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.
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.
Tyler is a 28 year old survivor of extensive childhood abuse and neglect. In an effort to spread awareness about how pervasive childhood abuse can be, Tyler has given permission to share his story here. From a very small town, Tyler experienced abuse into adulthood and to this day has an unbalanced relationship with his abuser. Unfortunately, the town he grew up in is quite poor and isolated, with stories like his being all too common there.
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.
When The Blue Ribbon Project was founded, one of the key principles in mind was the recognition of volunteers and their support of the community. The fight against child abuse and the support of children in our community is what we stand for. This "community effort" is a vital part of our mission and our foundation.
One of the best tools in fighting child abuse is having the ability to recognize it when it's occurring. When abuse is discovered, it is often learned the abuse had been occurring for some time, however, the signs were over-looked. In our Speak Up...Speak Out program, the signs of abuse and neglect are discussed and case studies are provided. Please note this presentation shows the true realities of child abuse and there are graphic images that are included with the presentation. In this program, we will discuss the signs of several types of abuse and what to be on the lookout for, what to do when you suspect abuse, disclosures, supporting the child, as well as mandated reporting in Maryland. We will also speak about foster care and the long term effects of child abuse and neglect.
It should be noted the second half of this program discusses investigations and pattern of injury and is graphic in nature. Our task is not to offend you but to show the realities of abuse within our own communities. Taylor will also discuss his own childhood and how he was placed into care. This presentation is an excellent program and is a real eye opener intended for adults only. This program is used in the training and teaching of law enforcement officers, fire fighters, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Foster Parents, Teachers, among others. We also cover Mandated Reporting in the State of Maryland. A certificate will be awarded at the end of the program. Seating is limited in each of our classes and registration is required. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided This is a free program with no cost to you (but donations are always welcome).
This program is offered publicly at our facility in Crownsville as well as private training through various agencies and organizations. Please Contact Us to make arrangements or to learn more about his program. To see our upcoming training opportunities and to register, please visit our Upcoming Events Page.