Such a powerful article from The Washington Post. http://wapo.st/1xAZv0p
It's a big day for Jane's Place: we're expanding into the adjacent office space at 22 Greene Street! The expansion will add a separate office space for Center staff and a waiting room for families. Our mailing address (26 Greene Street) and our phone number (301-722-0016) will remain the same.
Jane's Place will be hiring a grant-funded Community Resource Coordinator. The part-time position will begin on 10/15/14 and end on 6/30/2015, and it will require some evening and weekend work. If you are interested in applying for the position, please email a your cover letter, resume, and a list of references to email@example.com. Your hire is contingent on passing a background check. We apologize for the quick turnaround.
We found this article from Enough Abuse to be incredibly informative:
Behavior Signs of Abusers
Grooming Tactics Used by Sexual Abusers
“Niceness is a decision… a strategy of social interaction; it is not a character trait.” - Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear (1997).
The next time you see a news story about an individual who was arrested for child sexual abuse or on child pornography charges, listen carefully to the words of neighbors and colleagues who are asked by the media for their reaction. You will often hear words like, “We are shocked. He was so nice.” or “All the kids liked him.”
Get rid of the notion that people who sexually abuse children look and act differently than you do. Individuals who sexually abuse children can be socially adept and even charming. Most are considered by those around them to be loyal friends, good employees and responsible members of the community. But remember, public appearance does not always reflect private behavior.
In a process called “grooming”, those who sexually abuse children often go to great lengths to appear trustworthy and kind, not only to the children they target and eventually victimize but also to their parents and other adults around them. Grooming a child and family gradually over time allows them to build trust and gain access to their target while appearing to be above reproach or suspicion.
Because of their skills at manipulation and deception, there is no foolproof checklist of behaviors that will definitely spot a potential child sexual abuser. Contrary to popular belief, there is no one profile which fits all abusers. This makes it very difficult to immediately distinguish them from others who interact with your kids. However, by gaining insight into the ways abusers think and the strategies they use, parents and caregivers can learn to be more vigilant in protecting their children.
Remember that these behaviors, when taken alone or together, don’t predict sexual abuse. However, according to research conducted by Stop It Now!, the behaviors described below were identified as warning signs or an indication that you may need to begin asking some questions.
Have you seen these behavioral signs in adults who interact with your children
Be careful and slow in choosing the people you allow into your family’s circle of trust and be ready to exclude someone from that circle at the first indication they might be unsafe.
The vast majority of sexual abuse (but not all) happens when adults and children are in one-on-one situations. You can reduce the risk, therefore, by reducing opportunity. Carefully consider any situation that places your child alone with an adult in an unsupervised situation. Support activities for your child that can occur in a group setting where there are several adults present. If your child must be left alone with an adult while you’re away, try to arrange for someone to drop in unexpectedly from time to time.
By letting people know that you do not take your child’s safety for granted, you send a message to abusers that your child is not an easy target.
Jane's Place Child Advocacy Center was just selected by Ruby Tuesday for its Community GiveBack Program. Here's a link to the event flyer page on our website. We're incredibly excited! On Saturdays in October and November, you can help support Jane's Place's mission by dining out at Ruby Tuesday in LaVale. 20% of your purchase will be donated directly to Jane's Place. So raise a fork as we hope to raise awareness of the issue of child abuse of our County.
In researching community involvement in child abuse prevention, we find ourselves coming back to this same fantastic resource: www.d2l.org or Darkness To Light: End Child Abuse. We encourage you to take a look at their resources, from videos to trainings. We hope to move forward with some of these materials as part of our outreach initiatives.
The next meeting of our Fundraising Committee is scheduled for Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 8:00 AM at Jane's Place Allegany County Child Advocacy Center, 26 Greene Street, Cumberland, MD 21502. New volunteer committee members are welcome. If you have questions, please call 301-722-0016.
From MD Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA):
Washington's WTOP 103.5 reports that over 800 sex offenders will be removed from the Maryland sex offender registry.
A Court of Appeals ruling declares that retroactively requiring sex offenders to register violates Maryland's constitution; therefore, the process of removing names of offenders convicted before 1995 has begun.
Some victims' rights groups are very concerned about the ruling. However, others believe it was always an imperfect system.
For the full story, click here.
MCASA was in the news story:
"Most sex offenses are not reported, most sex offenders are not convicted, and so most sex offenders are not on the registry," says Lisae C. Jordan, Esq., executive director of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
"We always worry that the registry created a false sense of security," she says.
Communities can protect themselves from sexual predators through prevention, education and awareness, Jordan says.
"Things that will make people more aware of how sex offenders operate," she continues. "The things we can do to help stop them, and the things that will send a message to potential sex offenders that we are going to stop them ... arrest them and convict them."
"Unfortunately, you need to be suspect when someone is trying to get you to allow them to be alone with your child, or take care of your child and do things that might be helpful to you," Jordan says. "But you really need to make sure that the motives there are not ones that will be harmful to your kid."
While strongly promoting prevention, Jordan says she's concerned the Court of Appeals ruling will make the sex offender registry less useful.
"We're going to have less information and there are some very scary sex offenders who we used to know about and were able to easily find that we're no longer going to be able to keep track of," Jordan says.
Jane’s Place is committed to providing free on-site therapy services to child and adolescent victims and witnesses of abuse. Currently, Jane’s Place has uses therapists from the Department of Social Services and Family Crisis Resource Center to provide therapy sessions, and we offer a fully equipped Therapy Room with play therapy tools, from a sand tray to puppets to art materials. For children who are already familiar with our Center, our facility is viewed as a safe, known place to both them and their families.
Why bring my child to therapy?
The emotional difficulties that children experience after victimization are complicated, embarrassing, and painful. The goal of therapy at Jane’s Place is to help children heal from these wounds in a safe, healthy manner.
He/She doesn’t want to talk about it. Can’t my child just simply forget what happened?
While it’s natural to want your child to simply move on or forget what happened, that may not be the healthiest option for your child’s emotional and physical well-being. Dealing with feelings of anger, grief, guilt, anxiety and other painful emotions resulting from the abuse is an important first step in your child’s journey of healing. While letting go of negative emotions is a terrific end goal for your child, we recommend that children have the support of a therapist who is specially trained in cognitive behavioral therapy to work towards that goal.
What is the impact of child maltreatment in the long-term?
Sadly, there is increasing evidence to suggest that mental disorders in adults, adolescents and children are often linked to past child abuse and neglect. Many victims of abuse develop painful psychological symptoms that deeply impact their overall quality of life. According to a July 2013 report published by the Child Welfare Information Gateway titled, “Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect,” there are identified links between child abuse and neglect and difficulty during infancy, poor mental and emotional health, cognitive difficulties, and social difficulties. The report notes that, “the immediate emotional effect of abuse and neglect—isolation, fear, and an inability to trust—can translate into lifelong psychological consequences, including low self-esteem, depression, and relationship difficulties.” The publication also referenced the impact of child abuse and neglect upon difficulties in adolescence, juvenile delinquency and adult criminality, alcohol and other drug abuse, and abusive behavior.
How do I set up a therapy appointment for my child?
Call Jane’s Place at 301-722-0016 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jane’s Place staff will contact you and coordinate with one of our partner therapists to set up a date/time for your child’s initial consultation.
Here at Jane's Place, we're delighted to hear that the Reauthorization of the Victims of Child Abuse Act is on its way to the President.
From the National Children's Alliance's Newsletter:
"It has been a great month for CACs here in Washington! On July 28th, the House again unanimously passed the Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization, clearing it for the president’s signature. As you may remember, the House previously passed its version of the Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization bill in May as a part of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. However, this larger trafficking package stalled in the Senate. So in June, our Senate CAC champions, led by Senators Coons and Blunt, decided to push Reauthorization separately in hopes of getting it to the President before the August recess. The bill, S. 1799, the Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2013, passed unanimously. It then went back to the House where it was again unanimously passed and it is now headed to the President for signature."
It's not an easy conversation to have, but it's an important one. What do you say to the parent of a child whose sexual behaviors causes you concern? If you become aware of a child engaged in unhealthy sexual activity, you can broach the topic with the child's parent in a way that's straightforward but respectful. This tip sheet for having that conversation is a terrific resource for parents.