It is a sad fact that child abuse exists. We know more than anyone of its grim reality and that is why your team at Georgia Hope, Inc. has at its mission to help these children to get out of their current situation and to find homes that help to make this reality a distant memory.
Our Facebook page will share facts, tips and of our course inspirational stories of foster kids who have beat the odds but we wanted to share a few facts with you about child abuse in Georgia. Our goal is simple; we want to raise awareness of the need for agencies like ours in helping children break the cycle of abuse and neglect.
Please read and talk with your kids about child abuse this and every month. See the facts below and share it on your pages. The more your children know and share with you the faster we eliminate these abusers from our communities.
REPRINTED FROM Georgia Center for Child Advocacy
2. See Something? - Say Something. Be an active bystander. If you see a situation that makes you feel uneasy, do not assume that someone else will respond. Be empowered to say and do something.
3. Plant a pinwheel garden at your home or organization to help raise awareness about child abuse prevention.
4. Be ready to make a report – it’s not always easy, but it is an adult’s job to protect children. Take a mandated reporter training (free online training HERE). Call 1-855-GA-CHILD if you suspect abuse. Kids are counting on you!
5. Do you know if the organizations that serve your child have policies reducing isolated one-on-one interaction? They should. 80% of sexual abuse incidents happen in isolated one-on-one situations. Ask about their policies today.
6. Listen calmly to what kids are telling you! Ask them who and what is important in their lives. It is important they feel heard, safe and supported.
7. Let go of the “stranger danger” myth. 90% of children who are victims of sexual abuse know and trust their abuser. We need to be vigilant and know how to recognize, prevent, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
8. Start talking with children about sexual abuse and the value and privacy of their bodies when they are young, and call body parts by their proper names.
9. Never force children to give affection. Teach children about giving and asking for consent. Model these concepts with your child. “Are you sad?" "Would you like a hug?”
10. Encourage children to trust their gut feelings. If they feel uncomfortable or unsafe encourage them to share those feelings with you or another trusted adult.
11. Have an open relationship with your children. Answer their questions honestly when asked rather than changing the subject or eluding the truth. Children sense your apprehension and will be less likely to come to you if something happens to them.
12. Make it known to your friends and family that you've talked to your children about safety from sexual abuse. Tell them that you've empowered your children to not keep secrets.
13. Participate in Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children training to learn the 5 steps to protecting children. Encourage those who look after your children to do the same.
14. Pay attention to sudden changes in a child’s mood or behavior. These signs could potentially be an indicator that a child has been sexually abused. Take interest and ask some simple, open-ended questions.“It seems like something is bothering you. Do you want to talk about it?” If you are concerned about sudden behavioral/emotional changes or about the healthy development in your child, call Prevent Child Abuse Georgia’s toll-free informational and referral helpline 1-800-CHILDREN (1-800-244-5373).
15. Hear first hand from an adult survivor of sexual abuse and how you can prevent the children in your life from experiencing the same abuse.
16. Talk with children about boundaries amongst their peers. 40% of sexually abused children are abused by older or more powerful children. Help them identify when someone means no, and different ways they might show it.
Tags: child abuse prevention child advocacy child abuse awareness month