Many parents today worry about the risk that their children may be sexually abused. There are things that parents can do that may reduce the risk that their children will be assaulted. You will find ideas in this article.
John Couey’s trial for the sexual battery and murder of Jessica Lunsford has been postponed due to trial complications. The archdiocese of Dublin recently admitted that more than 100 Catholic priests are alleged to have sexually abused at least 350 children since the 1940's. In the US several teachers have been arrested for having sex with their teenaged students. Desperate Housewives star, Teri Hatcher, revealed she was sexually abused by an uncle as a child, but kept it secret for many years. A respiratory therapist admitted to molesting disabled children in San Diego.
Internationally, street children have been pulled into the "sex trade" for centuries. There are travel agents that specialize in trips to third world countries to have sex with minors for a price.
Many want to know if there is more sexual abuse today than years ago or are we just more aware of the problem. Sexual abuse has been around since the beginning of time. People are more aware of the problem and more willing to talk about it than ever before. Additionally, more active prosecution and media attention makes it seem like there has been an explosion of sexual abuse. While, it is very widespread, our awareness is more heightened than ever before.
Now that we are more aware of the problem as a society, we need to take steps to protect children from further abuse.
1. TEACHING CHILDREN SKILLS. Teaching children about "good touch, bad touch," and making it acceptable to talk to a trusted adult about anything that scares or confuses a child is an important step. We need to look at how to teach our kids how to recognize unacceptable behavior and to say "no" to an adult who is doing bad things to them and to run and get help if they can. We need to make it acceptable to talk about and report sexual abuse to an authority figure. When movie stars, like Teri Hatcher, come forward with their stories, it makes it easier for others to come forward, as well.
2. TEACH CHILDREN THAT THE DANGER MAY COME FROM A FAMILY MEMBER, NEIGHBOR, HANDYMAN, GROCERY CLERK, SCOUT LEADER, OR STANGER. Bad touch is bad touch and no one gets to do it to our bodies. Go to a grown up for help. Children can be confused because a neighbor, teacher, family member, etc. is suposed to be someone they can trust. You can tell a child, "when you are not sure about whether something a grown up is doing is OK, ask another grown up to help you."
3. THERAPY READILY AVAILABLE FOR VICTIMS. All victims of sexual abuse should have easy access to counseling services. School based mental health programs can make therapists more readily available to students when they are troubled. Adults should be knowledgeable about the signs that children are in need of counseling.
4. WHAT CAN PARENTS DO? If parents discover that their children have been abused, they need to do two things. They need to contact the police or department of social services in the county where they live. They will investigate the alleged abuse. Parents need to get counseling for their children and their family to help them cope with what has happened. Children need a lot of support when they have been abused. They need to know that what has happened is not their fault and that they will heal from it in time.
5. ASSESSING RISK OF RE-OFFENDING AND MATCHING SECURITY TO RISK. Not all sex offenders are at equal risk for re-offending. The average re-offense rate is about 14%, however that does not inform us about the difference in rates between low and high risk offenders. Low risk offenders rarely re-offend, while high risk psychopathic offenders re-offend at a much higher rate. We can distinguish between the low and high risk offenders with a great deal of accuracy. Actuarial tools can determine which offenders are at high or low risk of re-offending and assist in determining level of supervision needed. While no actuarial tool is 100% accurate, making these judgments through clinical judgment alone is only slightly better than chance, depending on the skill of the clinician. Despite this, clinical judgment about risk of future sexual offenses is still used in Courts and Parole and Probation offices in some jurisdictions. Identifying risk allows society to take proper precautions to protect its children. Using the best science available to determine risk is best practice. Once risk is determined, decisions about incarceration, level of community supervision, conditions of probation or parole can be made. Insist that your jurisdiction uses evidence based practices and the best research has to offer.
6. APPROPRIATE SEX OFFENDER SPECIFIC TREATMENT FOR ALL OFFENDERS. Appropriate therapy can reduce the risk of future offending as was noted in a recent article by the nationally renowned expert from Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Fred Berlin. The goal should be, "No more victims." Assessment and appropriate therapy should be available to and mandatory for every convicted sex offender, whether incarcerated or in the community. You are a citizen. You have a voice. Insist that there is sex offender assessment and treatment in your jurisdiction and that it is mandatory for all offenders. It is the only technique known to reduce future recidivism.
7. IDENTIFYING SEXUAL OFFENDING TO IMPROVE PREVENTION. Understanding the roots and characteristics of sexual offending points us in the direction of effective prevention and treatment. A portion of adult sex offenders were abused, neglected, or exposed to domestic violence as children. Therefore, prevention of future sexual will involve efforts to stop childhood abuse, neglect, and domestic violence and treat the victims of these events. Insist, through your legislative process, that sufficient resources are put into protecting the children of your community from abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence.
8. RESEARCH. We must continue to research prevention, assessment, and effective treatment of sexual offending. Those treating sex offenders must be appropriately trained in the most up to date methods. Only in that way will there be "NO MORE VICTIMS." Legislatively support sex offender research in your area by calling your legislators.
9. STREET CHILDREN. There are millions of abandoned street children around the world. They have to survive any way they can. Many are pulled into the sex trade because they have no other way to feed, cloth, or house themselves. Ways to house, clothe, feed, educate, and provide health care for these children must be found. As some of these street children mature into adulthood, they will abuse other street children, become criminal, and be recruited by terrorist groups. If you want to stop terrorism and the sex trade in the future, Support aid to poor, unprotected children, wherever they are in the world.
10. PARENTS, EDUCATE YOURSELVES. It is important for parents to educate themselves on the subtle ways that sex offenders deceive and “groom” parents and children to gain their trust. Sex Offenders find ways to put themselves in a position of trust with parents and children. They can be youth leaders, sports coaches, priests, the people that run the amusement rides, or teachers. Find out the subtle ways they trick people into trusting them and know the red flags to look for. Sex offenders are often very slick and are very good at fooling people into thinking they are trustworthy, but there is always some little thing that is just a little odd. If a grown man has lots of kid toys and video games in his house and all the neighborhood kids go there every day, and he doesn't seem to have any adult friends or activities, this is somebody to check out closely.
11. PARENTS, DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR CHILDREN ARE AND WHO THEY ARE WITH? Help to chaperone school, community, and church activities for youth. There should always be more than one adult with any group of children. Adults should confront any suspicious activity of another adult. Don’t just let it slide. It’s difficult, but these things need to be discussed openly. Secrecy and difficulty talking about these topics are a sex offender’s best friends.
This is not meant to add to the fear that is presently raging about sexual offending, but to start the dialogue about what we can do? We need to educate ourselves and take action to protect our children and, as you can see, there are many ways to do that.
Web Site: Dr. Kathy Seifert
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|Reviewed by Richard Orey
|This is a great article! From my professional and personal background, I'd like to pick out two special points you make, Kathy:
"Sex offenders are often very slick and are very good at fooling people into thinking they are trustworthy."
"Secrecy and difficulty talking about these topics are a sex offender's best friends."
This is an article that every parent and guardian should read at least once. And let's include grandparents, too, who often are the first persons children confide in, sometimes simply because the grandparent is there and takes the time to listen and prod with a question or two.
You've given us all an outstanding tool for child safety!
|Reviewed by DARAGRA Phonekyaw
|"11 ways to protect our children from Sexual Abuse "
These ways are very useful for every family to learn and apply useful ways and keep save their cildren up from Sexual Abuse and other Dangers and also this article need to pass to all of communities to lean and cooperating for this protection project in this events over the world.
I am here attached 2 articles from The trumpet Magazine that for sharing knowledge for all of parents and all of people over the world.
"U.S. Courts: Defenders of Porn"
A U.S. district judge has ruled against the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (copa), designed to protect children from online pornography.
Judge Lowell Reed Jr. argued: “[P]erhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection.” In other words, if the ruling were upheld, it might become marginally more difficult for adults to access pornographic content and much more difficult for children (abcnews.com, March 22).
The plaintiffs against copa ranged from homosexual newspapers to so-called “sex educators” who feel they should be able to disseminate explicit pictures for educational purposes, and from artists who portray nude content to bookstores that may offer adult-only content—in other words, exactly the sort of people and organizations many would like not to influence their children with pornographic material.
Lest you worry that some of these organizations’ rights have already been trampled, rest assured that copa was never enforced. Thanks to these plaintiffs, copa has been in legal limbo from its inception and has been under a temporary injunction upheld by the Supreme Court since 2004. Not one porn enthusiast or unsuspecting child was restricted by copa.
This is not the first time a U.S. court has struck down laws that protect children from pornography. In 1997, the Supreme Court declared the Communications Decency Act unconstitutional, specifically stating that prohibiting “patently offensive display” violated the First Amendment (cnetnews.com, June 26, 1997). In 2002, the high court struck down the 1996 Child Pornography Prevention Act, giving the okay to “virtual” child pornography (never mind that modern technology allows simulations that would be indistinguishable from the real thing).
We cannot rely on the court system to protect our children. Nor can we rely on the government. In this latest case, an attorney for the government argued that it is unreasonable to “expect all parents to shoulder the burden to cut off every possible source of adult content for their children, rather than the government’s addressing the problem at its source.”
The attorney correctly identifies the government’s responsibility, but where the government has failed, parents must step in to close the breach. Installing a filter is one step you can take to protect your children (internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com), but there is much more you can and should do. Don’t allow your child to be on the Internet in another room behind closed doors. Proverbs 29:15 warns that “a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.” Be aware of the websites or chat rooms your child is visiting. Ask the child, but also learn how to check the Internet history files on your computer. As the parent, you have the responsibility and the right to know what your children are doing on the Internet, and an obligation to take steps to protect their minds. For more tips on how to do that, visit theTrumpet.com to read our July 2005 article “Protect Your Child’s Mind.”
"Protect Your Child’s Mind"
By Fred Dattolo July 2005
Society’s exodus toward immorality will take you and your family with it unless you take strong steps to stop it.It is said that there are three kinds of people in the world—those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.To survive the onslaught of immorality in mainstream culture, you’re going to have to make things happen by taking control of your life and those you are responsible for. If you don’t, you will be a casualty, and so will your family—to whatever degree you allow the antagonists to infiltrate your domain. It’s just that serious, as we shall see.We need to realize that we are up against more than just a collection of media mavens with subpar moral views. We face an unseen enemy whose ultimate goal is to completely destroy God’s family way of life!To survive the assault, you must first know what you are fighting. You need to understand who is attacking you and how.Know the EnemyThe Bible reveals our real enemy. 1 Peter 5:8 warns: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” In other words, Satan is a man-eating lion, and he preys on the unsuspecting.One of his favorite strategies is to convince people he doesn’t even exist. For example, while close to 90 percent of Americans express belief in God or a higher power, only about 65 percent believe that the devil is real. Of those who do believe in a real devil, many are persuaded that he has little or no sway over their lives. And that’s exactly what he wants you to believe: that at most, he’s a relatively harmless, cartoon-like annoyance. Most people are oblivious to the vast power he wields.The truth is, God does not rule this world; the devil does (John 14:30, New King James Version). In His plan, God has allowed Satan to be the present god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), and most people unknowingly worship him! He is the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and he broadcasts.In all probability, you are right now in a room that is filled with voices and music. A television or radio tuned to the right wavelength would make them audible to you. In similar fashion, Satan broadcasts to the spirit in every human being, which is automatically tuned to Satan’s wavelength. He stirs the spirits of humans and injects into them such attitudes, moods and impulses as selfishness, vanity, lust, violence, envy, bitterness, and resentment against authority. Since he broadcasts in attitudes, you don’t hear anything.People don’t recognize where these attitudes, feelings and motives come from because they can’t see the invisible devil. Yet they feel these impulses and desires. That’s how Satan deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9). In essence, the selfish, hostile, deceitful, wicked, rebellious attitude we call human nature is Satan’s nature that he broadcasts into unsuspecting minds beginning in early infancy.Now here is a crucial point! To the extent that those broadcasts are not countered or allowed to penetrate unchecked is the degree that each individual will become more or less evil. This is vital knowledge that you need to ponder in order to survive the culture war.Don’t Be DupedIn any war, including our personal war against immoral influences, you can know the enemy and how he operates but still be fooled by propaganda. Our enemy the devil is the most cunning being that has ever existed (Genesis 3:1, Moffatt). He disguises his ulterior motives very subtly, in ways that sometimes appear or sound righteous! He is a master of deception. And those who are deceived don’t know that they are deceived.To illustrate, some believe that the culture war is a myth—that it is propagated by extreme viewpoints on both sides that don’t reflect the majority’s centrist positions. We’re led to believe there is a “middle way” for those who champion enlightenment and reason but simultaneously acknowledge religious belief and experience. Let’s be more inclusive, tolerate different ideas and expand the “common ground,” the thinking goes. It sounds noble. But do you know what immediately follows that kind of thinking? Compromise does.Compromise is classic devil logic.For example, most Americans believe that homosexuals should be granted civil rights while marriage should remain the union of a man and a woman. Therefore, we legitimize homosexual behavior and still protect the sanctity of marriage. Now there’s common ground. But God doesn’t walk there! He says homosexuality is an abomination that needs to be repented of! (Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:27).A majority of Americans believe that abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy is not murder but they strongly oppose partial-birth abortion. Again, some solid middle ground to stand on—if you care to walk with the devil. God reveals that abortion is always murder (see February Trumpet article “Is Abortion Really Murder?”).These examples expose just one classic technique that Satan uses to undermine God’s authority. Compromise bolstered by “enlightened” reasoning is a slippery slope that eventually leads to oblivion! It’s like the proverbial frog in the kettle. If you throw a frog into a kettle of boiling water, it will immediately jump out. The saying goes, however, that if you put it in the kettle and gradually turn the heat up over a period of time until the water boils, it will stay in there until it dies! Western culture is the frog, and we’re stewing in Satan’s kettle. The water is already boiling!You and your family, however, can survive the onslaught. Remember: Don’t underestimate how powerful the real enemy is, and don’t be duped by his deception and propaganda.Now you’re ready to battle.Fight to WinThe culture war does not threaten your possessions, but it will rob you of happiness, peace and satisfaction if you let it. That’s the price you’ll pay if you don’t fight this war with the purpose of winning it. That means you need to implement effective strategies. To do that, you must first know where the main battlefield is.The Apostle James wrote that “every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:14-15). In other words, we must stop wrong thoughts from taking root before they drive us to wrong action—because we are what we think! (Proverbs 23:7).The main battlefield is in your mind! Satan knows that very well. That’s why he broadcasts to the human spirit—relentlessly. He never rests. Abusive media content is one of his main tools. He uses it to fertilize the mind so that you will more readily accept his evil moods and impulses and allow them to grow until they mature into wrong and destructive actions.A vitally important strategy for surviving this war, then, is to guard your mind. The more you allow Satan to engage you on that battlefield, the weaker you will become—the more susceptible to his wiles. He will fool you into thinking that you’re strong enough to handle a little bit of wrong thinking—but you cannot entertain evil thoughts in moderation. The key is to immediately reject all wrong thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5). The more you challenge his advances, the stronger you will become and the less effect he will have on you. “… Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). This is the key to surviving the war against immorality.Instead of plopping yourself down in front of the boob tube, for example, use your leisure time to build your mind—filling it with good things that will provide ammunition in this war (Philippians 4:8). Read a good book, exercise to stay fit, or take a class to learn about something. (Incidentally, the Imperial College Bible Correspondence Course is an excellent way to learn about your Bible! It’s a three-year course that we offer absolutely free.) Update your knowledge and skills to be a more valuable employee. Fix things around the house, do some gardening or landscaping and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Develop a hobby or two, visit the sick, write letters or cheer someone up with a phone call. Volunteer at the local library, zoo or charity. Play games with your children. Spend time with them! There are many better things to do than watch an inordinate amount of tv. You will be happier because of it, and so will your children.The adverse impact on so many children is the greatest tragedy of the culture war. As a parent, you have a responsibility before God to control and monitor your children’s media exposure too, especially when they are very young. The Carnegie Corporation (www.carnegie.org) reports that brain development during the prenatal period and in the first year of life is very rapid and extensive and much more vulnerable to environmental influences than previously thought. Those very early experiences have a long-lasting impact on a child’s brain. If we use television and other media as a babysitter, that content is what will shape their minds! Furthermore, it deprives our children of the love, attention, teaching and discipline they need in order to develop into well-rounded, balanced individuals.Satan is also aware that young minds are impressionable. He strives to mold them in his image, which is reflected in much of the teen subculture today! And no wonder. A shocking report disclosed by the Kaiser Family Foundation on March 9 revealed that, on average, children between 8 and 18 years old are absorbing more than eight hours of media exposure every day from tv, dvds, videos, music, computer video games, the Internet and other media sources! (“Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18-year-olds”).As parents, we should be asking ourselves some hard questions. Are we neglecting our responsibilities to our children? Does that cause them to turn to the media for satisfaction? If so, how vulnerable are they to becoming warped and twisted? Will they be victims of the culture war?You can do a great deal to prevent that from happening. Dad and Mom should be the strongest positive influence in a child’s life—not peers, not teachers or coaches, and certainly not the media.Control Media ExposureCoarse and vulgar media is the devil’s number-one method to condition the minds of children to be more susceptible to his broadcasts. Therefore, to be successful in the struggle against immorality, you must control the media your children are exposed to.Watching too much tv, for example, stifles brain development. Television has now been linked to attention deficit disorder (add). “We can say with confidence that excessive television viewing causes neurological damage,” said Gloria DeGaetano, ceo of the Parent Coaching Institute. “tv watching causes the brain to slow down, producing a constant pattern of low-frequency brain waves consistent with add behavior,” she said. “Television viewing may be the number-one culprit of the cause of add” (Washington Times, Aug. 27, 2003).The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 2 not even be allowed to watch television—none at all!Whenever you do let your young children watch tv, you should watch it with them, whenever possible. Even in sanitized shows, you need to be on the lookout for rebellion, disrespect for authority, immorality or indecency, cruelty, intolerance, lying, cheating, rudeness, displays of vanity and so forth. By being closely aware of what your children are viewing, you can offset any bad effects by teaching them what is not acceptable behavior. If you find that you have to speak so much that you can’t enjoy the program, then you shouldn’t be exposing your children to it!For older children, be extremely selective in choosing what you allow them to watch or listen to. Avoid programming or music that glamorizes crime, violence, cruelty, illicit sex and vulgar language. Set a good example yourself of what you allow into your mind, because actions do speak louder than words, and children can detect hypocrisy in a heartbeat! Most importantly, become God-centered in your entertainment choices. Always ask yourself if you would watch or listen to a program if Jesus Christ were sitting right in the room with you.When it comes to the Internet, be aware of the websites or chat rooms your child is visiting. Ask the child, but also learn how to check the Internet history files on your computer. As the parent, you have the responsibility and the right to know what your child is doing on the Internet.Set up your Internet computer in a public area of the house, like the living room, where its use is a family affair. This way you can monitor what’s going on. Don’t allow your child to be on the Internet in another room behind closed doors. Proverbs 29:15 warns that “a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” The “latchkey” and otherwise unsupervised children of today are easy targets for Satan. The natural curiosity of children can lead them into wrong areas very quickly, and we must protect our children’s minds.Take advantage of password controls when the computer is used. Set the password that allows your computer to boot up. Also, consider purchasing some password-protected Internet security software, or parental-control software, so that offensive material cannot be viewed.Above all, don’t allow tv, the Internet or other media to become a babysitter. Set a time limit on how much media exposure you allow. Because we love our children, we must establish rules to protect them from satanic influences that they don’t fully understand. If you don’t, it could undermine everything else you should be teaching and doing, including the positive strategies that follow.Here is more practical advice to help you insulate your children from pervasive immorality so that they will develop into happy, well-balanced individuals.· First, remember that Satan is the god of this world and is working to destroy the family because he knows that strong traditional families hinder his purpose—to destroy mankind. The culture war is intended to hasten our demise! To protect your children, you must counter his influence.· Provide good music often for your children and read to them daily with animation and voice inflection (studies indicate this even has a beneficial effect while they are still in the womb). This will begin to instill a love of reading and music appreciation into their precious minds. It stokes their curiosity and imagination, and enhances bonding between parent and child. It is also a fantastic memory-training technique. As children begin to talk, they will be able to “read” books from memory! Continue reading to them aloud as they grow older.· Teach your toddlers to respect authority, especially yours. Discipline them appropriately for their age—for rebellion and infractions of rules that you have taught them. And always do this calmly, with explanation and love, never in an outburst of rage.· Spend a lot of time playing with your toddler. Provide toys that stimulate creativity and develop motor skills. Discovery Toys, for example, is one company that produces quality toys that focus on learning.· Have fun with your young children. Take them to the library, the park, the zoo. Make them laugh a lot. Above all, leave no doubt in their mind that you love them and that you are willing to sacrifice your time for them.· Teach young children to be responsible. Build a good work ethic in them. As soon as they are physically able, require them to help you with household duties and chores. For example, make them responsible for keeping their rooms organized and tidy. If you have pets, give your child the responsibility to feed and care for them. Whenever possible, home improvement, gardening, landscaping and other household projects should be family affairs.· Be honest with them. They must learn to trust you. If you want them to be honest and open with you, especially as they grow older, you have a better chance of securing their trust if they know you are always candid with them.· Teach your children about sex. You need to start teaching them as soon as little minds begin to become curious about little bodies. Most importantly, make sure you stay ahead of the gutter-talk they will be exposed to from their peers. Our free book The Missing Dimension in Sex can help you do this. It is available upon request.· Apply these principles before your children go to school so you build a strong foundation of parental respect. By the time they go to school, your children should be convinced that you are their rock-solid provider, confidant, nurturer and protector. They should know that they are fully loved and fully secure under your care.· When your children do go to school, don’t relinquish your position as the most important influence in their life. Continue to be heavily involved with your children. Become familiar with their teachers and friends. Participate as much as possible in school activities. Every day, rehearse and review with them what they were taught. If necessary, be prepared to counter any wrong teaching.· As they start into their teen years, make sure they stay very busy. Encourage them to excel in school and to participate in sports; music programs such as band or choir; and computer, language or chess clubs. In addition, cultivate their interests. Help them to develop hobbies such as photography, arts and crafts, sewing, cooking, gardening, woodworking, building model cars, planes or trains. If time and grades allow, a part-time job would help them learn to handle responsibilities in the world of work and prepare them for the “real” world. Overall, keep them busy with fun and wholesome activities!· Stay involved with your children as much as possible and keep the lines of communication open with your teens. This is of paramount importance. You need to know what they are thinking about. And they need to know that they can confide in you about anything. Provide opportunities to simply talk about whatever is on their minds—daily family meal time and a weekly family fun night are ideal. Ensure that you carve out that time for them!· Above all else, teach your children from infancy the correct truth about God, His law, way of life and moral authority. Teach them to pray daily as soon as they can speak.God reveals that “My people are destroyed for lack of [spiritual] knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee … seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hosea 4:6). Sobering, prophetic words, those are. If you allow it, the spoils of the culture war will be your children. On the other hand, if you do these things, you will survive the onslaught of immorality, and so will your children.
|Reviewed by Jewel Sample (Reader)
|Well said! Caregivers need to make it their business to know their children's business. Who, what, where, and for how long are the questions I always asked my children when they wanted to do something with out my supervision. It never hurts for a parent to show up or decide to go along unexpectedly either. Thank you for the timely post!
|Reviewed by Loretta Scott
|Thank you, I will pass this on to my daughter-n-law, well said, and well needed.|
|Reviewed by Jennifer Butler
|And one more way to protect young people is to NEVER attempt aborting their own children. This throws them into hell. (May they therefore be delivered.)|