Covid-19 Update: With the spread of Covid-19, The Blue Ribbon Project is following guidance from our local and state government and will be postponing all Volunteer events until further notice. Mirah's Closet and other portions of The Blue Ribbon Project are OPEN by appointment.
Physical abuse is non-accidental physical injury (ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death) as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting (with a hand, stick, strap, or other object), burning, or otherwise harming a child, that is inflicted by a parent, caregiver, or other person who has responsibility for the child. Such injury is considered abuse regardless of whether the caregiver intended to hurt the child. Physical discipline, such as spanking or paddling, is not considered abuse as long as it is reasonable and causes no bodily injury to the child.
The first step in helping abused or neglected children is learning to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect. The presence of a single sign does not mean that child maltreatment is occurring in a family, but a closer look at the situation may be warranted when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination.
Juvenile Sex Offenders
A sad fact is that sometimes children and teens are sex offenders. Some of these children may live in a home that is investigated for neglect and abuse, while others may be in foster case. It’s vital that the safety and wellbeing of children in these homes is looked after.
Abuse takes many forms against children, including emotional, sexual and physical. It can take place in school, at home, or in the community. There are a wide range of perpetrators, including parents, neighbors, teachers, children, and strangers.
Domestic violence, or family violence, generally refers to the physical assault of children and women. This is generally carried out by a male relative, such as a father/husband, or boyfriend. The man is using violence as a means to control his children and his partner. He believes that it’s a male prerogative, something that he has no control over. Or, he may believe that his family is to blame for his behavior. Women can also be guilty of family violence, however, it’s unusual for violent women to show violence on the same scale as violent men have.
Sex Offender Grooming
Child sex offenders use deliberate tactics to select their victims, and engage them in abuse. This is known as the grooming process. Offenders often identify vulnerable children, such as those in need, unhappy, or less likely to tell someone about the abuse.
Child Sex Offenders
Sexual violence is a serious problem, and it has devastating consequences. The challenge we face in making our society safer includes, an understanding of the offense risk and patterns, as well as resources. It is this knowledge that can inform our decisions on reporting, investigation, sentencing, and more.
All too often, cases of child abuse or neglect go unaddressed. Victims of abuse, especially children, will seldom report their abuser to authorities. This can be due to many different reasons, but the bottom line is that it’s simply not reasonable to expect an abused or neglected child to be their own advocate. It is for this reason that many adults who work in a position that may allow them to help advocate for the child are tasked with being mandated reporters.
The American Society for the Positive Care of Children estimates that almost 2,000 children suffer from abuse every day, with roughly 1,600 abuse-related deaths every year. This includes infants, young children, and teens. Possibly because it is so heartbreaking, child abuse isn’t often talked about. With this many children suffering every day it is clear that the time has come to start the conversation. In order to spread awareness, it’s important to understand the different types of child abuse.
For individuals who become victims of abuse, the negative effects don’t end when they grow up and leave their abuser behind them. They may have spent years in an abusive situation that included physical, sexual, or emotional trauma. Childhood is when you essentially learn what the world is like, learn about things like trust and rules and respect. When trauma to that degree is caused by a caregiver, it can affect the victim for the rest of their lives.
When children become the victims of abuse or suffer from neglect, they will rarely verbalize the problem. This can make it difficult to determine as a bystander whether a child is being abused or neglected. Adults who suspect something is not right may not always say something when given the opportunity--this is due to the combination of social stigma surrounding criticizing others’ parenting styles and simply not knowing if what they are seeing truly points to a child who is being victimized.
Emotional abuse is not considered as serious as physical or sexual abuse. But it is. The thoughts and poetry contained here were written by a 13 year old girl after having endured years of emotional abuse by her mother.
The following words and poetry were written by Kallel Hunter. She has graciously allowed me to share them with you.