HOLLIE GRIEG HOAX? SOME GEMS

 
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“We both knew it was wrong.”

A fellow mama bear shared this story with us, about a 33 year old youth pastor charged with sexually abusing a 15 year old girl under his mentorship, noting the news channel that shared it on their Facebook page, had plenty of comments to the effect that a 15 year old girl knows what she is doing, and that she probably wanted and consented to the sexual relationship.

(FYI:The offender is married with 3 children and was also found to be in possession of child pornography.)

So lets get a few things straight….

1. Regardless of what this girl knew or understood – he was the adult. He was in the position of authority. His job was to guide her in her faith, not exploit her for sexual gratification.

2. Even if she knew it was wrong, she is 15. The law, in no way shape or form, puts any sort of responsibility upon a child, to “share the blame.” This is not a car insurance claim “what was the condition of the road that day?” – No detail of the relationship enables him (or anyone) to put any responsibility upon this 15 year old girl.

3. Even if she threw herself at this man, he had the responsibility to do the right thing – request reassignment, refuse to be alone with this girl – in order to protect himself, and her. We all have come into contact with a 15 year old – we were all once 15 and probably had a crush on an adult, whether it was someone famous or the attractive teacher, coach, or youth pastor. 15 year olds are YEARS away from having a fully developed brain and are literally not capable of making sensible decisions all the time, their age doesn’t diminish the abuse when an adult takes advantage and seduces a child, or acts upon the advances of a minor (which it doesn’t seem to be the case in this situation.) Furthermore, if a child is seeking a romantic relationship with an adult, it is more likely a sign that they may have experienced previous abuse, and not that they are mature enough to understand what they are consenting to.

4. Just because sexual abuse doesn’t involve bruises – doesn’t mean that it isn’t traumatic.

Survivors are damaged to different degrees by their experiences. This does not depend on what happened physically. A Survivor who has been raped will not necessarily be more damaged than a Survivor who has been touched. The degree of damage depend on the degree of traumatic sexualization, stigmatization, betrayal and powerlessness, the child has experienced.

This in turn depends on a number of factors such as:
* who the abuser was;
* how many abusers were involved;
* if the abuser was same-sex or opposite sex;
* what took place;
* what was said;
* how long the abuse went on for;
* How the child felt and how she interpreted what was happening;
* if the child was otherwise happy and supported;
* how other people reacted to the disclosure or discovery of the abuse;
* how old the child was”
― Carolyn AinscoughBreaking Free: Help For Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse

So please, if you ever feel the need to put responsibility on a victim of sexual abuse (for victims of any age) open a book, instead of your mouth.


 
 
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Dear Child,

No, the world is not your oyster. You were not brought into this world through blood, sweat, and tears so you can merely seek enjoyment and pleasure.

No.

You, my child, are the oyster.

The sea is vast and full of life. There is much to see, for sure, and other creatures to come to know – but it is not to be owned.

A single oyster, you may be, but important to the world – you have much to offer.

You are strong yet vulnerable. But to live, you must be exposed. And most of all, when sand is tossed in your face, as it inevitably will, you have the opportunity to take that struggle and turn it into something beautiful – something that only you can offer. A pearl.

Do not fear the struggle.  But rather, embrace it, and you will discover what you are truly capable of. Yes, it is work. Yes, there will be vexation. But you have the fortitude to endure it, and influence others to do the same. 

So you see, my child, the world becomes beautiful by what you put into it, not from what you take out.

For some day, like us all, you will return to the earth, but the pearls that you leave, in their milky iridescent wonder will continue to inspire well beyond your time.


 
 

Matt Sandusky Founds Charity Supporting Survivors Of Child Sex Abuse

Children Testify in Trial against Abuser in Lubbock County, Tx 

Girl testifies Against Abuser in Rockland, ME

The charges allege that the offenses occurred from 2009 through 2011 at Vultee’s home, where he was watching the child for the girl’s mother. The Girl sai she finally disclosed what happened in 2012 after she saw Vultee with one of her younger cousins. 

Santa Rosa Man convicted, sentenced to 3 life sentences plus 200 years

Lee Pardue was arrested in November of 2012. The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation after Pardue told an acquaintance he took sexual photos of himself with a child. They found the photos and discovered Pardue had also committed sexual acts on a child he was babysitting. Pardue was convicted of a number of charges ranging from sexual battery on a child to possession of photos depicting sexual conduct by a child.

Foster parent charged With Sexual Abuse

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60-year-old Steven Wayne Anglin was arrested Monday night for child abuse and 4 counts of rape.

Anglin is accused of sexually abusing several children, boys and girls from ages 7 to 13.


Former MARyland Youth COunselor Pleads Guilty 

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Former Fort George G. Meade youth counselor has pleaded guilty sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy and sending inappropriate texts to others.

Anthony Dennis Williams II, 28, was charged with abusive sexual contact and sexual abuse of a minor for incidents that occurred in 2010 and 2011.

The Severn resident worked at at Child and Youth Services program on Fort Meade called Passport to Manhood from 2005 to 2012.


Former School Aide On Trial For SExual Abuse

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The girl was not a student at the schools where he worked. The 42-year-old man and the girl knew one other, authorities say, and the alleged abuse occurred in his home over the course of several months.

Starting when she was 11, she said, Abinacer showed her porn, took inappropriate photos of her and molested, raped and sodomized her whenever he had the chance.

The sex acts occurred “mostly every day,” she testified.

She told jurors the abuse was painful and scary. Abinacer, she said, told her not to tell anyone what he was doing or he’d go to jail.


Missoula MT Man arrested for child sex abuse

In a detective interview, 19 year old Hayes admitted to asking for her pictures and confessed that he had kissed and touched the 12 year ol child and planned to have sex with her as well.

Husband, wife charged with child sex assault

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Two of the minors are Robert Pleasant’s biological children. The other is his ex-girlfriend’s child, who now lives in Michigan. 

Jury weighs evidence against Paterson NJ man in child sex-assault trial amidst the child’s recantation That it was a dream

The case against Ruel Powell relies heavily on the allegations made by the girl, who initially told investigators that Powell molested her but has since recanted her story. The girl, who is now 9, testified during the trial in Superior Court in Paterson that she dreamt up the assault. 

552 victims of child sexual exploitation identified by HSI so far in 2014

More than 550 victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation have been identified by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations special agents in the first eight months of fiscal year 2014.

The victims were identified during the course of HSI-led or jointly led child exploitation investigations ranging from the production and distribution of online child pornography to child sex tourism.

Of the 585 children identified this fiscal year as part of HSI international investigations into child sexual exploitation, 430 victims were located in the United States in nearly every corner of the country. Slightly more girls were victimized than boys: 288 girls versus 264 boys.

Investigators at the HSI Cyber Crimes Center say that these shocking statistics are a reminder about how dangerous the Internet can be and that summer is a good time for parents to talk to their children about online safety. 

teacher rejects child abuse charges

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The District Attorney’s Office charged Sheila Heacock, 44 — also known as Sheila Roostai — with three counts of oral copulation with a minor and three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

Charges stemmed from an April sheriff’s investigation after someone told deputies of a relationship between Heacock and a student.


Former Special Ed Teacher Sentenced To 1 Year

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A judge sentenced Jason Lamar Thompson to six years in prison – one year for each of six counts of sex abuse. The counts will run concurrently, which means Thompson will spend a total of one year in prison.

Thompson was originally charged with sodomy and sexual abuse, but those charges were dropped to second degree sexual abuse as part of a plea deal.

Thompson had already admitted to sexually abusing four victims at his home, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, all were under 18-years-old and at least one under 14.

Police say it was during his time as a special ed teacher at Leestown Middle School that he had sexual contact with a 13-year-old boy. The former teacher was a well known Zumba instructor, and had an X-box video game character. He’ll now be known as a sex offender.

The judge said Thompson will have to go through a sex offender treatment program and will be registered as a sex offender for 20 years.


 
 

MUSIC TEACHER in PA ARRESTED FOR CHILD SEX ABUSE

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The three victims were all 6 years old and were students at the music school at which he taught.

To read more click here.


Protesting that Baptist Church Not Taking Sexual Abuse SEriously 

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Coverups, revictimization, and silencing of victims. To read more, click here.

64 Year old charged with abusing multiple children under the age of 12

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For more details, click here.

American Man Charged with Abusing Cambodian Orphans

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The victims were children living at the orphanage that he was running in cambodia. To read more, click here

Other stories 

 
 
By Adrianne Simeone, Founder of The Mama Bear Effect. 

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I confess.

 I told my 4 year old where babies come from. 

And it’s worse than that… I showed her an actual depiction of her reproduction system. 

I know. I know. I’ve ruined the big secret. I told her before she could find out at school in some awkward video (if that’s how it still happens) where all the girls go into one room and the boys go into another… It’s true. She found out from her own mom

Back in the 4th grade we all watched the actress from Annie talk to us about her menstrual cycle. The rumor was that the boys heard about “wet dreams”. 

There’s a lot that they don’t tell young kids, because some people might be in uproar about, ya’ know – informing kids honestly and openly about their bodies. 

Embarrassingly, I did not know until adulthood that urine comes out of the female body from the urethra. I didn’t know that the exterior parts of female genitalia are not actually the vagina, but the vulva. I felt like Kathy Bates’ middle-aged character in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes where she takes a mirror and looks at herself “down there” for the first time in her life. 


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(Here’s a child-friendly diagram if you want to see if you know the names of all the parts of female genitalia.)

It wasn’t until I wanted to become pregnant, with my now daughter, that I really learned how female reproduction worked. I found out how I could predict ovulation by taking my own temperature every morning. I found out why certain times of the month our grade school nurse informed us that we might have “wetness” in our underwear and that it was normal – but were never told what it was or why it happened. And I also learned that this isn’t the case for all women.

I found out that my body was actually pretty amazing and that the process of creating new life is really, a miracle.

So, when I became pregnant for the third time, and my daughter was four, I was looking forward to explaining a lot of this to her. Because, it really is cool. We read this book from time to time, but I haven’t felt the need, just yet, to tell her about sexual intercourse – and thus far, she’s content knowing that an egg sometimes turns into a baby. I’ll save the sexual intercourse for a few years down the road (which most experts recommend children understand between age 7-9).

Right around the time I gave birth to my third child, there was a story about another pregnant woman who couldn’t make it to the hospital and gave birth at home with the help of her 8 year old daughter. The woman told the news reporters that earlier her daughter asked how the baby was going to come out of her body, and the woman, uncomfortably, changed the subject. Well, her daughter certainly found out. All I could think was, why shouldn’t an 8 year old girl know? What’s the big deal?

If all that isn’t shocking enough, my 3 year old son also knows that he doesn’t have a uterus, and can’t carry a baby. (And shh, he even knows that I pushed the baby out of my vagina! For shame!) He knows he has a penis – not a pee-pee or a wee-wee, and he has no problem telling me if something his bothering his penis – which I hope never changes. Because I never want him to feel like his private parts are too private or worse – embarrassing,  that he can’t talk to me. 

What’s actually embarrassing, is that my mom couldn’t bear to talk to me about sex until after I was married and had my first baby, and the cat (or baby) was already out of the bag (aka uterus). (Sorry to throw you under the bus, mom.) I don’t want my kids to enter adulthood and not understand and respect their bodies, expect respect from other people, and in return respect others. If they have a question, I want them to come to me – not their friends. I want to explain sex and love before they accidentally come across or purposely search for porn on the internet. Especially when I’m learning about the negative impact on children

So yea, we toss ‘taboo’ words around our house all the time, because when it comes to raising happy, healthy, safe kids, keeping the human body and sexuality a taboo needs to stop. 

For information on talking to your kids about all this, visit the Empowering Children page of our website. 

 
 

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Keeping kids safe from sexual abuse is not a black and white issue. Even experts on the issue who have interviewed convicted child molesters remark on how “likable” they appear. It’s the grey area where most exist- predators that come off as “good” and charismatic “every day” kinds of people.

Keep in mind, sexual abuse is often not about sex, but about control and dominance. Sex, is often, merely an outlet that offenders are using to fill a perceived need. And it is difficult when no two abusers look, talk, or act the same.
 
Seeing one of these Red Flags does not mean that you are in the presence of a sexual abuser – but if your instinct is feeling something is off – listen, observe, and minimize this person’s access to children – especially in a 1:1 situation, which is the case for an estimated 80% of all child sexual abuse. 


Strangers and acquaintances 

You may not necessarily know these people very well, or only by name/face alone (a neighbor, a coach, a parent of another child you know). In order to gain access to your child, they usually try to establish a rapport with the parent as well as the child, but in some cases, they are less careful about hiding their intentions. Be cautious for the following behaviors/characteristics:  

  • Volunteers or works with children but does not have children of their own, or child friendly toys – video games, tree house, train sets/doll collections etc 
  • Spends more time with children than adults or peers – may even come off as immature and childish themselves 
  • Has a “favorite” child they seem to spend time with (which may vary from year to year)
  • Gives gifts or special privileges for no apparent reason 
  • Overly affectionate/playful with children – hugging, tickling, wrestling, holding or having a child sit on their lap
  • Disregards “no” “stop” or other efforts from a child to avoid physical contact 
  • Long stares or periods of watching a child
  • Comments or conversation about a child’s appearance – which may even take a turn for the inappropriate 
  • May exhibit a sense that they feel they have special rights/privileges above others
  • Eagerness to learn details of your personal (possibly romantic) life and your child and their interests
  • Flattery of you, your child, their talents and likewise, they may boast about their own successes/accomplishments, charitable work, generosity etc 
  • If you are a single parent (especially a mother) – this person may be a new or potential romantic interest that comes off as “too good to be true” or anyone that seems interested in filling in as a fatherly role for your child. 
  • Seems to like the very same things that your child is interested in 
  • Tries to establish a sense of camaraderie with your child and draw your child away from you “I know how parents are” “you’re old enough to go alone”. 
  • Attempts to make you doubt your protective instincts “you’re not one of those helicopter parents, are you?” 
  • Offers to “help out” with your child – a stranger that may offer to walk them to an arcade while you’re shopping at the mall, or an acquaintance that offers to watch or give your child a ride to soccer practice when you find yourself in a bind. 
  • If your child is particularly talented (musically, artistically, athletically, or is involved in pageants etc) and someone approaches you with opportunities that seem like they would benefit your child – private lessons/photography shoots/meeting scouts etc 
  • Someone that suggests a child is “troubled” or prone to lying (to discredit future claims of abuse by the child.) 

Family, Friends, and People of Authority

These are people you, most likely, have known for some time, trust with you child and/or enjoy their company. You may see some of these signs and pass them off as normal behavior – and in some cases, they may be. And in some cases, this person is not necessarily looking to prey on children, but finds him/herself with an opportunity to take advantage of access, trust, and familiarity with a parent and/or child. (You’ll note some of these were listed above.)  Be cautious for: 

  • Spends more time with children than adults or peers – they may even come off as immature and childish 
  • Overly affectionate/playful with children – hugging, tickling, wrestling, holding or having a child sit on their lap
  • Has a “favorite” child they seem to spend time with (which may vary from year to year)
  • Gives gifts or special privileges for no apparent reason 
  • Comments or conversation about a child’s appearance – which may even take a turn for the inappropriate – may make flirtatious remarks to the child 
  • Disregards “no” “stop” or other efforts from a child to avoid physical contact 
  • May exhibit a sense that they feel they have special rights/privileges above others
  • Long stares or periods of watching a child
  • Minimizes the need to respect privacy when dressing/going to the bathroom. May try to normalize nudity around children
  • Someone that communicates with a child in private – via social media, text message, email etc 
  • Someone that spends a lot of time viewing pornography, and especially anyone that views child pornography (this may seem obvious, but viewing child pornography is not an interest or curiosity – it is participation in a crime of sexual abuse upon a child.) 
  • A person that seeks opportunities to spend time alone with a child (most likely frequently) may even offer or take them on trips where they are alone for overnight or longer.  
  • Someone that may be going through a difficult period in life and  – job loss, divorce, a death in the family – something that may add stress, feelings of depression, low self-esteem and/or loneliness. (These are common indicators that someone who would not be considered a pedophile, may turn to sexually abusing a child as a means to cope with unhappiness.) 
  • Someone that suggests a child is “troubled” or prone to lying (to discredit future claims of abuse by the child.) 

Female Abusers

Women are more likely to sexually abuse boys, and unlike most male offenders, female offenders often abuse a child in conjunction with a male – often a spouse or partner, she may abuse a child to please the other offender. Be cautious for: 

  • Women that are in unstable or controlling relationships, or seem incapable/fearful of their partner leaving them, or being alone. 
  • Substance abuse problems. 
  • Has a “favorite” child they seem to spend time with – gives them special attention, gifts, privileges (which may vary from year to year)
  • Overly affectionate/playful with children – hugging, tickling, wrestling, holding or having a child sit on their lap
  • Minimizes the need to respect privacy when dressing/going to the bathroom. May try to normalize nudity around children and/or use their bodies to “teach” the child about sexuality 
  • May exhibit a sense that they feel they have special rights/privileges above others
  • Someone that communicates with a child in private – via social media, text message, email etc 
  • A person that seeks opportunities to spend time alone with a child (most likely frequently) may even offer or take them on trips where they are alone for overnight or longer.  
  • Someone that may be going through a difficult period in life and  – job loss, divorce, a death in the family – something that may add stress, feelings of depression, low self-esteem and/or loneliness. (These are common indicators that someone who would not be considered a pedophile, may turn to sexually abusing a child as a means to cope with unhappiness.) 
  • Someone that suggests a child is “troubled” or prone to lying (to discredit future claims of abuse by the child.) 

Juvenile Offenders 

Juvenile offenders are estimated to be responsible for approximately 40% of all child sexual abuse, yet they are the least discussed type of offenders.  Most juvenile offenders are over the age of 12. The reality is, you may see these behaviors in your own child, not necessarily someone who is a threat to your child. As adults, it is our responsibility to guide and take action if we feel our child may exhibit signs he/she could sexually abuse another child.  Be vigilant for: 

  • Children that are or have previously experienced abuse – physical, emotional, or sexual and are not in therapy. 
  • Children that exhibit bullying, aggressive, or controlling behavior
  • May exhibit a sense that they feel they have special rights/privileges above others  
  • Children that view pornography 
  • Gift giving or special privileges for another child 
  • Children that have not been educated on human sexuality and proper/responsible sexual behavior (In such cases, the child may abuse other children out of curiosity (with a limited understanding that their behavior is wrong) – but the act is still abusive upon the child victim.) Hazing may also fall under this category. 
  • Children that have a negative view of females (if you find your child is referring to girls as “bitches” “hoes” or “sluts” – it’s not just slang, it’s derogatory objectification. 

What Else We Can Do To ProtecT Children

 
 
While people are often shocked when child sexual abuse comes to light in their own community, the reality is that children are being sexually abused every day – and in most cases, they’re never even being reported.

Every day, we receive email alerts of the top stories regarding child sexual abuse. There are so many that it would overload our posts if we shared them via social media. Unless you’re like us – looking to be notified of all these stories, you’re probably not going to hear about them.

Here, though, are four of the top stories we’ve come across just this past week alone, and what, we feel, can be learned about the reality of child sexual abuse in our society. 

Female Accused of sexually abusing 4 year old relative

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Sara Marie Garoutee, 32, is accused of sexually abusing a 4 year old relative and sending the photos to her boyfriend, per his request.

What People Should Know:Women that sexually abuse children, although in the minority of those that offend, often do so on behalf or with a partner/spouse or in exchange for monetary payment. It is suggested that such women are more likely to have previously experienced abuse and/or are in an unstable relationship or lifestyle (poverty/substance addiction) and exploit children for financial gain.  Read more about female offenders here


Guidance Counselor and Former music Teacher/Private Singing Coach
 Convicted of raping 14 year old student 

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The female victim was a previous student and he had given her private singing lessons in his home. He is married, a father, and blamed a “seven year itch” in his marriage for his behavior. 

What People Should Know

  • Any sort of private lessons where a child is alone with a peer/adult should be avoided or, a parent should consider staying for the lesson or stopping in unannounced from time to time. Any situation with a child in a 1:1 situation, that forbids parental visitation/observation should be avoided. Learn more about minimizing opportunity
  • Many sexual abusers are in age-appropriate relationships but turn to abusing children to fill a perceived “need” – often emotional or stress related. They often know that their behavior is wrong but rationalize their behavior and minimize the impact of the abuse on the child. This is by no means an “excuse” for their behavior, but rather, a warning – that even people that we would not expect to commit sexual abuse, may experience a change in their life where they lower their morality and create “thinking errors” – justifying their behavior.  Learn more about the motivation of abusers. 
  • The fact that he was in a new position as a guidance counselor puts into question his motivation for such a position. It would have increased his 1:1 interaction with children and put him at an advantage to identify children that would be more susceptible to abuse (i.e. low self esteem). 

MAN convicted on several charges arising from the 
2010 molestation of a nine-year-old girl.

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(Link to article, here.)

What People Should Know

  • He had no prior felony convictions – most sexual offenders do not have a criminal record.
  • He lived in the home with the girl – there is no mention that he was a relative. Children that live in a home shared with non-immediate family members (i.e. extended family, roommates, romantic partners or step parents) are at an increased risk of abuse. 
  • He sought out opportunities to be alone with the girl. All parents should be cautious of anyone – especially adults, that are alone with their children.
  • He threatened her and told her that no one would believe her. It was only after several instances of abuse that the girl had the courage to tell someone. Children often do not tell someone right away, in many cases it takes years, and in some instances, survivors never tell. Read more about the impact on children and signs/symptoms of abuse.  

Victim of abuse: bullied, Ostracized, shamed

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During a victim impact statement in court, the now 38 year old father speaks of his abuse when he was 14 years old by a member of his Orthodox Jewish community.

  • “I have discovered that when the offender is one of your own, the response is different to if the offender is one of ‘them’,” he said.
  • “The community was more intent on protecting its good name than me,” … one rabbi told him reporting Hayman [his abuser] to police “would be committing a grave sin, like the worshiping of idols”.
  • When it became known that he had made a report to police, his adoptive family had “abandoned” him and he had been “cast out”.


In nearly every conversation we’ve had with survivors of abuse, and there have been many, nearly every person disclosed that they had been blamed, shamed, and re-victimized by the very people they expected to support them.

There seems to be a paradox in our society – when a story of abuse comes to light there is an uproar for the death penalty, yet – when abuse hits home for a family/community, there are, almost inevitable, multiple people who stand by the abuser. They either minimize the reality of the abuse, put responsibility on the child for “their share” in the “relationship” (as it is often called, even in the media and by police), and/or, most often, people are, shockingly (at least to us), quick to offer “forgiveness,” with the idea that the abuser is sorry, that they made a “mistake” and will stop, suggesting that punishment/jail time should be minimal.

This mentality, not only hurts the victim, but it discourages others from coming out about their abuse. The solution? More people that are willing to speak out about the issues of child sexual abuse. No more being “shocked” that this is happening in our own communities, when we have the rare opportunity to face reality. The time is now to take responsibility for the safety of the children in our families, in our towns, and do what we can to make more people aware that 1:4 girls and 1:6 boys are at risk of being sexually abused, and educating people on what we can do to prevent and stop abuse.

We promise, no matter how uncomfortable it is for us adults to think and talk about this issue, it is infinitely worse for the children that are suffering from it.


 
 

What We Need to KNow & Do To Protect Children 

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According to reports from CBS Pittsburg and WPXI News this 21 year old man was arrested for sexually abusing an 8 year old boy on two separate occasions – the first at a family birthday party.

This may seem shocking, but the particulars of this case are not out of the realm of how easily and often children are being sexually abused (an estimated rate of 1:4 girls and 1:6 boys.)

  1. It occurred in the basement of the home where they supposedly were playing XBOX games. Although in most cases of abuse the perpetrator and victim are often alone – it doesn’t mean that they are completely isolated from other people. 
  2. It was a large gathering of people.  Especially when children are old enough to roam the house – parents and family member easily lose track of their children and don’t put much thought into where they are or who they’re with. The idea that they are surrounded by people they know – rather than being in a mall or amusement park, the “stranger danger” misconception kicks in, and people feel safe leaving their children on their own. Statistically, however, 90% or more of abuse is perpetrated by someone known to the victim and their family. 
  3. The perpetrator threatened to hurt the victim if he told. In this case – the abuser physically restrained the child – it would seem he spent no time trying to groom the child to submit to the sexual acts, but rather, saw an opportunity to abuse and acted. (Learn more about abusers here.)
  4. The child did not tell his parents until after the abuse happened a second time, and he told his parents he did not want to go to this man’s home. In most cases, children will not tell for at least a year, and in many cases children never tell. 

How Can We Protect Our CHildren

  1. Remember, your child is much more likely to be sexually abused by a family member or family friend, than a stranger. Most abusers take advantage or seek opportunities where they will be trusted by parents with their children. Be vigilant of warning signs of potentially abusive behavior
  2. Talk early and often to your children, openly and honestly about their bodies, their rights, and appropriate behavior. (Read more here about talking to children.) Know the symptoms that a child may exhibit if he/she has been sexually abused.
  3. At family gatherings, parties, and holidays – check in on your children from time to time, a basement/kid’s bedroom, or outdoor club house may seem like  the ideal place for the kids to play while the adults have quiet time, but it’s important to make your presence known and unpredictable.  Secondly, do not force children to hug or kiss anyone that they do not feel comfortable with – they have the right to avoid physical contact with someone if they wish. 
  4. Create a “Safe Word” – a word or phrase they can use to communicate to you that they need your help. If they’re at a sleepover, or a party and need you but don’t want to call attention to their situation in front of others, a safe word can give them the freedom to let you know they need your private attention or help, when it may be difficult or uncomfortable to explain in detail. 
 
 
Keeping our cubs safe is priority #1! 
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According to CBS Baltimore:

Baltimore City Police arrest a 14-year-old boy on charges that he sexually assaulted an 8-year-old girl.

Soloman Pule was allegedly caught in the act by his mother earlier this week.

The mother told police she was upstairs putting her 2-year-old down for a nap and told her son and 8-year-old niece to clean up the living room.  She noticed it was too quiet and went back downstairs to check on them. She found them on the love seat: Pule with his pants down and her niece with her skirt up. A pair of scissors next to them.

The victim says Pule threatened her with the scissors to keep her quiet.

“Solomon told me if I scream to tell you he was going to cut me,” the statement of probable cause reads. “He shoved his thing in me.”

Police say Pule admitted to the crime while being interrogated.

He is charged as an adult.


Keep in Mind… 

  • For the 1:4 girls and 1:6 boys that are estimated to be sexually abused before their 18th birthday, as much as 40% of abuse is perpetrated by older, stronger, and/or more knowledgeable/mature juveniles. (See more statistics here)
  • There are numerous suggested reasons behind juvenile perpetrators of sexual abuse. Read More Here
  • Sexual abuse often occurs in a home – even with others present. 
  • Educating children on sexual abuse prevention is not only important for the safety of children, but also to promote respect, consent and appropriate sexual behaviors. Read More Here on How To Talk To Children 
  • If you suspect a child may exhibit signs of sexually abusive behavior, do not hesitate to seek support. For more information, visit: www.stopitnow.org 
 

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