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Child Abuse Awareness from Fairfax County Police
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Child Abuse Awareness from Fairfax County Police

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Fairfax County Police offer these important facts, myths, guidelines and tips about child abuse to help at everyone recognize the signs and reduce the risk of physical and sexual abuse.

Fairfax County Police offer these important facts, myths, guidelines and tips about child abuse to help at everyone recognize the signs and reduce the risk of physical and sexual abuse.

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Child Abuse Awareness from Fairfax County Police Child Abuse Awareness from Fairfax County Police Presentation Transcript

  • CHILD ABUSE AWARENESS By Det. Rich Mullins & Det. Nicole Christian
  • FCPD – Child Abuse Squad
    • 7 Detectives assigned (previously 6), & 1 Lieutenant supervisor
    • 5 cases monthly per Detective (on average)
    • Physical & Sexual Abuse
    • Co-Investigate with CPS in caretaker cases
  • Why 7 Detectives? Why 35 cases per month?
  • FACT
    • 1 in 3 girls will have sexual contact with an adult
    • 1 in 6 boys
  • FACT
    • The most common age at which sexual abuse begins is 3
  • FACT
    • The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that on average, there is 1 child molester per square mile
  • FACT
    • The average child molester victimizes between 30 and 60 children before they are ever arrested
  • MYTH
    • All child molesters are pedophiles
  • MYTH, Continued
    • Pedophilia is a clinical diagnosis
      • “The act or fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children”
      • “Sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object”
  • MYTH, Continued
    • Not all child molesters are pedophiles, and not all pedophiles are child molesters
      • A person may fantasize about, or prefer to have sex with children. Until they act on it, there is no crime.
      • A person may not prefer children, but will act out sexually if opportunity presents itself – “Crime of Opportunity.”
  • MYTH
    • Strangers are the biggest threat to our children (Stranger = Danger)
  • FACT
    • Nearly 90% of sexual abuse is committed by someone the children know, NOT by strangers
  • FACT, Continued
    • Nearly 90% of sexual abuse is committed by someone the children know, NOT by strangers
      • It is most often a family member
      • Adolescents are the offender in about 20% of the cases
  • Myth, Continued
    • Strangers are the biggest threat to our children (Stranger = Danger)
      • The #1 concern by most parents regarding their children?
  • Myth, Continued
    • Strangers are the biggest threat to our children (Stranger = Danger)
      • The #1 concern by most parents regarding their children?
        • KIDNAPPING
  • FACT
    • Nationwide, fewer than 100 children per year are provably kidnapped by strangers
  • FACT, Continued
    • Nationwide, fewer than 100 children per year are provably kidnapped by strangers
    • A child is more likely to have a heart attack, or
  • FACT, Continued
    • Nationwide, fewer than 100 children per year are provably kidnapped by strangers
    • A child is more likely to have a heart attack, or
    • 250 times more likely to be shot with a gun
        • (LOCK UP YOUR GUNS!!!)
  •  
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Physical Indicators
      • Sexually Transmitted Disease
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Physical Indicators
      • Sexually Transmitted Disease
      • Pregnancy
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Physical Indicators
      • Sexually Transmitted Disease
      • Pregnancy
      • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Physical Indicators
      • Sexually Transmitted Disease
      • Pregnancy
      • Difficulty walking or sitting
      • Pain or itching in genital area
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Physical Indicators
      • Sexually Transmitted Disease
      • Pregnancy
      • Difficulty walking or sitting
      • Pain or itching in genital area
      • Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Physical Indicators
      • Sexually Transmitted Disease
      • Pregnancy
      • Difficulty walking or sitting
      • Pain or itching in genital area
      • Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
      • Bruises/bleeding in external genitalia
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Behavioral Indicators
      • Reports sexual abuse
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Behavioral Indicators
      • Reports sexual abuse
      • Highly sexualized play
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Behavioral Indicators
      • Reports sexual abuse
      • Highly sexualized play
      • Detailed, age inappropriate understanding of sexual behavior
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Behavioral Indicators
      • Reports sexual abuse
      • Highly sexualized play
      • Detailed, age inappropriate understanding of sexual behavior
      • Role reversal, overly concerned for siblings
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Behavioral Indicators
      • Reports sexual abuse
      • Highly sexualized play
      • Detailed, age inappropriate understanding of sexual behavior
      • Role reversal, overly concerned for siblings
      • Exhibits delinquent behavior
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Behavioral Indicators
      • Reports sexual abuse
      • Highly sexualized play
      • Detailed, age inappropriate understanding of sexual behavior
      • Role reversal, overly concerned for siblings
      • Exhibits delinquent behavior
      • May attempt suicide or other destructive behavior
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Behavioral Indicators
      • Reports sexual abuse
      • Highly sexualized play
      • Detailed, age inappropriate understanding of sexual behavior
      • Role reversal, overly concerned for siblings
      • Exhibits delinquent behavior
      • May attempt suicide or other destructive behavior
      • Eating or sleep disorder
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Behavioral Indicators
      • Reports sexual abuse
      • Highly sexualized play
      • Detailed, age inappropriate understanding of sexual behavior
      • Role reversal, overly concerned for siblings
      • Exhibits delinquent behavior
      • May attempt suicide or other destructive behavior
      • Eating or sleep disorder
      • Deterioration in academic performance
  • Recognizing Sexual Abuse
    • Behavioral Indicators
      • Reports sexual abuse
      • Highly sexualized play
      • Detailed, age inappropriate understanding of sexual behavior
      • Role reversal, overly concerned for siblings
      • Exhibits delinquent behavior
      • May attempt suicide or other destructive behavior
      • Eating or sleep disorder
      • Deterioration in academic performance
      • Regressed behavior
  • Reducing the Risk of Sexual Abuse
    • Teach your kids not to keep bad secrets from you
      • When they hear “Don’t tell” it should = “TELL!”
  • Reducing the Risk of Sexual Abuse
    • Teach your kids not to keep bad secrets from you
      • When they hear “Don’t tell” it should = “TELL!”
      • Tell your kids you are strong enough to hear about any experience they’ve had, no matter how unpleasant AND regardless of any threats made
  • Reducing the Risk of Sexual Abuse
    • Teach your kids not to let anyone touch their private parts
  • Reducing the Risk of Sexual Abuse
    • Teach your child how to honor their feelings
      • If someone makes them feel uncomfortable
      • That it’s okay to rebuff and defy adults; it’s okay to say “NO”
      • Don’t make them hug and kiss friends or relatives if they don’t want to (it teaches them they have to hug and kiss if an adult says so)
  • Reducing the Risk of Sexual Abuse
    • Know where your child is and what they are doing
      • Be careful of any adult (or older kid) who wants to have your child as a “special friend” and who tries to spend time alone with them.
      • Recognize “grooming” – the gradual breaking down of barriers with your child to lower their inhibitions and to achieve the ultimate goal of sexually abusing your child.
        • Grooming begins with parents, to gain access to the child.
  • Reducing the Risk of Sexual Abuse
    • Listen to your kids
      • Your children may try to tell you about sexual abuse by giving hints
        • About “games” they don’t like
        • That someone “bothers” them
        • Find out more – ask, but…
          • Avoid leading questions
          • Remain calm; don’t panic
            • If you lose your composure, your child may shutdown - either because they have upset you, or because they feel like they are in trouble
  • Parent / Caretaker Responsibilities
    • Believe a child who tells you about a sexual assault!
    • Reassure them, but don’t make promises like “He’s going to jail for a long time for this.”
  • Parent / Caretaker Responsibilities
    • Seek medical attention if needed
      • Pediatrician is a good starting point, but most are not set up to conduct a sexual assault examination
      • INOVA Fairfax Hospital handles Northern Virginia area
      • *Even in founded cases, most examinations are normal
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
    • Physical Indicators
      • Unexplained bruises, burns, fractures, lacerations, or abrasions
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
    • Physical Indicators
      • Unexplained bruises, burns, fractures, lacerations, or abrasions
      • Multiple injuries in various stages of healing
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
    • Physical Indicators
      • Unexplained bruises, burns, fractures, lacerations, or abrasions
      • Multiple injuries in various stages of healing
      • Bruises or welts resembling instrument used – belt, cord, etc
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
    • Physical Indicators
      • Unexplained bruises, burns, fractures, lacerations, or abrasions
      • Multiple injuries in various stages of healing
      • Bruises or welts resembling instrument used – belt, cord, etc
      • Human bite marks
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
    • Physical Indicators
      • Unexplained bruises, burns, fractures, lacerations, or abrasions
      • Multiple injuries in various stages of healing
      • Bruises or welts resembling instrument used – belt, cord, etc
      • Human bite marks
      • Injuries regularly appearing after absence
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
    • Behavioral Indicators
      • Child reports injury by caretaker
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
    • Behavioral Indicators
      • Child reports injury by caretaker
      • Wears clothing inappropriate to weather (to cover body)
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
    • Behavioral Indicators
      • Child reports injury by caretaker
      • Wears clothing inappropriate to weather (to cover body)
      • Complains of soreness or moves uncomfortably
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
    • Behavioral Indicators
      • Child reports injury by caretaker
      • Wears clothing inappropriate to weather (to cover body)
      • Complains of soreness or moves uncomfortably
      • Uncomfortable with physical contact
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
    • If you cause injury to your child, you are breaking the law
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
    • If you cause injury to your child, you are breaking the law
      • Never use any object to hit a child (boards, belts, sticks, or switches)
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
    • If you cause injury to your child, you are breaking the law
      • Never use any object to hit a child (boards, belts, sticks, or switches)
      • Never hit or slap a child’s face or head
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse
    • If you cause injury to your child, you are breaking the law
      • Never use any object to hit a child (boards, belts, sticks, or switches)
      • Never hit or slap a child’s face or head
      • NEVER hit or shake a baby
        • Babies can be blinded, brain damaged, or killed by shaking
  • Recognizing Physical Abuse - Shaken Baby Injuries
  • Reporting Child Abuse
    • Child Protective Services (CPS) Hotline
      • 703 324-7400 (caller may remain anonymous)
    • Fairfax County Police Non-Emergency #
      • 703 691-2131
  • Reporting Child Abuse
    • Excuses given for not reporting suspected abuse, or not believing when disclosed
  • Reporting Child Abuse
    • Excuses given for not reporting suspected abuse, or not believing when disclosed
      • CPS will remove the kids
  • Reporting Child Abuse
    • Excuses given for not reporting suspected abuse, or not believing when disclosed
      • CPS will remove the kids
      • “I can’t prove anything.”
  • Reporting Child Abuse
    • Excuses given for not reporting suspected abuse, or not believing when disclosed
      • CPS will remove the kids
      • “I can’t prove anything.”
      • “I’ve known _______ for years; he would never do such a thing.”
  • Reporting Child Abuse
    • Reasons to report suspected abuse
  • Reporting Child Abuse
    • Reasons to report suspected abuse
      • Protect the child, not the abuser!
  • Reporting Child Abuse
    • Reasons to report suspected abuse
      • Protect the child, not the abuser!
      • Children are rarely abused only once
  • Reporting Child Abuse
    • Reasons to report suspected abuse
      • Protect the child, not the abuser!
      • Children are rarely abused only once
      • A report makes it possible for a family to get help
  • Reporting Child Abuse
    • Reasons to report suspected abuse
      • Protect the child, not the abuser!
      • Children are rarely abused only once
      • A report makes it possible for a family to get help
      • It’s the law for mandated reporters (medical professionals, teachers, etc) – Virginia Code 63.2-1509
  • Resources
    • Protecting the Gift – Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane) by Gavin DeBecker
    • Parents’ Check List For the Prevention of Child Abuse by Elizabeth D. Drake & Anne E. Gilroy
    • Recognizing, Reporting and Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect in Virginia – VA DSS Publication
  • Resources, continued                                           
  • Contact us at
    • Det. Nicole Christian
      • 703 246-3793
    • Det. Rich Mullins
      • 703 246-4378