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Creating Child Safe Environments

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1 Creating Child Safe Environments
Jack McCalmon, Esq. The McCalmon Group, Inc.

2 What is Child Abuse?

3 What is Child Abuse? Child abuse is the physical or psychological mistreatment of a child by his or her parents (including adoptive parents), guardians, or other adults. While this term emphasizes on carrying out wrong acts, a related term is child neglect: not doing what is necessary, negligence. Source:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_abuse Types of child abuse include: Neglect (includes medical neglect) Physical abuse Sexual abuse Emotional maltreatment Other maltreatment as defined by state law

4 What is Child Abuse? An Abuse of Power and Trust

5 What is Child Sexual Abuse?

6 What is Child Sexual Abuse?
Sexual acts engaged in by prepubescent minors and adults. Source: www. wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sexual_abuse Two Elements are required: Sexual activities involving a child; and, An “abusive condition” such as coercion or a large age gap between the participants indicating a lack of consent. Source: Finkelhor, Current Information on Scope and Nature of Child Sexual Abuse, 1994

7 How Prevalent Is Child Abuse?

8 How Prevalent Is Child Abuse?
Reported/Confirmed Abuse 906,000 children reported abused Most from neglect Approximately 90,000 from child sexual abuse Source: Child Maltreatment 2003; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003 Not Reported Child Sexual Abuse Estimated 20% of American women and 5% to 10% of American men experience child sexual abuse Estimated 500,000 child victims per year/ 8.5 million children under the age of 17 Source: Finkelhor, Current Information on Scope and Nature of Child Sexual Abuse, 1994

9 How Prevalent Is Child Sexual Abuse?
CDC says “child maltreatment” is a public health issue Estimated 8.5 million children (1-17 years) sexually abused in U.S. versus estimated 950,000 adults and children with HIV in U.S. HIV Source: 906,000/90,000 confirmed cases of child abuse and child sexual abuse versus 1,214 juvenile kidnappings (>1% of all juvenile crimes) Kidnapping Source: D. Finkelhor and R. Ormrod, Kidnapping of Juveniles: Pattern from NIBRS, June 2000.

10 Why Isn’t Abuse Reported?

11 Why Isn’t Abuse Reported?
Children rarely report sexual abuse 79% deny or are tentative in disclosure 22% recant their disclosure once admitted Source: Sorensen & Snow, 1991 Study Recent studies suggest that 50% to 60% percent of deaths from abuse or neglect are not reported Source: Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities: Statistics and Interventions, NAIC, April 2004, studies performed in Colorado and North Carolina. Only one out of three rapes/sexual assaults are reported Source: Greenfeld, Sex Offenses and Offenders, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997

12 Why Isn’t Abuse Reported?
Child Abuse Fear of: Reprisal Against themselves Against loved ones Destroying the Family Being responsible for the family destruction Being Ignored Child Sexual Abuse Same Fears but add: Being Blamed They brought on the abuse Being Ridiculed Being Caught Using drugs Using alcohol Viewing pornography Losing a Loved One Being Wrong Being Examined Sexual guilt

13 What Are the Harms of Abuse?

14 What Are the Harms of Abuse?
Child Abuse 1,400 children died from neglect/abuse in 2002 Source: Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities: Statistics and Interventions, NAIC, 2004 Child Sexual Abuse Law enforcement statistics show that victims younger than 18 years old constitute: 46% of forcible rapes. 84% of forcible fondling. 79% of forcible sodomy. 75% of sexual assault with an object Source: Snyder, Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident and Offender Characteristics, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000. Suicide rate among boys sexually abused is 1.5 to 14 times higher Source: Pandora’s Box citing Dr. William Holmes. Univ. Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1998.

15 What Are the Harms of Abuse?
Child Abuse One-third of parents who have experienced maltreatment will victimize their own children Source: Child Maltreatment Fact Sheet: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2005), citing Fromm, 2001. 95% of child victimizers report being physically or sexually abused as children Source: Greenfield, Child Victimizers: Violent Offenders and Their Victims, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1996 Child Sexual Abuse 25% of women in state prison report being sexually abused before age 18 Source: Prior Abuse Reported by Inmates and Probationers, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1999. 95% of teenage prostitutes were sexually abused Source: Pandora’s Box citing CCPCA, 1992.

16 What Are the Harms of Abuse?
Child Sexual Abuse 54% of rapes occur before the victim turns 18 Source: Sexual Violence Fact Sheet: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2004), citing Tjaden and Thoennes, 2000. 32,000 pregnancies from rape each year. Source: Sexual Violence Fact Sheet: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2004), citing Holmes, 1996. Women who are raped before the age of 18 are twice as likely to be raped as adults compared to those without a history of abuse. Source: Sexual Violence Fact Sheet: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2004), citing Tjaden and Thoennes, 2000.

17 What Are the Harms of Abuse?
$24.3 Billion in Direct Costs Hospitalization: $6.2 billion Chronic Health Problems: $2.9 billion Mental Health Care: $425 million Child Welfare System: $14.4 billion Law Enforcement: $24 million Judicial System: $341 million $69.9 Billion in Indirect Costs Special Education: $223 million Mental Heath and Health Care: $4.6 billion Juvenile Delinquency: $8.8 billion Lost Productivity: $656 million Adult Criminality: $55 billion Total: $94 Billion Source: Fromm, Total Estimated Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect in the United States, Statistical Evidence, 2001. Chart Sources:

18 What Are the Long-Term Harms of
Sexual Violence?

19 What Are the Long-Term Harms of Sexual Violence?
Depression Suicide Attempted suicide Alienation Post-traumatic stress disorder Eating disorders Sleep disturbances Strained family relationships Divorce High risk sexual behavior Substance abuse Migraines Gynecological and pregnancy complications Gastrointestinal disorders Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder Sources: Child Maltreatment: Fact Sheet, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2005), citing DHHS 2001 and Sexual Violence: Fact Sheet, NCIPC (2004)

20 Do All Victims of Sexual Abuse
Suffer Long-Term Consequences?

21 Do All Victims of Sexual Abuse Suffer Long-Term Consequences?
Most experts believe that children who are abused suffer from some form of trauma Some non-conventional arguments and one study claim that there is less correlation to harm depending on “consent” or that the harm is primarily due to poor family response or family environment Source: Rind et al., A meta-analytic examination of assumed properties of child sexual abuse, Psychological Bulletin, American Psychological Association, 1998, see also,www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rind_et_al. The majority holds that a child can never provide“knowledgeable or informed consent” to an adult

22 Who Are the Likely Victims of Child
Abuse?

23 Who Are the Likely Victims of Child Abuse?
Child Sexual Abuse Girls at a slightly higher risk Girls are more likely victims than boys The younger the child, the greater the risk. Most deaths under age of 4. Peak vulnerability is between ages 7 and 13 Children who have a past history of abuse Children who live apart from their parents Children of homes where spousal abuse is present Children whose parents abuse substances Children of large families and children of single parents Children with disabilities are four to ten times more likely to be abused Sources:Source: Child Maltreatment 2003, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003; Finkelhor & Ormrod, Child Abuse Reported to the Police ,2001 Sources: Finkelhor, Current Information on Scope and Nature of Child Sexual Abuse, 1994; National Resource Center on Child Sexual Abuse, 1992.

24 Males Commit Most Child Abuse?
True or False: Males Commit Most Child Abuse?

25 True or False: Males Commit Most Child Abuse?
Females commit 58.2% of child abuse Source: Child Maltreatment 2003, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003 Child Sexual Abuse Males commit between 80% and 90% of child sexual abuse Source: Finkelhor, Current Information on Scope and Nature of Child Sexual Abuse, 1994 Males commit approximately 96% of sexual assault Source: Snyder, Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident and Offender Characteristics, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000 Some experts suggest that female abuse is under-reported Source: Finkelhor, Current Information on Scope and Nature of Child Sexual Abuse, 1994

26 Parents Commit Most Child Abuse?
True or False: Parents Commit Most Child Abuse?

27 True or False: Parents Commit Most Child Abuse?
Parents commit nearly 80% of child abuse Other relatives commit 6.4% Child Sexual Abuse 75% of child sexual abuse reported involves friends or neighbors Less than 3% of parents are reported to commit child sexual abuse Source: Child Maltreatment 2003, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003 34.2% of persons convicted of sexual assault against juveniles were family members, 58.7% acquaintances and 7% strangers Source: Snyder, Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident and Offender Characteristics, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000 Children Know the Perpetrator More Than 90% of the Time

28 Homosexuals and Pedophiles Commit Most Child Sexual Abuse?
True or False: Homosexuals and Pedophiles Commit Most Child Sexual Abuse?

29 True or False: Homosexuals and Pedophiles Commit Most Child Sexual Abuse?
Most abuse is by heterosexuals Most perpetrators are heterosexual Over 90% are “recognizable heterosexual” Source: Jenny, C., T. Roesler and K. Poyer. "Are Children at Risk for Sexual Abuse by Homosexuals?" Pediatrics. vol. 94, no. 1. Large percentage of abusers have a heterosexual relationship with close relative of the victim Source: National Research Council, Understanding Child Abuse Neglect, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1993. Most abuse is by situational offenders Abuse by pedophiles is between 2-10% Source: Kinsey-Report, Lautmann, Brongersma, Groth Who is a pedophile? Pedophila: A condition in which an adult, usually male, is sexually attracted primarily to pre-pubertal children -- those aged 13 years or under. Ephebophila:A condition in which an adult, usually male, is sexually attracted to young people about the age of puberty. Hebephilia: A condition in which an adult, usually male, is sexually attracted to post-pubertal adolescents (14 to 17). Source:

30 Only Adults Are Considered
True or False: Only Adults Are Considered Sexual Predators?

31 True or False: Only Adults Are Considered Sexual Predators?
Juveniles are estimated to commit 40% of reported sexual assaults against children ages six and under and 39% of sexual assaults against children ages 6 through 11. Source: Snyder, H.N. Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics, U.S. Department of Justice, 2000. Nearly half of the babysitter sex offenders were juveniles. Source: Finkelhor and Ormrod, Crimes Against Children by Babysitters, Juvenile Justice Bulletin, 2001.

32 All Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse
True or False: All Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse Are the Same?

33 True or False: All Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse Are the Same?
Criminal psychology lists three offender classifications: Regressed offenders are primarily attracted to their own age group but are passively aroused by minors (pseudo-pedophiles also referred to as situational offenders) Attraction to children is not recognized or is suppressed They often“act out” on children because boundaries have been compromised because of alcohol, drugs, depression or because no suitable adult is present They may offend because their position of power permits them to do so. Fixated offenders are most often adult pedophiles who are maladaptive to accepted social norms. They develop compatibility and self-esteem issues, stunting their social growth. They often act like children. Most fixated offenders prefer members of the same sex. Only 2-10% of offenders are fixated Sadistic offenders are very rare and inherently violent criminals. They primarily use sexuality as a tool of sadistic suppression and not for sexual satisfaction. Sadistic offenders are not considered pedophiles. Source: www. wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sexual_abuse

34 Sex Offenders Are More Likely
True or False: Sex Offenders Are More Likely to Be Rearrested?

35 True or False: Sex Offenders Are More Likely to Be Rearrested?
3.3% of child molesters released in 1994 were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within three years. 5.3% were arrested for committing other sex crimes, including child sex crimes. Average sentence: 8 years Average served: 3.5 years Source: 5 Percent of Sex Offenders Rearrested For Another Sex Crime within 3 Years of Prison Release, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2003.

36 Preventing Child Abuse?
Strategies for Preventing Child Abuse?

37 Training the Masses Train What works
All personnel that work with children Enforce best practice methods when working with children What works Online training

38 YES, IF YOU USE THE THREE PROTECTION STEPS
WATCH + LISTEN + ACT! = SAFE KIDS

39 PREVENTION STEP ONE: WATCH

40 WATCH for Victim Red Flags
Physical Signs of Child Victims of Physical Abuse Bruising and Welts Broken bones Burns Cuts Bites Fading bruises after being away from school Physical Signs of Child Neglect Lacks needed medical or dental care, immunizations, or glasses Consistently dirty or has severe body odor Lacks sufficient clothing for the weather Source: Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect: Signs and Symptoms, NAIC, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003

41 WATCH for Victim Red Flags
Physical signs of sexual abuse May show same signs of physical abuse Other physical signs: Vaginal or rectal bleeding Genital pain Itching, swelling or discharge Difficulty with bowel movements Painful urination Reoccurring complaints of stomachaches or headaches Trauma to breasts, buttocks, lower abdomen or extremities Sexual diseases Pregnancy Trouble walking or sitting Self-mutilation Source: Id. and Finkel, M.A., Giardino, A.P. Medical Evaluation of Child Sexual Abuse: A Practical Guide, Sage Publications, 2001

42 WATCH for Victim Red Flags
Behavioral Signs of Neglect Is frequently absent from school Begs or steals food or money Abuses alcohol or other drugs States that there is no one at home to provide care Behavioral Signs of Physical Abuse Is frightened of parents Protests or cries when it is time to go home Often absent from school Shrinks at the approach of adults Reports injury by a parent or another adult caregiver Source: Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect: Signs and Symptoms, NAIC, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003

43 WATCH for Victim Red Flags
Behavioral Signs of Child Sexual Abuse Victim Extreme changes in behavior Eating disorders Withdrawal Aggressiveness Suddenly refuses to change for gym or participate in physical activities Regression to infantile behavior Multiple personalities Delinquent behavior Falling grades Poor concentration Hypervigilance Source: Id. and Finkel, M.A., Giardino, A.P. Medical Evaluation of Child Sexual Abuse: A Practical Guide, Sage Publications, 2001:Fact Sheet: Child Sexual Abuse, Prevent Child Abuse America, 1999 Behavioral Signs of Child Sexual Abuse Victim (cont.) Reports nightmares or bedwetting Shows bizarre, sophisticated or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior Touches other children, teachers or adults in a sexual manner Runs away Poor hygiene Depression Unusual attraction to or fear of adults

44 WATCH for Abuser Red Flags
Behavioral Signs of Parents and adult caregivers who physically abuse their children: Offer conflicting, unconvincing or no explanation for a child’s injury Describe the child as “bad” or “evil” Uses harsh physical discipline Have history of abuse Behavioral Signs of Parents and adult caregivers that neglect their children: Appear indifferent to their children Seem apathetic or depressed Behave irrationally or in a bizarre manner Abuse drugs or alcohol Source: Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect: Signs and Symptoms, NAIC, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003

45 WATCH for Abuser Red Flags
Behavioral Signs of Parents and other adult caregivers who sexually abuse their children: Unduly protective of the child Severely limit the child’s contact with other children, especially of the opposite sex Secretive Isolated Jealous or controlling with family members Source: Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect: Signs and Symptoms, NAIC, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003

46 WATCH for Abuser Red Flags
Strong patriarchal relationship or familial environment Excessive talk about sexual activities of children or teens Excessive masturbation Excessive talk about sexual fantasies about children Encouragement of secrets in a child Viewing of child pornography Requests of adult partners to dress or act like a child during sex Excessive time spent with children or teens versus with adults Identification of children with sexual slang terms Sources: Sexual Violence Fact Sheet: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2004); Preventing Child Sexual Abuse, Prevent Child Abuse America, 2005 Behavioral Signs of other relatives and acquaintances who are sexually violent/abusive toward children: Alcohol and drug use Coercive sexual fantasies Impulsive and antisocial tendencies Preference for impersonal sex Hyper-masculinity Hostility toward women Childhood history of sexual or physical abuse Witnessed family violence Association with sexually aggressive and delinquent peers Emotionally unsupportive familial environments

47 WATCH for Abuser Red Flags
A significant warning sign is a desire to have a children away from safe adults Safe adults must not be present if the crime is to be committed To meet this goal: An abuser must select a victim The conditions for abuse must be right An abuser must “groom” a parent or caregiver to have time with the victim away from safe adults

48 WATCH for Abuser Red Flags
Selecting a Victim Offender selects victim candidates that: Abuser has a physical attraction to Do not shy away from touches, including inappropriate touches Are needy for love and affection Troubled families Single parents Will not tell or will not be believed Troubled children Children with disabilities

49 WATCH for Abusive Conditions
Abusive Conditions exist when: The child’s partner has a large age or maturational advantage over the child; or The child’s partner is in a position of authority or in a caretaking relationship with the child; or The activities are carried out against the child using force or trickery. Source: Finkelhor, Current Information on Scope and Nature of Child Sexual Abuse, 1994

50 WATCH for Abusive Conditions
The Internet Provides unsafe adults access to children outside parental control Boundaries are abandoned or compromised Low chance of being caught 1 in 5 youths receives a sexual approach or solicitation over the Internet 1 in 33 were asked to meet a predator in some location or received calls, correspondence, money or gifts from the predator Only 25% minors propositioned reported the approach to a parent Source: Internet Crimes Against Children, U.S. Department of Justice, 2004 citing 1999 Finkelhor Study

51 WATCH for Abuser Red Flags
What is “grooming”? To prepare, to make ready Type of grooming Community Persons of power or respect can groom a school, church or community to trust them Family Building trust with the family and the victim’s circle of safe adults Victim Building trust with the victim Preparing the victim for the crime Keeping the crime a secret

52 WATCH for Abuser Red Flags
Grooming-Building trust with parents/caregivers Buying gifts for the family Spending an inordinate amount of time with the family and the child Showing an unusual interest in the child, while possibly ignoring other children Asking about the child’s grades Buying gifts or gives money to the child without consent Offering to watch the child Seeking to take the child on trips Offering to tutor the child Providing the child with special treatment not provided other children Grooming-Building trust with the victim Acting like a child, talks like a child & does childish things Ignoring or bending the rules of the parents and caregivers Spending time with the victim than with other children or adults Contradicting the caregivers to the victim Taking pictures of the victim or of other children not their own

53 WATCH for Abuser Red Flags
Grooming- Preparing the victim for the crime Courting the victim Buys jewelry, clothes and expensive gifts Touching the victim Will the victim allow him/her to touch their “private parts”? Will the victim touch them? For young children convincing the victim that the sexual act is a way of expressing love or is a “good thing” Providing drugs and alcohol and shows pornography Tries to arouse or make the victim complacent Taking video or pictures of the child nude or engaged in sexual acts Grooming-Keeping the crime a secret Asking the victim to keep sexual acts secret Telling the victim that what they did was not wrong Convincing the victim that he/she is to blame Threatening the victim if they tell by: Threatening the child, parents or pets Offering to disclose that the victim took drugs, alcohol or watched pornography Taking away gifts or privileges Threatening to leave the child or not love the child Denying the charges, claiming a mistake or that the victim is lying

54 PREVENTION STEP TWO: LISTEN

55 LISTEN to Children Children rarely declare their abuse or their fears openly. To learn more: Listen, listen and listen again Ask questions and solicit your child’s opinion about: Unknown adults (neighbors, relatives, friends of parents) Unknown juveniles (babysitters, friends) Unknown places and events (camps, team events) Listen to how a child describes a place, person or event Listen to why your child may like or not like a place, person or event Listen to your child’s opinion

56 LISTEN to Children Substantiated versus unsubstantiated reports of abuse An unsubstantiated report of abuse does not mean the report is intentionally false There may not be enough proof The report may be too vague 57.7% of child abuse reports are unsubstantiated versus 26.4% substantiated Believe your child Less than 1% of claims of child abuse are intentionally false Source: Child Maltreatment 2003, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003 DO NOT: Argue with the child Blame the child Become angry in front of the child DO: Show support Guarantee your help Confirm your child’s safety Reaffirm your love

57 PREVENTION STEP THREE: ACT!

58 ACT! to Educate your Children
Teach your child about his/her body parts Teach your child what are and are not safe touches Teach your child who are safe adults Teach your child not to fear telling you when someone touches them unsafely Teach your child who are the safe adults in his or her life Teach your older children about the dangers of abuse Talk about news and information about the problem

59 ACT! to Safeguard your Children
Monitor the Computer Educate your children about Internet predators Place filters to prevent pornography and chat room use Place computers in the family room Everyone has access Create community address

60 ACT! to Safeguard your Children
Monitor Interaction with Unknown/Unsafe Adults DO NOT: Allow an unknown or unsafe adult or juvenile be alone with your children Allow your child to be in the house of an unknown or unsafe adult alone 75% of violent victimizations of children take place in the either the victim’s or the offender’s home. Source: Greenfield, Child Victimizers: Violent Offenders and Their Victims, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1996

61 ACT! to Safeguard your Children
Monitor Interaction with Unknown/Unsafe Adults DO NOT Allow trips, school-sponsored or otherwise, unless there is sufficient adult participation Allow your child to ride in car alone with unknown adult(s) Allow meetings with unknown or unsafe adults without your attendance or the attendance of another safe adult Allow acceptance of money or gratuity from unsafe/unknown adults

62 ACT! to Become a Safe Adult
Do: Hug and hold children, but do so in a proper manner and where others can see you Show respect by not being alone with another person’s child in your home or other isolated place Check your surroundings including knowing who are the registered sex offenders in your neighborhood Do volunteer to help with children, but only if there are other adults present If you work with children do: Practice “open access” Your physical interaction with children can be viewed by other safe adults or is accessible, without notice, by other safe adults Monitor all places where an act of abuse can occur Empty rooms Isolated areas inside and outside Let other adults know when their interaction with children is unsafe Perform background checks on any employees/volunteers who have access to children

63 ACT! to Report Suspicions of Abuse
All adults are mandatory reporters The reporting duty is to the “individual” and not the employer May make the report in writing or call Failure to report is a misdemeanor Making reports known to be false at the time of making the report is illegal Immunity from criminal and civil liability is granted to any person who in good faith and exercising due care makes a report Reports are confidential No information will be released disclosing the reporter unless with a court order and good cause shown Source: Title 10 Sections 7103, 7105, 7107 and 7108 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

64 Screen Screen all personnel for child abuse and sex crimes What works
Criminal background checks Check their working background with children What works Extensive background checks with old employers What doesn’t work Inexpensive web-based background checks

65 Educate Employees and personnel should learn about abuse on a continual basis States should make child protection a mission What does work Web-based platforms

66 Monitor Reports of Abuse
Put systems in place to manage claims of abuse Intake Investigate Internal External Repair and Protect Training Critical Train intake personnel Train investigators Train managers and supervisors on how to manage the problem

67 Creating Child Safe Environments
Jack McCalmon The McCalmon Group Inc. Titus,Hillis, Reynolds, Love, Dickman & McCalmon, LLC For more information send:


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