*ESPAÑOL HACIA ABAJO*

 

Currently 1 in 10 children in the US are being sexually abused before their 18th birthday¹, including in Ottawa County. As many as 90% of victims of child sexual abuse knew their perpetrator, such as a family member or a coach2.  Statistics like these, though they are true, can be overwhelming, and it sometimes feels like there is nothing we can do to make a difference. That is far from the truth! Both children and adults have the power to make our community safer. As adults, we put babies into car seats, we walk children across a busy street and we ask teenagers questions about where they are going and who they are going with, all to keep them safe. As adults, we have the same power and ability to keep the children in our lives safe from sexual abuse. Do you want to use your power to keep the children and youth in your life safe?

The Children’s Advocacy Center is able to provide all prevention training free of charge, and in both Spanish and English.  

PREVENTION PROGRAMS

DARKNESS TO LIGHT (MUST BE 18 TO ATTEND) 

This training is intended for youth serving organizations, community members, and anyone interested in keeping children safe. Participants will learn how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. It is the only nationally distributed, evidence-based program proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes, and change child protective behaviors. Approximately 2 hours in duration. To register for one of these trainings, please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D2Lregistration.

Licensed Daycare/Preschool providers and Foster Parents will receive 2 FREE training hours towards their licensing requirements.

2 FREE CEU’s are available for licensed Social Workers, Nurses, Dentists and Dental Hygienists.

PEOPLE, PROBLEMS & PROTECTION (PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW THE AVAILABLE SCHOOLS)

First Grade participants will learn about safe and unsafe touches, a safety rule regarding unsafe touches, what to do if someone tries to or does give them an unsafe touch, and who to tell about it. This information is presented in a non­threatening and developmentally appropriate way. Approximately 25 minutes in duration.

Third Grade participants will learn the skills to help keep their body safe from abuse. Participants will learn about safe and unsafe touches, a safety rule, what to do if someone tries to or does give them an unsafe touch, and that anyone, not just strangers, could give them an unsafe touch. This information is presented in a non-threatening and developmentally appropriate way. Approximately 50 minutes in duration.

This is a free program for all 1st and 3rd graders in Ottawa County.

MANDATED REPORTER TRAINING (PLEASE EMAIL AMY DALMAN TO SCHEDULE)

Participants will receive a Mandated Reporter Toolkit with the latest research and information related to mandated reporting practices for the State of Michigan. Participants will learn what types of concerns need to be reported and who to contact.

Intended for school personnel, agency professionals and community members. Approximately 1 hour in duration.

5 STEPS TO PROTECT CHILDREN (PLEASE EMAIL AMY DALMAN TO SCHEDULE)

A one-hour presentation including 5 simple strategies to protect children and respond to sexual abuse:

Learn the key facts

Minimize Opportunity

Talk about it

Recognize the signs

React responsibly

PROGRAMAS DE PREVENCION

 Uno de cada diez niños en los EEUU está abusado sexualmente antes de que se cumplen los 18 años1, incluso en el Condado de Ottawa. Hasta 90% de las víctimas de abuso sexual conocían a su perpetrador, como un familiar o un entrenador2. Uno se puede sentir abrumado en escuchar estas estadísticas verdaderas, y a veces uno se siente como no hay nada que se puede hacer para mejorarlo. ¡Sino no es la verdad! Ambos los niños y adultos se pueden hacer más segura la comunidad. Como adultos, usamos sillas infantiles para los bebes, andamos mano a mano con los niños cuando cruzamos una calle, y hacemos preguntas a los jóvenes acerca adonde y con quien salen, todo para protegerles. Como adultos, tenemos la misma poder y habilidad a proteger a los niños en nuestras vidas del abuso sexual. ¿Quiere usted usar su poder para asegurar que los niños y jóvenes en su vida estén seguros?

El Centro de Abogacía de Niños provee todos los entrenamientos de prevención gratis, y en ambos español e inglés.

DARKNESS TO LIGHT (OBLIGATORIO QUE SEA MAYOR DE EDAD PARA PARTICIPAR)

El entrenamiento se enfoque en información para las organizaciones cuales trabajan con niños y jóvenes, miembros de la comunidad, y cualquier persona quien le interesa proteger a los niños. Los participantes aprenderán como prevenir, reconocer y reaccionar en una manera responsable acerca al abuso sexual de los niños. Es el único programa distribuido nacionalmente con investigación basada en evidencia que aumenta el conocimiento del abuso sexual, hace mejor las actitudes acerca del abuso sexual, y cambia los comportamientos para proteger a los niños. Se dura aproximadamente 2 horas. Para registrarse, visite el enlace https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D2Lregistration.

Los trabajadores del Preescolar y/o las Guarderías, y los Padres de Crianza recibirán 2 horas GRATIS de entrenamiento para su licencia.

Los Trabajadores Sociales, Enfermeras, Dentistas o Higienistas Dentales licenciados recibirán 2 CEU’s GRATIS.

PERSONAS, PROBLEMAS Y PROTECCION (HAGA CLIC PARA VER LAS ESCUELAS DISPONIBLES)

Participantes en el primer grado aprenderán sobre los toques seguros e inseguros, una regla de seguridad acera de los toques inseguros, que hacer si alguien le da un toque inseguro, y a quien se puede divulgarlo. Esta información está presentada en una manera no amenazador y apropiado para su nivel de desarrollo. Se dura aproximadamente 25 minutos.

Participantes en el tercer grado aprenderán métodos para guardar su cuerpo del abuso sexual. Participantes aprenderán sobre los toques seguros e inseguros, una regla de seguridad, que hacer si alguien le da un toque inseguro, y que no solo los desconocidos, pero cualquiera persona, se le puede dar un toque inseguro. Esta información está presentada en una manera no amenazador y apropiado para su nivel de desarrollo. Se dura aproximadamente 50 minutos.

Este programa está gratis para todos los del primer y tercer grado en el Condado de Ottawa.

ENTREMAMIENTO DE LOS REPORTEROS OBLIGATORIOS (MANDE CORREO ELECTRONICO A AMY DALMAN PARA PROGRAMARLO)

Los participantes recibirán un Juego de Herramientas de los Reporteros Obligatorios con los estudios e información más reciente acerca de las prácticas de los reporteros obligatorios por el estado de Michigan. Los participantes aprenderán cuando debe reportar un asunto y a quien se lo reporte.

El entrenamiento se enfoque en información para los personales de las escuelas, profesionales de agencias, y miembros de la comunidad. Se dura aproximadamente una hora.

5 PASOS PARA PROTEGER A LOS NINOS (MANDE CORREO ELECTRONICO A AMY DALMAN PARA PROGRAMARLO)

Presentación de una hora que incluye 5 estrategias simples para proteger a los niños y responder al abuso sexual:

Aprender los hechos importantes

Reducir las oportunidades

Hablar sobre el abuso sexual

Reconocer las señales

Reaccionar en una manera responsable

 

 

1.    Townsend, C., & Rheingold, A.A., (2013). Estimating a child sexual abuse prevalence rate for practitioners: studies. Charleston,S.C., Darkness to Light. Retrieved from www.D2L.org.

2.    12 Finkelhor, D. (2012). Characteristics of crimes against juveniles. Durham, NH: Crimes against Children Research Center.


IT'S NEVER TO LATE TO TELL.

REVISITING THE CONVERSATION ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE

While we present to the vast majority of elementary age children in Ottawa County, there are currently no other programs focused on child sexual abuse for older students who have never disclosed abuse or may have been abused since the elementary presentations. For this reason, we have developed a program entitled “It’s Never Too Late to Tell: Revisiting the Conversation of Sexual Abuse.” This program offers the opportunity for specially trained staff to meet with teens and review the definition of sexual abuse, discuss the prevalence of the issue, and identify the services offered in our community for victims of sexual abuse. It is our goal to empower adolescents with the information and tools necessary to feel comfortable disclosing abuse, sharing the information with a friend or family member who is a victim, making a report, and/or getting help.

The information below provides further reasoning for why it is imperative to target adolescents with this important message:

What are some of the behaviors teens might display related to undisclosed abuse?

  • Academic problems in childhood are a common symptom of sexual abuse.

  • Substance abuse problems beginning in childhood or adolescence are some of the most common consequences of child sexual abuse.

  • Delinquency and crime, often stemming from substance abuse, are more prevalent in adolescents with a history of child sexual abuse.

  • Over 70% of male child sexual abuse survivors seek treatment for issues like substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, and attempted suicide.

  • The risk of teen pregnancy is much higher for girls with a history of child sexual abuse.
    Source: Darkness to Light http://bit.ly/1JC9vKH

Why don’t children tell about sexual abuse or delay telling?

  • Threats of bodily harm (to the child and/or the child’s family)

  • Fear of being removed from the home

  • Fear of not being believed

  • Shame or guilt

  • If the abuser is someone the child or the family cares about, worry about getting that person in trouble

  • Belief that the sexual abuse was their own fault and they may be fearful of getting in trouble themselves

  • Very young children may not have the language skills to communicate about the abuse or may not understand that the actions of the perpetrator are abusive.
    Source: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

This program is provided free of charge. We would love the opportunity to present this program to your adolescent group. If you are involved in a youth group, club, school, or other group setting for teens, please contact Alli Watson at
awatson@cac-ottawa.org or 616-393-6123 to schedule.


WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT?

PHYSICAL ABUSE: Harm or threatened harm to a child through non-­accidental injury. Example: Beating, kicking, punching, burning, bruises, welts or broken bones. Also injury and medical conditions that have not been properly treated.

NEGLECT: Harm or threatened harm to a child's welfare due to failure to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, or medical care. (Example: Soiled clothing, wrong clothes for weather, hunger, hoarding food, poor hygiene, etc.) It can also be failure to renew prescriptions and not allowing schools access to medications or lack of protection from a known potential risk or harm.

SEXUAL ABUSE OR EXPLOITATION: Engaging in sexual contact or penetration with a child. Sexual exploitation is defined as allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution or to be depicted in a sexual act. It also includes non ­contact acts such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, exposure to pornography and obscene/sexual language. Child pornography is always child sexual abuse.

EMOTIONAL / MALTREATMENT: Treatment that involves cruelty or suffering that a reasonable person would recognize excessive. Example; forcing a child to eat dog food as punishment, locking a child in a closet, or teaching a child to assist in criminal activities. Crushing a child’s spirit by using extreme ways of punishing, threats or put downs.


WHAT IS MANDATED REPORTING?

The Facts:

  • Michigan Law requires that you MUST file a report when you have a reasonable cause to suspect abuse or neglect.

  • ­It is NOT your responsibility to determine whether the abuse occurred­. The Department of Human Services (DHS) is responsible for the investigative component. ­

  • Failure to report can result in both civil and criminal liability. ­

  • When a report is filed you are presumed to have acted in good faith. You are not legally or criminally liable for any outcomes if you have reported a case in good faith. ­

  • Your identity will be kept confidential unless you agree in writing to that disclosure. Your identity may be disclosed to a child protective agency or a law enforcement agency that is investigating the case. ­

  • Once you file a report, a child and family may become eligible to receive a wide variety of services to meet your family's needs.


STEPS TO TAKE IF CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT IS DETECTED

  • ­Immediately make contact with our state of Michigan centralized intake system at toll free 1-­855-­444-­3911. ­

  • To the best of your knowledge, be prepared to answer questions about the child (address, full name, birth date and race), alleged perpetrator, the child’s disclosure, and history of child’s behavior. ­

  • DO NOT investigate the matter yourself. ­

  • Within 72 hours after making the oral report, a written report must be completed. It is encouraged that you use the DHS­3200 form for the written portion. This form can be found online at www.michigan.gov/dhs and clicking the picture Abuse and Neglect. This link will take you to the printable online 3200 form found under the heading Popular Forms. After completing the 3200 it can be faxed to 616-­977-­1154.

  • ­If you are a school employee you must notify the person in charge of the school of the suspected abuse/neglect and that the report has been made with DHS.

Statewide number for DHS: 1-­855­-444­-3911

Click here to find the DHS­3200 Form: www.michigan.gov/dhs


SAFETY TIPS | EMPOWER ME!

SAFETY RULES FOR PARENTS TO SHARE WITH KIDS

  • CHECK FIRST with a parent, guardian or babysitter before
    Accepting a ride
    Accepting a gift
    Going into a house
    Having your photo taken

  • USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM. Play and stay with friends

  • FIND 5 SAFE AND TRUSTED ADULTS to talk to about any problem or worry you are having. They can be a family member, someone in school or someone in your community.

  • TRUST YOUR GUT. Pay attention to your “uh-­oh” feeling. If any person acts in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, get away and tell a safe/trusted adult. It doesn’t matter how you know them; it only matters how they make you feel. Pay attention to that same feeling when you are on­line!

  • NO SECRETS. There is never a good reason to keep a secret from mom, dad or caregiver. Birthday presents or gifts are okay. Talk about the difference between a safe and unsafe secret.

  • YOUR PRIVATE PARTS ARE PRIVATE, AND PRIVATE MEANS THAT THEY ARE JUST FOR YOU. WE DON'T SHARE THOSE PARTS, WITH FRIENDS, BROTHERS OR SISTERS, OR OTHER GROWNUPS. You have the right to say “NO” to any person trying to touch your private parts or asking you to touch theirs. If you have a question about touches, talk to a trusted adult. If the first person doesn’t believe you or know how to help you, tell someone else until the touches stop. If someone tricks you into a touch, it is NOT your fault. You can still tell, even a long time after the touching happens.

  • SAY NO, RUN AWAY AND GO TELL

  • YOU ARE SPECIAL AND DESERVE TO BE SAFE