Tag: abuse

Waiting for Life to Begin. Again.

Waiting for Life to Begin. Again. Once I was 14, and I thought the world was over right when it was supposed to begin. I had held out for three years, waiting for help that never came.  And then I gave up. I started sleeping with the light on. I stopped sleeping. I stopped eating. I started eating too much. I stopped trusting the people around me. I stopped trusting the ground below me. I cried all the time- locked alone in my room, in bathroom stalls and anywhere no one could see me. I didn’t cry in front...

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Dancing with the Devil Who Lived Down the Street

 Dancing with the Devil Who Lived Down the Street This predator always liked to lead. I always wanted to be invisible after that first time it happened.  I wanted to watch you, but I didn’t want you to see what I was up to. I remember sitting in my parents’ living room, with my eyes shut down while my breathing became rather shallow. I didn’t want you to hear me either. I was always in my Sunday best – patent leather shoes with shiny buckles, poppy necklaces and frilly silly girly dresses that were held up by skinny little...

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How Can We Protect Ourselves from Predators?

Review of Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists & Other Sex Offenders: Who They Are, How They Operate, And How We Can Protect Ourselves And Our Children by Anna Salter, Ph.D Dr. Salter received a Masters degree in Child Study and a Ph.D in Psychology and Public Practice, and she has been building her expertise in child abuse since the 1970s. She makes her position clear in the: “Victims were the result, not the cause, of the problem.” What, if anything, can be done about offenders? To determine an answer, Dr. Salter interviewed offenders and developed educational films from those sessions. Denial is the refusal to acknowledge the existence or severity of unpleasant external realities or internal thoughts and feelings. Society denies the cruelties of predators in our communities, while also denying the effects of sex abuse on victims. The remedy for denial is information, and the knowledge of what it takes to keep our children safe. Dr. Salter’s book offers the awareness needed to prevent the perpetuation of sex offenses in our neighborhoods. The reader is not asked to understand predators but to identify them. A premise of the book is in the phrases “No opportunity. No abuse.” Dr. Salters states that it is the parent’s responsibility to “avoid situations where sexual abuse is possible.” She urges parents to supervise their children during community activities. This presumes that a child has caring...

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Is It Possible to Identify a Potential Abuser?

Review of It Happens Every Day: Inside the World of a Sex Crimes D. A. By Robin Sax Robin Sax is an expert on sex crimes against children. She was a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney who prosecuted offenders for the child sexual assault division. As an attorney and advocate for victims’ rights, she appears to be as passionate as she is knowledgable. Sax says she wrote the book to illustrate what transpires when a district attorney prosecutes a child sexual assault case. Using a no-nonsense style of writing, Sax shows the reader how the criminal justice system works, or does not work, for its victims. She incorporates case studies as well as descriptions of crime scenes and victim statements to get her main point across: “child sexual assault has become a social epidemic.” The book is divided into two parts, “Behind the One-Way Mirror” and “Behind Counsel Table.” Sax shows ways in which cases are investigated, how children are treated through the process, and what happens when a perpetrator is convicted. The reader learns about the justice system without the sensationalism of TV court drama. Sax provides an extensive appendix, separates fact from fiction, and offers her expert opinions. Whether or not a victim pursues a criminal charge against a perpetrator, this is what Robin Sax knows for sure: sex crimes “will affect the victim’s outlook on life,...

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How Do We Talk To Children About Sexual Abuse?

There is no math formula to teach children to protect themselves from potential abusers. Parents have to take the initiative to discuss the realities of our society’s ugly side. Here is a review of a book intended for young children, that may open lines of communication. Those Are My Private Parts by Diane Hansen How do we talk to our children about sexual abuse? What can parents and caregivers say to prevent child sexual abuse? In a society that spends more funding dollars on intervention instead of prevention, Diane Hansen, author of Those Are My Private Parts, has found a simple yet ingenious way to answer those questions. Her book is illustrated with child-friendly drawings in primary colors. The text carries short rhythms with great messages. Every educator and caregiver, as well as children’s advocacy centers, should have a copy of this book as a tool to empower children. Diane Hansen was spurred to action when she heard a perpetrator of sexual abuse on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The convicted child molester revealed how he had used secret tactics and tricks to coerce children into sex acts. A child molester claimed that it is harder to manipulate children who realize the danger. And the danger does not lie solely with a stranger: 93-95% of victims know the attacker! The sting of betrayal runs deep when a child has been...

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Knowledge is Power! Protecting Children from Family Sexual Abusers

There is no profile for a family sexual abuser because they can be anyone. They can be charming, loving, good parents, good neighbours, good husbands or brothers or dads. They can be Christians, Buddhists, Muslims or Atheists. They can be talented, gifted, educated, poor, rich, old, young, good providers, and great members of community. They can also be our leaders in church, work, sports and government, but for this one thing that crosses all barriers of decency, trust and honour; and they cross it. There is an imbalance of power within the home or organisation and the child has...

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