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Child Abuse

Michelle Arena Rick Howes Shawn Lucas Raymond Paquette

A Child Called "It", subtitled as "One Child's Courage to Survive"

The book is a first-person account of David Pelzer and the abuse that he suffered at the hands of his alcoholic and emotionally unstable mother Dave is subjected to all manner of her physical and psychological torture. His family is helpless to stop her as she holds a strange hold over them all His schools either fail to recognize or fail to act on the cues that David is displaying. Yet he somehow keeps his will to live through it all. Finally, David is rescued from his torturous life by a nurse and school teacher, both observant enough to notice and brave enough to intervene on David's behalf in spite of the fact that professionals just didn't nose around in family business back then. After being taken from his abusive life, as an adult, David has experienced a rebirth as a best selling author and motivational speaker.


CHILD ABUSE QUIZ TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF CHILD ABUSE QUESTIONS: 1) Three children die as a result of child abuse in the home in the United States each a) Year b) Day c) Week d) Month 2) How many people report child abuse when faced with an actual situation? a) 3/4 b) c) 1/3

3) What is the single, leading cause of death for children ages four and younger? a) Drowning b) Motor vehicle accidents c) Child abuse and neglect d) Choking on food e) Residential fires f) Suffocation g) Falls
4) On average, child abuse is reported somewhere in the United States every a) 10 seconds b) 20 minutes c) Hour

5) Strangers pose the greatest risk of sexual abuse to children. a) True b) False

6) Child molesters get their sexual gratification only from children.

a) True b) False

7) The average age that child molesters first attack a child is when they (the attackers) are a) In their early 20s b) Middle-aged c) In their teens

8) Which of the following actions can help stop child abuse and neglect?
a) Helping a stressed-out parent by baby-sitting, making a meal for their family, or lending an understanding ear. b) Learning the signs and symptoms of child abuse so you can recognize them when you see the red flags c) Reporting known or suspected child abuse to the police or local child protective services agency. d) All of the above.


1) Three children die as a result of child abuse in the home in the United States each day (b) 2) 1/3 report child abuse when faced with an actual situation (b) 3) Child abuse and neglect is the single, leading cause of death for children ages four and younger (c) 4) On average, child abuse is reported somewhere in the United States every 10 seconds. (a) Based on 2.8 million reports per year

5) Strangers pose the greatest risk of sexual abuse to children. False. Most children are abused by people they know (b) 6) Child molesters get their sexual gratification only from children. False. Many child molesters also have adult sexual relationships (b)

7) The average age that child molesters first attack a child is when the attacker is in their teensand often as young as age 12 (c)
8) All of the following actions can help stop child abuse and neglect (d) Helping a stressed-out parent by baby-sitting, making a meal for their family, or lending an understanding ear. Learning the signs and symptoms of child abuse so you can recognize them when you see the red flags Reporting known or suspected child abuse to the police or local child protective services agency

Definition of child abuse:

Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm

The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (passed in 1974, updated 2003)

History of Child Abuse

Child abuse has a lengthy history. Children have always been subject to abuse by their parents or other adults, and for many centuries laws failed to protect them. Children under English common law were considered the property of their fathers until the late 1800s; American colonists in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries carried this tradition to the early years of the United States.

The Case of Mary Ellen Wilson

In the early 1870s, child abuse captured the nation's attention with news that an eight-year-old orphan named Mary Ellen Wilson was suffering daily whippings and beatings at her foster home. With no organization in existence to protect abused children, the orphan's plight fell to attorneys for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). These attorneys argued that laws protecting animals from abuse should not be greater than laws protecting children. Mary Ellen Wilson's case went before a judge, who convicted the foster mother of assault and battery and gave her a one year sentence. The orphan's case generated enough outrage over child abuse that in 1874, citizens formed the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Child.

100 years later..

Abuse captured the country's attention again in 1962, when an article appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association described symptoms of child abuse and deemed child abuse to be medically diagnosable. The key Federal legislation addressing child abuse and neglect is the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), originally enacted in 1974 (P.L. 93-247). This Act was amended several times and was most recently amended and reauthorized on June 25, 2003, by the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-36).

Statistics Massachusetts
In 2008, DCF conducted 45,097 investigations of alleged maltreatment involving 71,264 children. Of these children, 41,125 (57%) were found to have been victimized (supported allegations). North Adams, Pittsfield, and Holyoke had the highest reporting rates among cities in 2008. Twenty-nine municipalities had higher reporting rates than Boston. In 1997, Holyoke had the highest reporting rate, followed by Greenfield, North Adams, and Lynn.

Just what you wanted.more statistics

"1,500 children die from abuse each year. There are 140,000 injuries to children from abuse each year. There are 1.7 million reports of child abuse each year. "...about 1 in 4 women in North America were molested in childhood. "More than 2 million cases of child abuse and neglect are reported each year in the United States. An estimated 150,000 to 200,000 new cases of sexual abuse occur each year. "There were an estimated 903,000 victims of maltreatment nationwide. "An estimated 1,100 children died of abuse and neglect, a rate of approximately 1.6 deaths per 100,000 children in the general populations. "...approximately 1 in 7 males will have been sexually molested before the age of 18.

Family ramifications
Abuse is not a diagnosis of the child, nor something intrinsic to the child, but rather something that happens to the child Because of this, ramifications for the family, and the prognosis have to be thought of in a different way than most diagnoses.

Abuse affects entire families Look at some of the signs that abuse is present, and consider living in such a family: Parent: Shows little concern for the child Denies the existence ofor blames the child forthe child's problems in school or at home sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs Parent and Child: Rarely touch or look at each other Consider their relationship entirely negative Will say that they do not like each other

39 percent (38.3%) of victims were maltreated by mother alone 18 percent (18.1%) of victims were maltreated by father alone 18 percent were maltreated by both parents Child abuse crosses racial, economic, and cultural lines. Families who seem to have it all together from the outside may hide a different story behind closed doors Most abusers are family members or others close to the family As adults, abused children are likely to repeat what they experienced as children. It is what they know On the other hand, adult survivors of child abuse have a strong motivation to protect their children against what they went through and become excellent parents.

Effects of child abuse and neglect--both physical and emotional scars Physical consequences: beyond obvious injuries, may include damage to a childs growing brain, and can have psychological implications such as cognitive delays or emotional difficulties. Abuse also damages a childs sense of self, and their ability to have healthy relationships. Who do you trust if you can't trust your parents? Difficulty maintaining relationships due to fear of being controlled or abused Unhealthy relationships because the adult doesnt know what a good relationship is. Feelings of being worthless or damaged. after growing up being told that you are. As adult, they may settle in relationships, jobs Sexual abuse survivors, with the additional stigma and shame surrounding the abuse, often especially struggle with a feeling of being damaged

Abused children do not have room to express emotions safely. Emotions get suppressed, coming out in unexpected ways. Adult survivors of child abuse can struggle with unexplained anxiety, depression, or anger. These psychological problems can lead to high-risk behaviors, making a person more likely to smoke, abuse alcohol or illicit drugs, or overeat to ease their pain These high-risk behaviors, increase the person's risk of longterm physical health problems such as sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, and obesity (almost by definition) .

How much does it cost a society to look away from the suffering of it's children?
Direct costs from abuse of children

medical care for injuries and long term effects on survivors

mental health care for survivors and abusers substance abuse treatment for survivors criminal justice system costs for police intervention, arrests, prosecution, and incarceration legal system costs for lawyers and judges and courtrooms costs to our educational system for special education services and counseling services social service costs for shelters, foster care, emergency housing, and case workers. Hidden costs (unknown, but probably much greater than the direct costs) Lost productivity in the work force alone Cost of the lost potential of millions of children

Cost of human suffering of the child or of the family

What is the cost to our society of our turning a blind eye?

Effective Treatment for Abused Children

Children who have been abused often develop mood, behavioral, and/or attachment disorders as a result of their abuse. They have difficulty expressing their thoughts and feelings about the trauma they have suffered. They need therapy that helps them communicate their feelings in a safe and nonthreatening way. Certain forms of therapy that can help abused children to heal. Some of these therapies include Play Therapy, Art Therapy, and Pet Therapy. One of the most effective types of therapy for children is Play Therapy Play Therapy has been used successfully for about 70 years. Children may not have the vocabulary to verbalize their feelings and are better able to express themselves through play. Play Therapy allows abused children to communicate their thoughts and feelings and work through their emotional trauma by using toys instead of words

Play Therapy consists of Non-Directive Play and Directive Play During Non-Directive play the child chooses the type of play, and the therapist only joins in if invited During Directive Play, the therapist chooses the activity or game; there are specific games for specific issues. As the child gets older, verbal interactions with the therapist are increased, in addition to the age-appropriate activities. Usually sessions are held in a playroom that has a variety of toys. Besides being used in psychiatric hospitals, there are also certain centers that specialize in Play Therapy. It can be offered in a home setting as well.


Art Therapy is another successful treatment that gives children the opportunity to communicate their emotions. It is an extension of Play Therapy, and it emerged as a significant form of treatment in the 1940s Art Therapy combines art and psychotherapy in a way that allows for self-exploration through artistic expression. Children often communicate better while creating art. It is a very healing and therapeutic process. The use of art materials provide children with a safe environment to release their pain and work through their problems. Pictures tell a lot about how a child is feeling and reveal their inner thoughts. The finished product is a representation of the childs internal world. Therapists are able to analyze the childs artwork and get a clearer picture of how a child is coping with their trauma and provide them with the help they need. Art therapy is offered in a variety of settings but is primarily used in psychiatric hospitals and rehabilitation centers. There are also art studios that specialize in Art Therapy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VmG4V_NplA&feature=related

Finally, Pet Therapy has also been used successfully to help abused children to heal. This type of treatment became popular in the 1970s.
Pet therapy helps children heal by providing them with the opportunity to care for and nurture an animal. There are many types of animals that are used for pet therapy, including cats, dogs, horses, and dolphins. Children feed, groom, and play with the animals. They are learning to be responsible and gain confidence by their ability to take care of the animals needs. They are also learning how to relate emotionally and feel connected to another living being.

Abused children often feel like they have been betrayed by people, and as a result, they have trouble forming bonds and getting close to others. Animals offer unconditional love and help children to experience healthy, nurturing relationships, which, hopefully, will transfer into healthy relationships with other people. Pet Therapy teaches trust, empathy, and compassion. By learning these skills, children are less likely to continue the cycle of abuse. There are special centers that offer Pet Therapy programs. Therapy animals also visit schools, hospitals, or homes of children in need.

While these types of therapy are very effective for treating abused children, therapy alone may not be sufficient. Medication may be necessary to help some children cope with their anger, anxiety, or depression.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31Hq-M1IOXc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mF_S37pzr10&feature=related

What doesn't work (including generalized triggers): Since child abuse isn't a disorder in the traditional sense of the word like some of the disorders reported in the other projects, there is no cure for it other than counseling for the family and removal from the home. Things that definitely do not work for child abuse are neglecting the issue and thinking that it might just be embellished. All suspected cases of child abuse need to be reported and investigated. Other things not to do if abuse is reported or suspected (taken from a sexual abuse web page, but can be generalized to all abuse): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Don't panic Don't ask specific questions Don't keep it a secret Don't contact the suspected perpetrator Don't allow any unsupervised contact with the suspected perpetrator Don't minimize the disclosure Don't wait to get treatment

Also, since abuse is normally comorbid with other disorders, most notably PTSD, the list of generalized triggers will closely resemble the list from that disorder. These include the following internal and external triggers: Internal Triggers Anger Anxiety Sadness Memories Feeling lonely Feeling abandoned Frustration Feeling out of control Feeling vulnerable Racing heart beat Pain Muscle tension

External Triggers An argument Seeing a news article that reminds you of your traumatic event Watching a movie or television show that reminds you of your traumatic event Seeing a car accident Certain smells The end of a relationship An anniversary Holidays A specific place Seeing someone who reminds you of a person connected to your traumatic even

Child-At-Risk Hotline Report Abuse or Neglect 800-792-5200 Baby Safe Haven Hotline 866-814-SAFE (7233) Childhelp runs a national 24-hour hotline (1.800.4.A.CHILD) for parents who need help or parenting advice Mass Department of Children and Families 1-800-792-5200 Child-At-Risk Hotline 1.800.792.5200 Parents Helping Parents-Parental Stress Line 1.800.632.8188


http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/long_term_consequences.pdf http://www.findcounseling.com/journal/child-abuse/abuse-survivorscounseling.html http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/cblaws/capta/index.htm http://www.childhelpusa.org/

Play Therapy http://www.kidzplay.org/home.html http://www.newenglandplaytherapy.org/ http://www.beechstreetprogram.com/

Kidz Play Pediatric Therapy and Wellness Center 2 Industrial Park Drive, Bld 2 Unit 5

Concord, NH 03301
(603) 223-3330

Kidz Play Pediatric Therapy and Wellness Center 1 F Commons Drive, Suite 38 Londonberry, NH 03053 (603) 437-3330

Cattanach, Ann. Play Therapy with Abused Children. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008

Art Therapy http://www.thecenteraptt.com/index.htm http://www.art-therapy.us/


Art Therapy Studio Pine Street Florence, Massachusetts 01062 (413) 586-7710 Art4Smiles Jennifer Currant 22 Woburn Street, Ste. 21 Reading, MA 01867 (781) 944-6600 Email: jennifer@art4smiles.com Web: http://www.art4smiles.com Providing clinical art therapy services for children, adolescents and families. Specializing

Pet Therapy http://www.gabrielsangels.org/index.php http://www.flyinghighfarm.com/ http://www.ironwoodmaine.com/ http://www.autumndancer.com Bright Spot Therapy Dogs, Inc. 282 North Road Westhampton, Massachusetts 01027 413-527-6264 Dog B.O.N.E.S. Greater Boston area Pets and People, Inc. Weston, MA Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc 537 Northampton Street Holyoke, MA 01040 (413) 532-1462 raucher6@charter.net Dare To Dream Educational Farm Programs, Inc. 16 Daniel Shays Hwy Orange, MA 01364 (978) 575-0341 sandy@crimsonacres.org Equus Therapeutic, Inc. at Oakhollow Farm 651 Henderson Rd Williamstown, MA 01267

(413) 458-8427lhgross@adelphia.net
Levinson, Boris M. Pet-Oriented Child Psychotherapy. Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 1996