Who’s Protecting Your Kids from Sex Offenders?

We’ve talked in this space about smart phone apps that allow parents to see where registered sex offenders live, and it’s information that can also be found online. But what happens when states don’t participate in the national sex offender registry?

Although the bill establishing a national sex offender registry was signed into law more than six years ago, nearly 36 states have failed to meet the conditions of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, citing concerns about how it works and how much it would cost. Some states – including Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, California and Nebraska –have opted out of the program, according to the Associated Press.

Although states were supposed to comply by 2009, the U.S. attorney general extended that to July 2011. The states could lose millions of dollars in government grants for failing to comply, but some states claim it would be more expensive to meet the registry’s requirements than to lose the money.  In Texas, for example, they concluded they would lose $1.4 million in funding, while implementing the changes to comply with the registry would have cost $38 million.

What will the ramifications be for states that choose not to comply? Will sex offenders gravitate to states that have less stringent laws? The Senate is expected to hear concerns on this matter during the current session to see what changes can be made to encourage participation.

Be Careful Who You Trust with Your Children

A popular Sunday school volunteer was arrested for child sexual abuse in California this week, and officials believe he used his role to gain the trust of parents and develop a relationship with children outside the church. This provides us with another reminder of how important it is to teach children how to protect themselves from predators – and what warning signs that we, as adults, need to look for. Learn how to educate your children about sexual abuse with my eBook, "Pedophiles Don't Discriminate: How to Protect Your Child from Sexual Abuse." Download it for just 99 cents at http://bit.ly/EndSexualAbuse

For more details – http://www.sexualabuseresourcenetwork.org/sexual-abuse-scandal-hits-california-church/

Talk To Your Kids About Sexual Abuse

Melissa Ruth works for the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence and says less than 30 percent of parents talk about sexual abuse with their children.

"I would recommend to parents to start talking to their children openly, developmentally appropriate, about what sexual abuse is," said Ruth.

She said to use anatomically correct names for body parts. Ruth said your kids need to know it could be someone they know and love, but you will keep them safe, and that it is never their fault.

"The younger you start, and the more often you work these reminders in, and these brush up conversations about what's safe and what's not safe, the easier those conversations become," she said.

Ruth said it's important to keep the lines of communication open so your kids know they can talk to you. She recommends parents check into anyone whose spending time around their kids.

For the full story http://www.ktvb.com/news/local/Talking-to-kids-about-sexual-abuse-167135325.html



Child Sexual Abuse – The Numbers Speak For Themselves

There's a lot of information emerging about child sexual abuse, and the numbers speak for themselves: Approximately 20 percent of all sexual abuse victims of under age eight. One in five children are sexually solicited while on the Internet, and 30 to 40 percent of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members.

There are an estimated 39 million, and perhaps as many as 42 million, survivors of sexual abuse living in the U.S. today.

Penn State to host “Child Sexual Abuse Conference: Traumatic Impact, Prevention and Intervention”

Penn State is gathering some of the nation’s top experts in child sexual abuse and child trauma research, prevention and treatment for a public forum on this global issue. “The Penn-State football field for Pedophiles Don't Discriminate postChild Sexual Abuse Conference: Traumatic Impact, Prevention and Intervention” will take place on Oct. 29-30 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel on the University Park campus.

“Over nine percent of children were victims of sexual abuse in 2010, according to the latest national survey, and this doesn’t take into account severe under-reporting of this crime. Research shows that child sexual abuse affects children of all ages, both genders, and all ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. No group of children is exempt. Nonetheless, it remains an issue that we find difficult to talk about,” said Kate Staley, a researcher at the Penn State Justice Center for Research, a co-organizer of the event. “This conference will bring together compelling speakers who are experts in child sexual abuse and who know how to translate their knowledge for the general public. We believe this event will raise awareness of this national problem and teach all of us how to better protect our children.”

To learn more about the conference and see the full story click here: http://gantdaily.com/2012/08/15/penn-state-to-hold-national-conference-on-child-sexual-abuse/

Subtle Long-Term Impacts of Child Sexual Abuse on Women

Experiencing abuse as a child means more than a higher risk of mental illness. Researchers are learning that abused children are at risk for various long-term physical issues as well.

Women who reported being sexually abused as children were 49 percent more likely to start their periods early – which means before they turned 11 years old – compared to women who did not experience childhood sexual abuse.

A girl who starts her period outside the average age range can be at higher risk for a number of life conditions. Women who start early, before age 11, are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, metabolic problems, cancer and depression.

"There is a need for future research to explore characteristics of child abuse that may influence health outcomes including type, timing and severity of abuse, as well as the social context in which the abuse occurs," she said.

The study was published July 25 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

For full story click here http://www.dailyrx.com/sexually-and-physically-abused-women-more-likely-have-irregular-periods

The Real Legacy of Child Sexual Abuse

This is a great post from the Advocate News Blog  explaining why child sexual abuse that happened 10, 20, 25 years ago should NOT be dismissed. Just because "It happened so long ago, the victim can just get over it without disrupting things today" mentality is a misinformed one. If you or one of your children was the victim, how would you feel? Read below.

While media and collegiate officials debated how best to handle the Penn State child-rape scandal, including the systemic cover-up by university leaders, others want the public

to know just how such abuse ruins lives.

“I’ve heard commentators say things like, ‘What’s done is done,’ or ‘There’s no one left to go after,’ or ‘Why punish the students and the athletes? – It’s time to heal,’ ” says child advocate Linda O’Dochartaigh, whose novel Peregrine (www.lavanderkatbooks.com), details the stark aftermath of child sex abuse. “If they were the victims, or their children were, I don’t think those sports analysts would be so quick to forgive and forget.”

To hear supporters of the university’s football program is surprisingly reminiscent of those who defend abusers, she says.   

Penn State’s board could do the noble thing and make it easy on themselves by self imposing the “death penalty” option – temporarily shutting down the embattled football program, she says.

“As terrible as the initial abuse is for children, the volume of lifelong negative consequences is usually worse,” O’Dochartaigh says. “Children who suffer sexual abuse often hear the voice of their abuser in their minds for the rest of their lives, telling them they’re bad, they’re ugly, they’re worthless. These children are often sentenced to a lifetime of relationships in which they are victims.”

O’Dochartaigh reviews the lasting scars of child sexual abuse:

• Trouble handling emotions: One of the surest signs of well-being is the ability to handle adversity in stride; to keep emotions in check. “For victims of sexual abuse, a lasting legacy is the opposite of well-being,” she says. Victims may have trouble expressing emotions, which are then bottled up, often leading to sporadic bouts of depression, anger and anxiety. Many turn to drugs and alcohol to numb their pain. 

• A core sense of worthlessness or being damaged: The physical side of sexual abuse is just one aspect; what haunts victims is the voice of the abuser, constantly reinforcing a lack of personal value. As time passes and children mature into adults, victims often do not invest in themselves. With a deep sense of being damaged, they often feel incapable or unworthy of higher-paying jobs, for example.

• Difficulty in relationships and lack of trust: Most child abuse comes from authority figures who are close to the victim – family members, family friends, church leaders, teachers, etc. Children who cannot feel secure within their own family, the most fundamental of relationships, may develop deep-seeded trust issues. Relationships are frequently doomed because victims trash good relationships, fearing their partner will ultimately try to control or hurt them, or they’ll bond with an abusive person because they do not know what a good relationship entails.   

“When I hear the ‘yeah, but’ argument from people defending those who allow sexual abuse to continue, whether its’ at Penn State or in the Catholic Church, I realize we have to do more to raise awareness about how sexual abuse can ruin lives,” says O’Dochartaigh.

About Linda O’Dochartaigh

Linda O’Dochartaigh has worked in health care is an advocate for victims of child abuse and domestic violence.  She wants survivors to know that an enriched, stable and happy life is available to them. O’Dochartaigh is the mother of three grown children and is raising four adopted grandchildren. 



Track Sex Offenders with Your Smart Phone

Want to find out if there are sex offenders in your neighborhood – or in areas where your child likes to play? There’s an app for that!sex offender tracker for pedophiles dont discriminate Jul post sex offender tracker mobile phone app

The free Sex Offender Tracker app for Android phones uses GPS technology to locate sex offenders in your area. The app accesses the National Sex Offender Registry, but it does more than just offer the offender’s name and address – you also get background on each offender, including what crimes he or she was convicted of, date of birth, physical profile and photo.

A similar app for iPhones, the Offender Locator, is available for 99 cents on iTunes.

These are great tools for helping preserve our childrens’ safety – and providing more peace of mind to parents.

Should Professionals Be Held Accountable for Failing to Report Sexual Abuse?

A recent letter in the Trinidad Express Newspaper drives home the reminder that child sexual abuse is a global issue, not just a local one. Countries around the world are struggling with the issue, and our rising awareness is helping bring attention to just how flawed many of the existing laws are. In many cases, our current legal children running child sexual abuse pedophiles dont discriminate 25 Jul postsystem simply fails to truly protect our children.

The plea in this letter is that professionals – such as teachers, social workers, nurses, doctors and others who interact with children – be held accountable for failing to act on suspicions of child sexual abuse. It is a heartfelt reminder of how prevalent these crimes against children are, whether you're in Toledo or Trinidad. And it is also a reminder of just how important it is for society to step up and provide the legal support that has been so long denied to victims of childhood sexual abuse.

See the entire letter at http://www.trinidadexpress.com/letters/Hold_professionals_accountable_for_failing_to_report_child_sexual_abuse-163313536.html

11 Signs That Your Child Is Being Sexually Abused

Physical signs are less common than behavioral signs of sexual abuse, so it’s important that parents watch for both physical and behavioral or emotional changes in their child. child sexual abuse pedophiles dont discriminate post 24 Jul 12Among the physical symptoms of sexual abuse are:

  • Pain while using the bathroom – both when urinating or having bowel movements
  • Symptoms of genital or urinary tract infections. This could include redness, rash, a burning feeling or an offensive odor
  • Signs of physical trauma to the genital or anal area
  • Anxiety-related health issues, such as chronic stomach pain or headaches


Emotional and/or behavioral signs are often the “red flags” that alert a parent to their child’s abuse. Some of those signs are:

  • Anxiety-related issues: New and unexplained phobias; a fear of certain people – or certain places; panic attacks and separation anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances: The sudden onset of recurring nightmares; screaming or sweating during sleep
  • Changes in eating habits: Gagging while eating, a loss of appetite or a sudden tendency to overeat
  • Changes in personality: Withdrawal; aggressive behavior toward friends and family; excessive sadness/depression
  • Regressive behavior: Reverting to age inappropriate behavior, such as talking like a baby or sucking their thumb; bedwetting
  • Sexual behavior: Attempts to engage in sexual play with friends, toys, pets or siblings; use of sexual language; sudden, increased curiosity in sexuality; frequent masturbation
  • Destructive behavior, such as cutting or other forms of self-injury