Archive for Sexual Abuse
More Than Five Children Die As A Result of Child Abuse Every Day In the U.S
Every day in the United States, more than five children die as a result of child abuse. Child abuse includes verbal, emotional, physical and sexual as well as neglect.
Child Abuse occurs in every socioeconomic status, across all ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions, including clergy within these religions, educators, and by people of every education level. While April is designated as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, it is lip service at best and misleading at worst. The rest of the year everyone pretends that only children in the ghetto or uneducated parents abuse their children.
If a disease killed or maimed as many children as abuse does; the AMA would declare a pandemic; Pharmaceutical companies would be awarded billions of dollars to develop a vaccine or pill to numb the pain or body parts are cut out—and it is a well-known fact—vaccines, pills and cutting out body parts cures nothing.
Sadly, child abuse, is not a platform that you will find popular with politicians or a topic of conversation at social gatherings. However, having guns in the hands of every citizen that frequently ultimately kill innocent people, including children is a hot topic.
More children die each year at the hands of their parents than from irresponsible gun use. I am not advocating that gun management is unnecessary; I am illuminating the crisis of child abuse in contrast to the hot topic of gun management.
The after effects of child abuse are devastating, far-reaching and the dots of cause and effect of the devastation is seldom considered when the after effect symptoms are expressed in so-called physical and mental diseases.
Child abuse After effects include poor academic performance, difficulty maintaining healthy relationships, Anxiety, Panic, Depression, Bi-polar, Post Traumatic Stress, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Cancer, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Migraine Headaches, and Arthritis are just a few of the after effects child abuse survivors cope with. See the extensive list of effects here…
Healing is possible. It is important to work with a practitioner, who can address these complicated after effects through a process of Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Transformation (EPST) a highly effective protocol to Transform the root cause of all issues and symptoms. EPST is direct, focused and combines creating health while transforming the past. It is precise, powerful, virtually effortless and an accurate method to change the landscape of your inner and outer mind, body and spirit. EPST allows you to access your past, present and future – as well as your subconscious to clear negative energy on all levels (beliefs, thoughts & feelings) – Mind, Body and Spirit. ###
About the Author:
Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, Metaphysician – Certified Hypnosis and Regression Practitioner, Author and Speaker. Dr. Dorothy facilitates clearing blocks, fears and limiting beliefs as well as restoring your Mind, Body and Spirit back to vibrant health. You can live the life you desire. She facilitates Past Life Regression, Life Between Lives and Future Life Progression. She is featured in the documentary The Business of DisEase. She was a World Regression Congress faculty member in the Netherlands, India, Braziland Turkey. http://www.drdorothy.net http://facebook.com/DrDorothyNed http://teamasea.com/drdorothy http://empowernetwork.com/drdorothy
Undated booking photos, (not shown here) taken by the national police in The Netherlands and provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, show Robert Mikelsons, who was sentenced in Amsterdam on May 21, 2012, to 18 years in prison for abusing dozens of babies and toddlers. A child pornography investigation, which began when a Massachusettsman sent a photo of a young Dutch boy to an undercover federal agent in Boston, led to the arrests of 43 men in seven countries, including Mikelsons, and helped uncover a child pornography network.
DENISE LAVOIE, Associated Press
BOSTON— The men came from different walks of life on two continents: a children’s puppeteer inFlorida, a hotel manager inMassachusetts, an emergency medical technician in Kansas, a day care worker in theNetherlands. In all, 43 men have been arrested over the past two years in a horrific, far-flung child porn network that unraveled like a sweater with a single loose thread.
In this case, the thread was a stuffed toy bunny.
The bunny, seen in a photo of a half-naked, distraught 18-month-old boy, was used to painstakingly trace a molester toAmsterdam. From there, investigators made one arrest after another of men accused of sexually abusing children, exchanging explicit photos of the attacks and even chatting online about abducting, cooking and eating youngsters.
Authorities have identified more than 140 young victims so far and say there is no end in sight as they pore through hundreds of thousands of images found on the suspects’ computers. They are also working to determine whether the men who talked about murder and cannibalism actually committed such acts or were just sharing twisted fantasies.
The still-widening investigation has been code-named Holitna, after a river in Alaskawith many tributaries.
“They are the worst of the worst,” said Bruce Foucart, agent in charge of the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement agency’s Homeland Security Investigations unit inBoston. “This isn’t just a child that’s nude and someone’s taking pictures of him; this is a child that’s being raped by an adult, which is horrific.”
Agents forwarded the photo to Interpol, the international police organization, and to several other countries.
An investigator for the Dutch police recognized the stuffed bunny as Miffy, a familiar character in a series of Dutch children’s books. She also traced the boy’s orange sweater to a small Amsterdam store that had sold only 20 others like it.
The boy’s photo was broadcast on a national TV program similar to “America’s Most Wanted.” Within minutes, friends and relatives called the child’s mother.
Robert Mikelsons, a 27-year-old day care worker who baby-sat the boy, was arrested. On his computer were thousands and thousands of images of children being molested and raped, including the boy holding the stuffed bunny.
Photos and online chats found on computers owned by Diduca and Mikelsons led to more than three dozen other suspects in seven countries, including Canada, Britain, Germany, Sweden and Mexico. The oldest victim in the Netherlands was 4, the youngest just 19 days old.
Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, whose office prosecuted Diduca, said the demand for photos of sexual assaults of young children, including babies and toddlers, has increased sharply in recent years.
“This demand leads to the abuse of children, yet there is this misconception that somehow, viewing child pornography is a victimless crime,” said. “It clearly is not.”
Diduca pleaded guilty to child porn and sexual exploitation charges and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. His lawyer, Richard Sweeney, said Diduca was sexually abused as a child by a Boy Scout leader. “He gets it, he knows he needs to be punished, he knows what he did is wrong,” Sweeney said.
Mikelsons also received an 18-year sentence, followed by indefinite psychiatric commitment, after confessing to sexually abusing more than 80 children.
The horror did not let up after the Mikelsons case.
In May, authorities arrested Michael Arnett of Roeland Park, Kan., after finding pornographic photos he allegedly produced. Agents discovered the pictures when they searched the computer of a Wisconsin man who had been chatting online with Mikelsons.
What they found on Arnett’s computer was unlike anything some of the investigators had ever come across: long, graphic, online chats about his desire to abduct, kill and eat children. They said he had also made photos of a naked 2-year-old boy in a roasting pan inside his oven. The child and two other boys Arnett allegedly abused and photographed were later identified and found alive.
In July, authorities arrested four men they say had online discussions with Arnett about kidnapping and eating children. Those arrested included Ronald Brown, a children’s puppeteer from Largo,Fla. (A YouTube video shows Brown during an appearance on a Christian TV kids show in the 1980s. In the video, he tells a child puppet that he did the right thing by refusing to look at “dirty pictures” some other youngsters tried to show him.)
In excerpts of an online chat between Arnett and Brown from 2011, the two men appear to be discussing their desire to cook a child for Easter.
“he would make a fine Easter feast,” Arnett says.
“yes, his thighs and butt cheeks would be fantastic for Easter,” Brown responds.
A lawyer for Arnett would not comment on the allegations. Brown’s lawyer did not return calls.
Prosecutors said Brown acknowledged his online conversations but said that it was all a fantasy and that he would never hurt anyone.
“Obviously the discussions regarding their claims of cannibalism are disturbing and a concern to our agency,” said ICE spokesman Ross Feinstein. He said agents are following all leads “to make sure these individuals didn’t follow through on any of their claims.”
To find the young victims, investigators carefully studied thousands of photos, read hours of Internet chats and worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They also employed some forensic wizardry.
After finding a video on Diduca’s computer of a bound, 2-year-old boy being raped, investigators enhanced the images of furniture and carpet and determined the attack took place in a motel room in Bakersfield,Calif.
Then they pinpointed the date by way of a TV that was playing in the background in the video, figuring out exactly when a particular episode of “Family Matters” aired along with a certain Pepperidge Farms commercial.
A man from Black Forest, Colo., was arrested and is awaiting trial.
Similarly, in the Arnett case, investigators discovered that a water bottle in one of the photographs carried the name of a swim and scuba center in Overland Park, Kan. With the help of teachers at an elementary school, they identified three children shown in the photographs, including the toddler posed in the roasting pan.
The mother of one of the boys said she initially did not believe the allegations against Arnett, a family friend for about 15 years. She said her son, now 7, and several nephews often spent weekends at Arnett’s home four or five years ago.
“Well, when we first got the phone call, we thought there’s no way. You guys got the wrong guy,” she said. The Associated Press does not identify victims of sexual abuse or their families.
But then investigators showed her photos Arnett had allegedly taken of her son with a shirt and no pants.
“Regret? For sending my son with a sick-minded guy, that’s the only regret I have. I had no idea,” she said. “It’s depressing.”
For the agents working on the case, the leads never seem to end.
Last week, they arrested another Massachusetts man after finding child pornography and photos of what appeared to be dead children on his computer. He allegedly had online chats with Arnett and Brown.
More arrests are expected.
“The agents that work for me are extremely driven on this type of investigation,” said Bart Cahill, assistant agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations inBoston. “They really believe that they are taking out horrific violators and saving kids.”
Associated Press writers Maria Sudekum inKansas City,Mo., and Matt Sedensky inWest Palm Beach,Fla., contributed to this report.
No doubt like me; you are sickened by the Penn State child-sexual assault; as you were no doubt sickened by previous mass incidents of child sexual assaults by Priests, Clergy, Rabbis. The non-reporting and cover-up syndrome at Penn State is no different than clergy covering up for sex offenders within the religious fabric of society.
While the media, professionals and collegiate officials debate how to handle thePenn State tragedy, including the systemic cover-up by university leaders, others; like myself want the public to know how such abuse impacts children’s lives.
You no doubt heard commentators make innate and blatantly calloused comments: ‘What’s done is done,’ ‘There’s no one left to go after,’ ‘Why punish the students and the athletes by placing sanctions on Penn State?’
“It’s time to heal those who bear the aftermath, and it is time for society to pull their heads out of the sand about sexual child abuse and sex offenders,” says child advocate Dorothy M Neddermeyer, PhD whose book “If I’d Only Known…Sexual Abuse In Or Out Of The Family: A Guide To Prevention (http://drdorothy.info/?page_id=9 ) details the stark aftermath of sexual child abuse and how to prevent it in or out of the home. “If these commentators, professionals or collegiate officials were the victims, or their children were, I know they would demand restitution and changes going forward so that a tragedy of this nature would be prevented,” Dr Neddermeyer stated.
Hearing the supporters of the university’s football program nullify the damage is reminiscent of a society that is in denial about the full scope and magnitude of sexual child abuse aftermath. PennState’s board could do the noble gesture and make it easy for themselves by self-imposing the ‘death penalty’ option – temporarily shutting down the embattled football program.
“As horrific as sexual child abuse is, left untreated by a protocol specifically focused on sexual child abuse recovery, the volume of lifelong negative consequences is worse than the initial assault,” Dr Neddermeyer said. “Children often hear the voice of their abuser in their minds—telling them they’re bad, they’re ugly, they’re worthless, that no one would believe them, or no one would care or they wanted and/or liked the sexual assault—long after the abuse occurred and/or was reported. The emotional torture continues until the recovery process is in an advanced stage.”
Without a recovery process specifically focused on sexual child abuse the lasting scars, include, but are not limited to:
- Difficulty managing emotions. One of the strongest signs of well-being is the ability to manage adversity, to keep emotions balanced. “For sexual abuse survivors, a lasting legacy is the opposite of well-being.” Sexual abuse survivors usually have difficulty expressing feelings, which are then bottled up, often leading to sporadic periods of depression, anger and anxiety. Many survivors use excess alcohol and/or drugs to numb the pain.
- Feeling a core sense of worthlessness, dirty or damaged. The physical side of sexual abuse is one aspect, what haunts survivors is the voice of the abuser, constantly reinforcing a lack of personal value. As time passes the survivors mature into adults, who are unable to invent in themselves. With a deep sense of being damaged, they often feel incapable or unworthy of career success and higher-paying positions.
- Difficulty trusting relationships or people on any level is omnipresent. 80% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by family members, 19% is perpetrated by people the child knows and trusts– family friends, church leaders, teachers, sports coach, scout leaders, et al. Children who can not feel secure within the family, the most fundamental relationships, develop deep and pervasive trust issues. Relationships are often doomed because the survivor trashes good relationships, fearing their partner will ultimately control, hurt or abandon them as was the case with the trusted perpetrator. More often than not, survivors are drawn to an abusive person because they do not know what a healthy relationship feels like or entails.
“When I hear the ‘Yeah, but,’ argument from people who are in denial and defend and thereby allow sexual child abuse to continue, whether it is the tragedy of Penn State, the Catholic Church, Judaism, Protestant or Mormon Church, my convictions that society needs to do more to raise awareness about sexual child abuse rises another octave. Society needs to raise awareness on how sex offenders are created; how sexual abuse offenses can be prevented; and enforcing the law, which requires professionals and persons in authority to report the abuse when the person first suspects there is reason to believe an adult is on the verge or already has sexually abused a child.
No more denial. No more cover-ups. No more excuses or reasons for any child being sexually abused by someone who has authority or responsibility for the child’s well-being.
Dealing with Domestic Violence:
Cure or Cover-up?
By Jordan Riak, June 7, 2012
When lawmakers claim they want to address the problem of domestic violence, i.e, wife beating by husbands, but remain silent about educator violence, i.e, pupil beating by teachers, can they be taken seriously?
We must remember that teachers who punish schoolboys by smacking them on the buttocks with a stick are preparing them to become abusive husbands. And similarly-mistreated girls are learning to become submissive wives.
As trained, certified experts, teachers represent a standard for the general community – a standard that is etched into the public mind (for good or for ill) beginning in the earliest years. Conveniently substituting the word “discipline” for “violence” doesn’t change the substance of the matter; and making one’s 18th birthday the magic moment for achieving equal protection under the law against assault and battery is, to say the least, arbitrary and unreasonable.
Credit goes to those reform-minded legislators who are leading the crusade against domestic violence. More power to them. But somebody needs to remind them that real reform can only begin after they’ve honestly examined the root of the problem. Anything short of that is self-deception.
Nashville trying to reduce domestic violence, By The Associated Press, The Daily Herald, May 21, 2012
The mainstay for the majority of parents is telling the child what not to do – Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Unfortunately, more often than not; parents fail to tell the child what to do. You were indoctrinated and conditioned to not do this or that without adequate guidance how to make a decision on ‘what to do.’ Now you have difficulty deciding what to do. In the absence of not knowing ‘what to do’—-you can do the following until you know what you desire to do.
• Avoid spending time with naysayer people.
• Avoid running from your problems. – Face them head on.
• Avoid lying to yourself. –You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself and be successful. M Scott Peck
• Avoid putting your own needs on the back burner. No one can do what you need to do for your needs.
• Avoid working on being someone you’re not.
• Avoid holding onto the past.
• Avoid being scared to make a mistake. So called ‘mistakes’ can lead to the solution.
• Avoid berating yourself for perceived mistakes. They lead to the solution.
• Avoid thinking you can buy happiness. Bigger houses or cars never create a bigger person.
• Avoid exclusively looking to others for happiness.
• Avoid being idle.
• Avoid thinking you’re not ready. Readiness is a decision. Decide
• Avoid getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons.
• Avoid rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work.
• Avoid competing against anyone.
• Avoid being jealous of others.
• Avoid complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. What goes around comes around. – What you complain & whine about is what comes back.
• Avoid holding grudges. Grudges prevent you from seeing clearly for your best interest.
• Avoid letting others bring you down to their level.
• Avoid doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.
• Avoid overlooking the beauty in the moment.
• Avoid working to make things perfect. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. You aren’t the only beholder.
• Avoid following the path of least resistance. The best fruit is on the highest branch.
• Avoid blaming others for your travail. What goes around comes around. – What you blame others about is what comes back.
• Avoid being everything to everyone.
• Avoid worrying. Worry is an endless loop. What goes around comes around. Focus on what you desire.
• Avoid focusing on what you don’t want. – What goes around comes around. Focus on what you desire.
• Focus on TRUST, FAITH, BELIEF moment to moment all ways always.
• Focus on being grateful for all things big and small – the small things add up to big things.
I wish you well on your journey of deciding what to do. ###
Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, Metaphysician – Certified Hypnosis and Regression Practitioner, Author and Speaker. Dr. Dorothy facilitates clearing blocks, fears and limiting beliefs. You can live the life you desire. She facilitates Past Life Regression and Future Life Progression. She was a World Regression Congress faculty member in the Netherlands, India, Brazil and Turkey. http://www.drdorothy.net http://facebook.com/DrDorothyNed http://myasea.com/drdorothy
Finland: Corporal punishment fades into history
Yle Uutiset, May 16, 2012
New generations of parents in Finland are less likely to physically punish their children. Today ten percent of parents say corporal punishment is acceptable, down from 50 percent in the 1980s.A survey conducted by the Finnish Central Union for Child Welfare suggests Finns’ attitudes toward corporal punishment have changed. Today the physical chastisement of children is generally considered unacceptable.
Heikki Sariola, a senior advisor at the organisation, said the results were surprising.
”This signals a major shift in Finnish culture,” he explained, adding that many of today’s parents were themselves raised without fear of physical violence at home.
Finnish law has prohibited the corporal punishment of children since 1984.But many parents still legitimise milder forms physical punishment, including hair-pulling, slapping, whipping and knuckle-rapping. Nearly 40 percent of parents admitted to pulling kids’ hair and 20 percent have slapped hands.
“It’s problematic that parents don’t think this qualifies as violence, or then they may just be defending their own actions,” Sariola surmises.
Few respondents directly condoned the physical punishment of children. The union said it appears as if the no-hitting philosophy has seeped into the national psyche. Today 97 percent of those surveyed were aware of the law, up from 94 percent in 2004.
The union polled around 1,000 Finns between 15–79 for the survey.
OF SPANKING CHILDREN Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children was published in 1994 and last revised in August 2002. Copyright is waived on this publication and it may be freely reproduced and disseminated. For readers’ convenience, a PDF version of this publication may be viewed and downloaded at www.nospank.net/sdsc.pdf. For further information about corporal punishment of children, visit www.nospank.net and, for information specifically about its sexual implications, visit www.nospank.net/101.htm. Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Direct all inquiries to PTAVE, P.O. Box 1033, Alamo, CA 94507, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (925) 831-1661.
Noted child advocate underscores historical roots of ‘whoopings’
By Lu Ann Franklin, Times Correspondent
nwitimes.com, April 28, 2012
GARY | Every three minutes of every day, a black child is abuse or neglected, and one dies from that abuse or neglect at the hands of parents or parental figures.That cycle of corporal punishment in black families has historical roots, according to Stacey Patton, who was keynote speaker at Friday’s 22nd annual forum on child abuse and neglect at Indiana University Northwest.
The forum was sponsored by the IUN School of Public and Environmental Affairs in observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Continuing education credits were available to foster parents and licensed social workers who participated.
A noted author, scholar and child advocate, Patton knows firsthand about the trauma of physical abuse. Born in Montclair, N.J., Patton spent the first five years of her childhood in foster care before being adopted by abusive parents.
At age 12, she ran away from home and spent the next few years being shuttled between foster homes and youth shelters before winning a full scholarship to Lawrenceville Prep School near Princeton, N.J.
In 2007, Patton published a book about her experiences, “That Mean Old Yesterday.” The book includes a discussion of the historical roots and impact of physical discipline of children in African-American families. In April 2011, she launched an online portal designed to teach alternatives to physical discipline of children.
“My adoptive mother would say ‘I whoop you because I love you’ before and after her beating rituals,” Patton said.
The history of African-Americans in America has “conditioned us to accept that having somebody control and beat us when we are young is somehow at the heart of our success and ability to become law-abiding productive adults,” she said.
It’s a style of parenting that is passed on from generation to generation, Patton said.
“The fact that so many black people legitimize abuse as a form of responsible parenting, effectively demonstrates how the intergenerational transmission of trauma continues to mentally shackle us and perpetuates rampant abuse which feeds a disproportionate number of young into the foster care and juvenile justice industries,” she said.
Helping black families — both biological and foster — break that cycle involves learning important parenting skills such as patience, empathy, communication skills and the ability to solve problems, Patton said.
She urged child welfare professionals to appreciate why some parents are incapable of nurturing their children in healthy, nonviolent ways.
“To fight child abuse, it’s not enough just to remove children from dangerous situations, or to investigate allegations of child abuse,” Patton said. “Social service professionals and others engaged in the fight need to become culturally competent by developing a stronger understanding of the link between child abuse and the history of personal and cultural trauma.”
— Agencies in Salina reach out to families to try to curb violence against children
By Erin Mathews
Salina Journal, April 29, 2012
It’s a sobering fact about Salina: In the past seven months, authorities allege that two children who lived here were killed by abuse in their homes.Representatives of agencies that work with families with young children expressed frustration and horror that 14-month-old Clayden Lee Urbanek and 18-month-old Bre’Elle Ciara Jefferson may have been fatally abused.
“It makes me sick,” said Charyl Zier, program coordinator for Heartland Programs, which administers Early Headstart, Headstart and Parents as Teachers. “How did we miss them? Why didn’t they know about us, or if they did, what could we have done to engage them?”
Vicki Price, education director of Child Advocacy and Parenting Services, said she and her co-workers know they are making a difference in the lives of children whose parents seek CAPS assistance to learn new parenting skills.
But they also know there are other families they are not reaching before irreparable harm is done.
Elaine Edwards, executive director of Salina Childcare, said she hopes that new United Way grant funding received by a coalition of 13 local organizations over a three-year period starting in July will help institute some new approaches that include more of the families who aren’t currently receiving services.
The goal of Partners in Early Childhood Education, or PIECE, is to help children enter school on track developmentally in the areas of literacy and social, emotional and intellectual skills.
“We’re trying to come up with different ways of reaching parents so we can expand services to other families who aren’t able to bring their children into existing programs,” she said.
Price said she hopes the deaths awaken an awareness of the need for change in Salina that will result in improvements in the living conditions and opportunities available for children. She also encouraged anyone who suspects sexual or physical abuse or neglect of a child to report it to authorities.
“If the community gets enraged, that’s when something could happen,” she said. One example of a new level of community involvement occurred Saturday, when a walk to raise awareness of the problem of child abuse organized by two young Salina women took place in honor of Clayden, who died Oct. 4, and Bre’Elle, who died April 10. Funds raised at the event were donated to CAPS.
The damage violence causes
Price said research has proven the damage caused by striking a child. “If kids don’t see their parents hitting them or hitting each other, and no one thinks of that as a tool in their parenting toolbox, it would be like a dinosaur and become extinct,” she said. A generation raised in homes free of abuse would mean many more children who grow up to be “capable, healthy and strong,” she said.
Nationwide, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System reported an estimated 1,770 children died — about one every five hours — from abuse and neglect in 2009, the most recent year for which data is available. In Kansas that year, 10 children were killed by abuse-related homicide, according to a report by the Kansas State Child Death Review Board.
According to a BBC investigation released in October 2011, 66 children under the age of 15 die from physical abuse or neglect each week in the industrialized world. Twenty-seven of those deaths occur in the United States, which loses more children to abuse and neglect than any other country.
Saline County statistics
Between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, in Saline County, the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services “screened in” 608 reports of abuse and neglect for further assessment. Of those, 42 were found to meet the state’s standard of “clear and convincing evidence” that abuse or neglect occurred.
Statewide during that time, 20,353 reports of abuse and neglect were screened in, with 1,823 being substantiated.
Price said some of the biggest contributing factors toward child abuse are alcohol and drug use, mental illness and a perpetrator who experienced abusive rearing as a child. Stress and an immature, impulsive response to anger can trigger violence, and whether the recipient is a colicky infant who is shaken or an older child who is struck or kicked, the effects can be lifelong and devastating, she said.
Breaking the abuse cycle
Carolee Jones, executive director of CAPS, said the agency has helped many people who have ultimately overcome crisis and broken out of the cycle of abuse. She said CAPS mentors help families navigate the systems and find services to assist them. CAPS assists families of any income level with children of any age.
She said one client was a father who received custody of his daughter after she was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend. CAPS helped the man work through problems such as temporary homelessness and supported him as he learned how to parent, she said. “He called two or three times a day because he didn’t know what to do,” she said. “He doesn’t call anymore. His daughter’s gone from truancy to taking summer school and successfully completing the next grade.”
Another former CAPS client is now involved in assisting with the agency’s Child Advocacy Center, where child victims of sexual abuse are interviewed, she said. “The support and advocacy she was given kind of rewrote the story of her life,” she said. CAPS and Early Headstart home visitors teach the importance of nurturing and bonding with infants, knowledge of child development and parental coping skills. They encourage social and family connections and provide a resource for support to prevent maltreatment of children from occurring.
It takes commitment
Among Heartland’s services are 90-minute weekly in-home visits in which Early Headstart employees educate low-income pregnant women and mothers of children up to age 3 on an array of child-raising subjects. The goal is to get at-risk kids ready to learn by the time they are old enough for kindergarten, Zier said.
“It takes commitment,” Zier said. “The first thing people do is revert back to how they were raised. We try to teach them there are other ways that work better and support them as they go through the issues. We share with them the latest and greatest research.” She said home educators build up a relationship of trust with families and help them build on their strengths. They talk to parents about their beliefs and thoughts concerning discipline techniques and steer them away from corporal punishment.
Spanking is not OK
She said a big topic of discussion is developmental milestones so that families don’t expect too much of their children at too young of an age. That frustration can sometimes trigger abuse.
“Sometimes people don’t have realistic expectations for their child,” Zier said. “We tell them a 2-year-old will bite and this is what you do. A 3-month-old will not sleep through the night and this is what you do. People have a lack of knowledge about how bad things can go wrong. They have a lack of knowledge of how easily a child can be injured.”
Another dangerous period for abuse is during potty training. She said often parents believe children are being defiant when in reality they simply aren’t developmentally ready to go without diapers.
CAPS mentors work with families to help shield kids from abuse, and they discourage spanking. Price said the fact that there is a special word for hitting children on the buttocks makes it seem like an acceptable discipline technique. It isn’t, and there are much more effective ways to teach a child to change behavior, she said.
“Spanking teaches kids that those who love you can hurt you, and that’s acceptable behavior in our society,” Price said.
– Reporter Erin Mathews can be reached at 822-1415 or by email at email@example.com.
Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You has been awarded second place for Interior Design and Honorable Mention for Parenting in the Royal DragonFly Book Contest.
Great work, Nadine Block and Madeleine Y. Gomez!
And many, many thanks to the children who contributed their artwork and unique words to make this book a reality. It can be ordered at Amazon.com, linked near the bottom of this page. All proceeds benefit the Center for Effective Discipline.
This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You: In Words and Pictures, Children Share How Spanking Hurts and What To Do Insteadis not another parenting tome by an ivory-towered theorist. This eye-opening book is written and illustrated by those most affected by spanking — children. Their words and drawings show that spanking doesn’t result in the behaviors parents and teachers desire. Instead, it sows seeds of pain, despair, humiliation, confusion, anger — and the continuation of a cycle of violence. Ohio girl age 12 “Would you like to be spanked? No, of course not. It hurts and nobody likes to be hurt. Do you really want a child to be scared when they make a mistake or would you rather have them learn something from it. Once the spanking is over it’s easy to forget what they even got in trouble for. The punishment is just too quick. The child doesn’t even have time to think about the mistake they made” NH boy age 14 “When a child is getting hit, he feels like he is hated and no one loves him. Over time, children start putting up bricks around their heart. When they get older, they may become a cold and callous person who can’t love. “The children also share what disciplinary tactics are effective. Parents, educators and child-care professionals may be shocked to find that reasoned discussions, loss of privileges, “timeouts,” and the opportunity to atone for misbehaviors work better than spanking. Ohio girl age 14 “When I make mistakes my parents will say, ‘Well what are you going to do about it?’ Sometimes they will force me to think for myself. That tells me they think I can do it. Whenever I think my parents think so highly of me, it makes me feel real good!” Illinois boy age 13 “Adults can teach children without spanking by using punishments or just talking to them. The way my parents punish me is by taking my video games and my cell phone to. Now, that’s a punishment because I love my phone. Right now I don’t have my phone because of a punishment.” The editors include a section for parents and professionals on questions and answers about spanking and helpful books, video, and internet resources. The book is edited by Nadine Block MEd, a school psychologist, and Madeleine Y. Gomez, PhD, a clinical psychologist, who have spent decades studying the effects of physical punishment on children. The editors will donate book sale proceeds to non-profit organizations working to end corporal punishment of children and promote non-violent child discipline.
About the Co-editors
NADINE BLOCK has worked as a teacher, school psychologist and consultant to mental health organizations. She founded the Center for Effective Discipline in l987 and served as its executive director until 2010. The organization is dedicated to ending corporal punishment of children through education and legal reform. She has developed policies and directed legislative action to ban corporal punishment of children in schools at state and national levels. In l998, she initiated SpankOut Day April 30th to provide information about the effects of physical punishment of children and alternatives to its use. More than l2,000 parents have attended SpankOut Day programs. The observance has been adopted by organizations in several countries. She coordinated a coalition of 50 Ohio organizations which finally achieved a legislative ban on school corporal punishment in Ohio public schools in 2009. Her commitment to ending all corporal punishment of children stems from a firm belief that children are entitled to the same freedom that all other citizens enjoy, to be free from physical assault. Nadine has received many awards and has been interviewed on Larry King Live, Hannity and Comb, ABC News, New York Times, USA Today, Good Morning America, BBC Channel 4, London, CBS 48 Hours, Redbook, Reuters Health Network, NBC Today, and by many other media sources.
MADELEINE Y. GOMEZ, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and president of PsycHealth Ltd., a certified minority and women’s behavioral health-care organization established in 1989. PsycHealth Ltd. has received URAC Gold and Bronze Awards as well as a Global Communications League of American Communications Professionals Bronze Award. Dr. Gomez is widely respected in her area of specialty—children, families, and abuse. A published researcher, presenter, and assistant professor at Northwestern University, she is also a lifelong human rights advocate. The Southern Poverty Law Center recognized her “outstanding dedication to human rights and equal justice,” and the Chicago Board of Education honored her with its Voices of Freedom Award for her work promoting nonviolence and “continuously supporting the self-esteem” of students in Chicago Public Schools. In 2010, Dr. Gomez received the National Psychologist Award from the Dorland Group for her work dedicated to nonviolence, serving the underserved, and promoting quality care.
Nadine and Madeleine are parents and grandparents.