What is Child Sexual Abuse? When an adult involves a child in ANY sexual act, including: ▪ Fondling ▪ Exhibitionism ▪ Voyeurism ▪ Exposure to pornography ▪ Internet “chatting” around sexual topics The majority of the time the perpetrator “grooms” the victim and the family, using strategies that make the family feel the child is safe.
The Statistics are Shocking 1 in 4 girls sexually abused before age 18 1 in 6 boys sexually abused before age 18 Median age is 9 years old Most never tell 39 million survivors of sexual abuse in America today
In 90% of sexual abuse cases, the child is familiar with the offender. Only 10% of offenders are complete strangers. Offenders intentionally seek organizations that provide programs for children and adolescents.
Drug and alcohol dependence (70-80%) Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety (80 – 90%) Suicidal thoughts/attempts (20-30%) Difficulty forming long-term relationships Eating Disorders Sexual risk taking that leads to teen pregnancy (60%) preceded by sexual abuse) and sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS Prostitution (>90% have been sexually abused) Delinquency
A Staggering 88,000 boys And 133,000 girls Will be sexually abused before they reach their 18 th birthday! 221,000 children or about the size of Charleston and Columbia Combined (227,000)
31 year old High School Teacher 34 year old Middle School Coach
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24 year old Middle School Teacher 30 year old High School Teaching Assistant High School Girls Basketball Coach 32 year old High School Art Teacher
Debra Lafave 25 year old Middle School Reading Teacher 36 year old Elementary Teacher
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Mary Kay Laturno 34 year old Elementary Teacher 37 year old First Grade Teacher 40 year old High School Band Director
Lizotte has sexual affairs with band students over a period of several years in District “A”! Parents came forward to the Board of Education and want something done. ▪ Board of Education tells Lizotte to get out of town and they won’t press charges. ▪ Lizotte leaves the community and moves 100 miles away to a different city.
Lizotte is hired by another school district (District “B”) and no one at the previous school (District “A”) informs them of his past! The sexual affairs with band students begin again. ▪ After two years, more parents come forward. ▪ Lizotte loses his job and charges are filed against him Lizotte is sentenced to 15 years in prison for child sexual abuse.
District B is sued by the parents! District B loses law suit and settles with parents for $XXX,XXX District B sues District A District A loses law suit and settles with District B for $X,XXX,XXX
- Archdiocese of Los Angles recently settled lawsuits totaling $80 million. - As a result of poorly screening Scout Leaders, Boys Scouts of America has paid more than $15 million to settle cases out of court. - The dioceses of Tucson, Az., Portland, Or., and Spokane, Wa. have filed for bankruptcy protection after being hit by lawsuits. Lawsuits against the Catholic Church regarding child sexual abuse have cost hundreds of millions of dollars. - Other organizations have paid out millions to victims and families because of coaches sexual misconduct. In a 1990 case in Lake Washington, WA the settlement was $2.3 million.
Consciousness Create an intention for what kind of life we want for our children to have.
Choice Our choices determine the quality and satisfaction in our lives
Personal Power Personal power is the ability to trust yourself and take action, even when you don’t know the outcome.
Relentless Compassion Relentless = Insistence on accountability Compassion = The undeniable human connection
Learn the Facts Realities – not trust – should influence your decisions regarding children
Minimize Opportunity If you eliminate or reduce one- adult/one-child situations, you’ll dramatically lower the risk of child sexual abuse
Talk About It Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it
Stay Alert Don’t expect obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused. Signs are often there but you’ve got to spot them
Make a Plan Learn where to go, whom to call, and how to react
Act on Suspicions The future well-being of a child is at stake
Get Involved Volunteer, teach others, and financially support organizations that fight the tragedy of child sexual abuse
You still have power and you still have a choice. By breaking the cycle of silence, you begin to restore your personal power and reclaim your wholeness. In breaking the cycle of silence, you become part of the community of adults who honor and protect children.
ASK THE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES THAT ARE PROVIDING YOU WITH STUDENT TEACHERS AND TEACHERS TO TEACH THEIR STUDENTS ABOUT CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE PRIOR TO HE/SHE BEGINNING THEIR STUDENT TEACHING EXPERIENCE.
Begin with training Thanks to Dr. Rex and the Sexual Abuse Task force all schools will begin to train teachers in the prevention of CSA. Develop School Board Policies that address: Mandatory screenings of all personnel including teaching assistants, parent volunteers, volunteer coaches, student teachers etc. Convince School Board Members to participate in “Stewards of Children” training.
Develop policies that address “one adult – one child” situations. Do a building audit of “hot zones” Windows in all doors, including counselors, administrators, etc. Security cameras in areas where there is little access. At least one time per year present “Stewards of Children” programs to PTA/PTO groups.
EVERY TEACHER SHOULD BE TOLD EVERY YEAR THAT HAVING A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A STUDENT REGARDLESS OF THEIR AGE IS CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE!
TRAIN EVERY EMPLOYEE AND VOLUNTEER IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THE INDENTIFICATION AND PREVENTION OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
IF YOUR SCHOOL OR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION IS IN NEED OF TRAINING ABOUT CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE CONTACT: Dr. Mark W. Mitchell Educational Leadership Winthrop University firstname.lastname@example.org http://faculty.winthrop.edu/mitchellm
Darkness to Light 7 Radcliffe Street Suite 200 Charleston, SC 29403 WWW.DARKNESS2LIGHT.ORG (843) 965-4444