NAASCA Posters / Essays Celebrating April as National Child Abuse Awareness Month

Child Abuse lives everywhere -- don't be afraid to talk about it
3 of 30 ..

  Child Abuse lives ..
...... in every community
...... & all children are innocent

Child molestation usually begins with a sex offender gaining a child's trust and friendship. The offender then begins “testing” the child's ability to protect himself by telling sexual jokes, engaging in horseplay, back rubs, kissing or sexual games.

If the child appears comfortable or curious about this type of behavior, (and most healthy, normal children are) the offender will slowly increase the amount and type of touching to include more direct sexual touching. Child sexual abuse can include exposing, fondling, masturbation, oral sex, intercourse and pornography.

Many children do not understand that what is happening is sexual or wrong. Most offenders know that if they physically harm a child while molesting her, the child will be more likely to tell. They are also clever enough to make the child feel as if she is actually responsible for the contact. Children become trapped and are unable to tell anyone what is happening.

Research has demonstrated that most of our school-based child abuse prevention programs do not prevent children from being abused and have little impact on reporting. The reason for the lack of impact on abuse is that children are not in a good position to protect themselves from adults, especially if the adult offender is a parent or caretaker. Given the way child molesters operate, it is imperative that adults, not children, become educated about child abuse, supervise their children more closely and take action if they suspect someone of abusing a child.

Parents, schools, churches and community groups must also work together to develop prevention programs that incorporate parent training into prevention programs and encourage reporting.

Please see:
Protecting Your Children: Advice from Child Molesters

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