn to set boundaries Develop in your child the need to tell responsible adults if they are ever uncomfortable with something anyone is doing or saying Help younger children understand “good touch” vs. “bad touch”. We can help with that.
Also…. Give your child permission to say “no” to an adult if uncomfortable – even adults they know Again – stress the need to tell and not keep secrets! Tell your child NEVER to meet someone in person he/she met on-line unless you are there.
If the unthinkable happens… Immediately notify the police Let the child tell the story in his/her own words – don’t give him the words. This can damage the case Believe your child Counseling is paramount!!
What if the child is not yours? If the child tells you what has happened, call law enforcement and/or CPS Depending on who the perpetrator is, go with the child to talk to the parents. Again, let the child use his own words. Let the child know you believe him/her
What if you just suspect this is happening, but are not sure? Be careful about questioning the child Keep your eyes and ears open You may want to touch base with the school counselor There’s a fine line between protecting the child and ruining the life of an innocent adult, but keep the child foremost in your mind.
Statistics 55% of teens have profiles online 47% post pictures online 63% own cell phones 97% game online
Technology Is everywhere Is good – and bad Is constantly changing Is here to stay
This is why parent-child communication is a must Open communication is key in your children knowing your expectations, and your knowing what they are thinking/doing. Talk about values Talk about what is personal information Talk about respect– for themselves and others Learn not to overreact if they come to you for help
Talk to your child about… NEVER sharing their password What is personal information Not “visiting” with someone on the computer they don’t know Letting you know if something happens to make them uncomfortable Never meeting someone personally that they met online
Social Networking MySpace and Facebook are to two most popular Remind your children whatever they post can be copied and show up other places What they post, can often be tracked Keep set to private – and only let in friends they actually know.
Predators As we’ve seen on TV – can be anyone May pose as someone the child’s own age Often focus on child’s insecurities to “groom” the child Sometimes hide behind the scenes and do not reveal themselves.
Caution your child about.. Revealing too much information (even pictures can do this) Exaggerating their age or lie about who they are Accepting “friends” they don’t know personally Allowing friends to post information about them on their pages
Know your child’s online friends You insist on knowing the friends your child “hangs out with”. Remember, they are also hanging out with on-line friends, who could be the ones you never know. Make a point to talk to your child about who their online friends are.