Katie Wallace Dixon State 4-H 4-H Volunteer Training
Child Abuse Prevention & Detection 4-H Volunteer Training
Definition of Child Abuse in South Carolina Child abuse occurs when the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child's welfare: Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical or mental injury or engages in acts or omissions that present a substantial risk of physical or mental injury to the child, including injuries sustained as a result of excessive corporal punishment -Physical injury means death or permanent or temporary disfigurement or impairment of any bodily organ or function.
Possible Signs Unexplained (or poorly explained) injuries. Bruises in the shape of objects, cigarette burns or bite marks should raise particular concerns. Changes in behavior (suddenly withdrawn, angry, aggressive, anxious or depressed) Regressing to earlier behaviors (such as thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, fear of the dark or strangers) Fear of going home Change in appetite, or signs of a sudden eating disorder Risk taking behaviors Wary of adults Uncomfortable when other children cry, and generally controls own crying
Normal vs. Not Normal Injuries Normal Children who run and play frequently fall, trip and run into things. The areas children frequently scrape or bruise include: Knees Elbows Forehead Hands Chin Nose Not Normal 70% of non accidental injuries occur in these areas. The primary areas for abuse include: Upper, middle and lower back Back of neck Buttocks Back of leg and knees Back of arms and hands (areas that may be injured when the child tries to defend her/himself)
Definition of Neglect in South Carolina Neglect Citation: Ann. Code § 63-7-20 Child neglect occurs when the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child's welfare fails to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education as required by law; supervision appropriate to the child's age and development; or health care even though financially able to do so or offered financial or other reasonable means to do so and the failure to do so has caused or presents a substantial risk of causing physical or mental injury.
Possible Signs of Neglect Begs for or hoards food States frequent/continual absence of parent or guardian Frequently dirty or not bathed Has unattended physical problems Shows extreme dependence or detachment Frequently hungry or inappropriately dressed Engages in delinquent behavior, such as prostitution or stealing
Examples of Neglect Failure to provide adequate food, shelter, and clothing appropriate to the climatic and environmental conditions Failure to provide, whether intentional or otherwise, supervision or a reliable person(s) to provide child care Leaving a child alone for an excessive period of time (given the child's age and cognitive abilities) The person responsible for the child's care displays erratic or impaired behavior Recognizing the child's need but failing to provide the child with emotional nurturance
Definition of Sexual Abuse in South Carolina Sexual Abuse/Exploitation Citation: Ann. Code § 63-7-20 Child sexual abuse occurs when the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child's welfare commits or allows to be committed against the child a sexual offense as defined by the laws of this State or engages in acts or omissions that present a substantial risk that a sexual offense as defined in the laws of this State would be committed against the child.
Video on Youth Service Organizations The following video shows the importance of being knowledgeable about child abuse while being part of an organization such as 4-H. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv88X2LcnP0
Child Sexual Abuse: Facts you need to know! 1 in 3 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. 1 in 5 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. 30% of sexual abuse is never reported. Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children age 17 and under. 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way. 38% of the sexual abusers of boys are female. (Statistics found on LaurensKids.org)
Signs of Sexual Abuse The following video shows the possible signs of sexual abuse in children. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ykth8k2J8g#at=4 7
Possible Signs of Sexual Abuse Difficulty walking or sitting Demonstrates unusual sexual knowledge/behavior above developmental level Shows extreme compliance or defiance Sudden reluctance to change near others (for activities such as gym) Reported nightmares or bedwetting Sudden change in appetite Suddenly avoids a certain adult(s) Experiences pain when urinating Signs of eating disorders Exhibits promiscuity
Child Sexual Abuse: The Predator Predators often target children with obvious vulnerabilities: A child who feels unloved/unpopular Has family problems Spends time alone and unsupervised Lacks confidence and self esteem Is isolated from peers
Possible Signs of a Predator “Grooming” is where the abuser: Identifies and targets the victim Gains trust and access Plays a role in the child’s life Isolates the child Creates a secrecy around the relationship Initiates sexual contact (starting with arms around the shoulder, pat on the knee, etc.) Controls the relationship
Possible Signs of a Predator Offers to play games, give rides, buy treats or gifts, etc. Always offers a sympathetic ear (“Your parents and friends don’t understand you? Well, I do.”) Tries to fill a void in the child’s life Is unusually protective of the child or severely limits the child’s contact with other children Exhibits jealousy when youth would rather spend time with others
Do’s and Don’ts of Responding DO Immediately tell the child you believe them. Tell them they were right to tell you, and were brave to do so. Acknowledge that it is difficult talk about this Tell the child that they are not responsible and did not deserve it Ensure that the child feels safe following disclosure DON’T Panic or show that you are shocked. REMAIN CALM! Never give the impression that you might blame the child. Don’t ask: “Why did you let him?”, “what were you doing there anyways?” or “why didn’t you tell me before?”. Don’t promise that you won’t tell anyone if the child asks you to keep it a secret Don’t ask intrusive questions. Listen but don’t push for more answers.
Mandated Reporters in South Carolina Professionals Required to Report Citation: Ann. Code § 63-7-310 The following professionals are required to report: Physicians, nurses, dentists, optometrists, medical examiners, or coroners Employees of county medical examiner's or coroner's offices Any other medical, emergency medical services, mental health, or allied health professionals Members of the clergy, including Christian Science practitioners or religious healers School teachers, counselors, principals, assistant principals, or school attendance officers Social or public assistance workers, substance abuse treatment staff, or child care worker in a child care center or foster care facility Foster parents Police or law enforcement officers or juvenile justice workers Undertakers, funeral home directors, or employees of a funeral home Persons responsible for processing films or computer technicians Judges Volunteer non-attorney guardians ad litem serving on behalf of the South Carolina Guardian Ad Litem Program or the Richland County CASA
How to Report If you have reason to believe a child may be or has been abused or neglected, contact local law enforcement. If you do not have the number for local law enforcement, call 911. After reporting to authorities, call Pre- Collegiate Programs Office at 864- 656-5535. The office will follow up as necessary with appropriate agencies.
Failure to Report Failure to Report Ann. Code § 63-7-410 Any mandatory reporter or any person required to perform any other function under the reporting laws, who knowingly fails to do so, or a person who threatens or attempts to intimidate a witness, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined up to $500, be imprisoned for up to 6 months, or both.
Lessons Learned from Penn State: The Importance of Reporting to the Correct Source. March 1, 2002: Grad Assistant Mike McQueary witnesses Sandusky in the showers with a young boy, raping him. March 2, 2002: McQueary goes to Paterno’s house and tells him that he witnessed rape of a young boy. Paterno testified that McQueary was “very upset.” March 3, 2002: Paterno then tells Athletic Director Tim Curley that McQueary had seen Jerry Sandusky in the showers “fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.” They decided to take Sandusky’s locker room keys away, but never contacted authorities. Curley testified during the trial that he had only been told that Sandusky was "horsing around" with an underage boy. It went from “rape” to “horsing around.” If McQueary had gone straight to police, this would have not happened when it was time to testify.
Protecting Yourself Staff should always abide by the following: Actively avoid being alone with a child. Always stay within view of other people. Never pat, brush against or touch a child anywhere near a private area. Never physically punish a child, even by ordering strenuous activity (such as push-ups). Never allow a child in a private staff area, including personal vehicles. Never discuss romantic life with a child (yours or theirs). Report ANY suspicious, inappropriate or uncomfortable activity immediately.
Laurenskids.org Childwelfare.gov Nationalchildrensalliance.org Fcasv.org Cnn.com/2012/01/29/justice/sandusky-witness-words References Used