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Child Abuse continues...
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On Child Abuse and Neglect ~

Child sexual abuse generally refers to sexual acts; sexually motivated behaviors; or sexual exploitation involving children.  Child sexual abuse includes a wide range of behaviors, such as: oral, anal, or genital penile penetration; anal or genital penetration; genital contact without penetration; fondling of a child's breasts or buttocks; indecent exposure; inadequate or inappropriate supervision of a child's voluntary sexual activities; use of a child in prostitution, pornography, internet crimes, or other sexually exploitative activities.

Sexual abuse includes both touching offenses (fondling or sexual intercourse) and non-touching offenses (exposing a child to pornographic materials) and can involve varying degrees of violence and emotional trauma.  The most commonly reported cases involve incest, or sexual abuse occurring among family members, including those in biological families, adoptive families, and step-families.  Incest most often occurs within a father-daughter relationship; however, mother-son, father-son, and sibling-sibling incest also occurs.  Sexual abuse is also sometimes committed by other relatives or caretakers.

Adapted from J. Goldman, M. K. Salus, D. Wolcott, and K. Y. Kennedy. (2003). A coordinated response to child abuse and neglect: The foundation for practice. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved June 2006 from http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/foundation/foundationc.cfm

On Signs of Sexual Abuse ~

The presence of a single sign does not prove child abuse is occurring in a family; however, when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination you should take a closer look at the situation and consider the possibility of child abuse when the child: has difficulty walking or sitting; suddenly refuses to change for gym or to participate in physical activities; reports nightmares or bedwetting; experiences a sudden change in appetite; demonstrates bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior; becomes pregnant or contracts a venereal disease, particularly if under age 14; runs away; or reports sexual abuse by a parent or another adult caregiver.

Consider the possibility of sexual abuse when the parent or other adult caregiver: is unduly protective of the child or severely limits the child's contact with other children, especially of the opposite sex; is secretive and isolated; or is jealous or controlling with other family members.

This information was adapted, with permission, from Recognizing Child Abuse: What Parents Should Know. Prevent Child Abuse America. ©2003.

On Publications ~

Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Reference Handbook
Kinnear (2nd ed., 2007).

Provides a survey of the available literature and other resources on the topic of childhood sexual abuse and lists sources for further research.

Handbook of Social Work in Child and Adolescent Sexual Abuse
Hilarski, Wodarski, & Feit (2008).
Explores the latest information on assessment, management, prevention, and policy related to child and adolescent sexual abuse.

Parenting a Child Who Has Been Sexually Abused: A Guide for Foster and Adoptive Parents

Child Welfare Information Gateway (2008).

Many factors affect how children react to and recover from sexual abuse. Parents play an important role in their children’s recovery. This factsheet includes information to help foster and adoptive parents of children who have been sexually abused. It includes information about child sexual abuse, tips for establishing guidelines for safety and privacy in the family, and guidance on when and how to seek help, if needed.

The Problem
Giardino (2nd ed., 2001).
In Medical Evaluation of Child Sexual Abuse: A Practical Guide
Describes abusive behaviors, incidence, offender characteristics, and the impact of sexual abuse.

Sexual Child Abuse
Olive (2006).
In Child Abuse and Stress Disorders
Discusses the incidence, definition, causes, signs, and psychological effects of child sexual abuse, describes characteristics of perpetrators, and explains intervention and treatment strategies.

On Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect ~

In order to prevent child abuse and neglect, you must first understand the impact it has on children, and what puts children at risk.  If you are a mother that has several “boyfriends” or male companions in and out of your home, just understand that you could be placing your children at risk.  Reducing the number of men that come in contact with younger children; talking to them about what actions are inappropriate from an adult; and making sure that they feel comfortable talking to you about sensitive topics like this are ways to prevent abuse in the household.  Societal ways to prevent these awful experiences include, but are not limited to: developing and sustaining prevention programs that address the totality of the problem (meaning the root causes and not just the result) utilizing tools such as community needs assessments and culturally competent professional development for staff; funding effective prevention programs; evaluating program effectiveness; and creating public awareness and supportive communities that come together in dialogue (not debate) about the issue of child abuse and neglect.

On Teen Dating Violence ~

A common characteristic of unhealthy and abusive relationships is the control that the abusive partner seeks to maintain in the relationship. This includes telling someone what to wear, where they can go, who they can hang out with, calling them names, humiliating them in front of others. Over time, the isolation from one's social network increases, as the abuser insists on spending time "just the two of us," and threatens to leave or cause harm if things do not go the way they want, "You must not love me." Creating this isolation and dissolution of one's social supports (loss of friends, disconnectedness from family) are hallmarks of controlling behaviors.  In addition, abusers often monitor cell phones and emails, and for example, may threaten harm if the response to a text message is not instant.

Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, UC Davis School of Medicine


On Signs of Teen Dating Violence ~

While the following non-specific warning signs could indicate other concerning things such as depression or drug use, these should also raise a red flag for parents and adult caregivers about the possibility of an unhealthy relationship:

• no longer hanging out with his/her circle of friends

• wearing the same clothing

• distracted when spoken to

• constantly checking cell phone, gets extremely upset when asked to turn phone off

• withdrawn, quieter than usual

• angry, irritable when asked how they are doing

• making excuses for their boyfriend/girlfriend

• showering immediately after getting home

• unexplained scratches or bruises

Sexual coercion and violence are also not uncommon in teen dating abuse. Again, because of the emotional abuse and control, victims of sexual violence may be convinced that they are to blame for what has happened. "You'd do this if you loved me" or "If you don't have sex with me, I'll leave you" are common examples of sexual coercion.  In some instances, girls in abusive relationships describe how their partners actively tried to get them pregnant. Rarely do teens disclose such sexual abuse to their parents as they may feel shameful, guilty, and scared.

Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, UC Davis School of Medicine


On Preventing Teen Dating Violence ~

Parents, you must learn the most effective way to speak with (and listen to) your child. Please do not “talk at” or “preach to” your child. Although he or she is your child and technically, no one can tell you how to raise them; the bottom line is to find a way that will actually get through to them. Help them make better choices, rather than simply tell them “don’t do this” and “don’t do that either.” It didn’t work for you, so do not expect it to work for them. Also respect that each child is different, so there may be one way to get a clear message across to one “type” of child, and a totally different method needed to get through to the other. Also, ask questions that are direct and straight to the point. Do not beat around the bush. Expose your child to a variety of reading materials, websites, and hotlines that they can look to for accurate information instead of being totally reliant on their own knowledge. Last but certainly not least for parents is to exhibit healthy behaviors in your own relationship so that your child can witness healthy relationship role-modeling. If you are a friend of someone at risk of, or experiencing teen dating violence, talk to them. Ask questions when they are away from the abuser. Do not laugh or ignore the signs that indicate your friend being in an abusive relationship. It could become fatal, and then your silence would have contributed to the tragedy. Most important for an abuser, or a controlling partner, is to help them see the need to take anger management classes, boxing lessons, or learn how to express their emotions (particularly anger), in an appropriate way. Help him or her (yes, “her” can be the abuser in a relationship) get to the root cause of the violent behavior instead of only addressing the behavior alone.



On Child Welfare & Teen Dating Violence Information and Services ~



Updated July 2009


American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)

3615 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20016-3007



American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

National Headquarters

141 Northwest Point Boulevard

P.O. Box 927

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098

(202) 347-8600




American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC)

350 Poplar Avenue

CHO 3B-3406

Elmhurst, IL 60126

(630) 941-1235




American Psychological Association (APA)

750 First Street NE

Washington, DC 20002-4242

(202) 336-5500 or (800) 374-2721



Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA)

4900 Griffith Drive, Suite 274

Beaverton, OR 97005

(503) 643-1023




Center to Restore Trafficked and Exploited Children (CRTEC)

P.O. Box 296

Hiawatha, IA 52233

(319) 892-0230




Chadwick Center For Children and Families

Children's Hospital and Health Center

3020 Children's Way, MC 5017

San Diego, CA 92123

(858) 966-8572




Child Lures Prevention

5166 Shelburne Road

Shelburne, VT 05482

(802) 985-8458




Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute

1100 Piedmont Avenue, Suite 2

Atlanta, GA 30309

(404) 872-5152




Child Welfare Information Gateway

Children's Bureau/ACYF

1250 Maryland Avenue, SW -- Eighth Floor

Washington, DC 20024

(703) 385-7565





Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

15757 North 78th Street

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 922-8212, (800) 4AC-HILD



Crimes Against Children Research Center (CCRC)

University of New Hampshire

No. 126 Horton Social Science Center

20 College Road

Durham, NH 03824

(603) 862-1888




Darkness to Light

7 Radcliffe Street

Suite 200

Charleston, SC 29403

(843) 965-5444




FaithTrust Institute

2400 North 45th Street No. 10

Seattle, WA 98103

(206) 634-1903




Family Research Laboratory (FRL)

126 Horton Social Science Center

University of New Hampshire

Durham, NH 03824-3586

(603) 862-1122



Florida Abuse Hotline

(800) 96-ABUSE

Generation Five

2 Massasoit Street

San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 285-6658




Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT)

10065 Old Grove Road

San Diego, CA 92131

(858) 527-1860




International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN)

245 W Roosevelt Road

Building 6, Suite 39

West Chicago, IL 60185

(630) 876-6913




Kempe Children's Center

1825 Marion Street

Denver, CO 80218

(303) 864-5300




National Center for Assault Prevention (NCAP)

606 Delsea Drive

Sewell, NJ 08080

(908) 369-8972




National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

Charles B. Wang International Children's Building

699 Prince Street

Alexandria, VA 22314-3175

(703) 274-3900 or 800-THE-LOST (800-843-5678)


CyberTipLine - http://www.cybertipline.com/

NetSmartz Workshops - http://www.netsmartz.org/


National Children's Advocacy Center (NCAC)

Administrative Offices

210 Pratt Avenue

Huntsville, AL 35801

(256) 533-KIDS (5437)




National Domestic Violence Hotline

Love is not Abuse

(800) 799-SAFE (7233)



Partnership Against Domestic Violence

P.O. Box 170225

Atlanta, GA 30317

(404) 870-9600 or (800) 33-HAVEN (42836)



National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC)

Polaris Project

P.O. Box 77892

Washington, DC 20013

(202) 745-1001




National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline

(866) 331-9474



New Haven Family Alliance

Partnership for Family Empowerment

370 James Street, 2nd Floor

New Haven, CT 06513

(203) 786-5970



PANdora's Box

27 Lakeview Drive

Terre Haute, IN 47803



Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

2000 L Street NW, Suite 406

Washington, DC 20036

(202) 544-1034 or (800) 656-HOPE




Rape Recovery & Resource Center

1860 S. Crystal Lake Drive

Lakeland, FL 33801

(863) 413-2708 or (877) 688-5077 or (800) 627-5906



Safe Child Program

Coalition for Children, Inc.

P.O. Box 6304

Denver, CO 80206

(303) 320-6328




Safe Place & Rape Crisis Center

2139 Main Street

Sarasota, FL 34237

(941) 365-1976 24hr Crisis Hotline



Safer Society Foundation, Inc.

P.O. Box 340

Brandon, VT 05733-0340

(802) 247-3132



The Safer Society Press



Sexual Assault Treatment Center

400 NE 4th Street

Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301

(954) 765-4159 or (954) 761-7273 24hr Hotline



Sexual Assault Treatment Center

1925 E Michigan Street

Orlando, FL 32806

(407) 228-6050


Stop It Now!

351 Pleasant Street, Suite B319

Northampton, MA 01060

(413) 587-3500 or (888) 773-8368




Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse


 *these resources are also provided inside of Pillow Talk...sshhh!