Each year an estimated 500,000 babies will be born in the U.S. who will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18, and adults are the only people who can stop that.
Jacksonville Beach, Florida (PRWEB) June 22, 2012
Don Dymer, president and CEO of SingleSource Services Corporation, background screening company and Stacy Pendarvis, MSW, MA, a long time consultant who works with Darkness to Light and the Monique Burr Foundation For Children hope to take their message global:, "Educated, proactive adults have the ability to stop child sexual abuse from happening. Each year in the U.S. 500,000 babies will be born who will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18 and adults are the only people who can protect children from that sexual abuse.¹”
In the shadow of one of the most publicized cases of child sexual abuse, two dedicated professionals in Jacksonville Beach, Florida are trying desperately to put a stop to the sexual abuse of children by those entrusted with their care by empowering both adults and children with important information and safety programs they can implement now to make tomorrow safer.
“Soon over 10 million children will be heading off to overnight summer camps. While millions others will attend day camps at churches, schools, boy and girls clubs and other facilities. For most children, the experience will provide them with fun filled memories on “how I spent my summer vacation.” For others, the experience will leave them emotionally traumatized, their lives changed forever because they will become victims of child sexual abuse.” notes Pendarvis.
“Adults have the power to rewrite this history,” explains Pendarvis, “but they need to recognize this can happen to my child.” Dymer agrees, “Even with the trial against Sandusky all over the news, parents will throw caution to the wind and send their children to summer camps where staffers and volunteers haven’t been properly screened and hope for the best.”
Stacy Pendarvis (http://www.EmpowerToProtect.com) advocates that “child sexual abuse is 90% preventable through education and awareness.” Pendarvis recommends that parents and adult guardians take proactive steps to safeguard their children -- and not just when they are young, but throughout their childhood and adolescence. "Today there are resources out there to help train and educate adults. Stewards of Children, offered through http://www.D2l.org/NearYou is the only nationally available program proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child protective behaviors, and its free, yet so few people avail themselves to this powerful prevention tool."
Educate Children. As young as kindergarten, children are capable of understanding the areas of their body that are off limits to adults and older children. Parents can explain and children can understand that it is not okay to be touched in those areas. Parents must explain to children that regardless of what another adult may say, that the child will never get into trouble by telling a parent or other adult of inappropriate actions.
Warn your children never to go to an adults home, or meet them in a secret place and above all, empower them with confidence. The confidence to be able to say NO to adults and come home and tell you if something does happen that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Screen the Summer Camp. Don’t rely on a friends’ referral for a summer camp. You need to ask about how personnel are selected. Are criminal background checks conducted for volunteers as well as for their employees? Do they cross reference with the sexual offenders registry? Does the camp offer training to counselors on how to recognize the boundaries that should exist between counselors and campers? What discipline measures does the camp have for violators? If it is an overnight camp -- What are the specific sleeping arrangements? How many counselors per hut or cabin? Are there always two adults present? Does the Camp offer education for the campers on how to report suspicious activity? Does the Camp have clearly defined job responsibilities and rules and regulations for their camp counselors and volunteers?
Recognize the Warning Signs of Abuse. Know the children you love. Don’t assume a child retreating into their room, withdrawing from the family is simply a “normal” passage into another stage of childhood. If a child exhibits pain or bruising, trouble sleeping or unexplained separation anxiety, don’t wait. Calmly sit down with your child and let them know regardless of what they have to say, you will listen, believe them and take action to protect them.
Setting Your Child Sexual Abuser Radar. According to the Centers for Disease Control one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused and assaulted by persons they know, trust and love. Beware of adults of older children who lavish too much attention or gifts on your children or on you. Abusers groom their victims as well as their parents. Beware of an overly friendly adult offering to take your child “off your hands”. These are the beginnings of an adult trying to develop a close one on one relationship with your child.
“‘I have spent years educating both adults and children on stranger danger, through programs like Speak up Be Safe, and Stewards of Children, but”, notes Stacy Pendarvis, “we still have adults who are in denial that 90% of the people who abuse children are the same people who teach, coach and mentor our children.”
Don Dymer summarizes, “We can achieve sustainable prevention, but only through a comprehensive program that encompasses both adult and child education. We need to add to that, the [Diana Screen®. A screening tool that should be mandated for all adults who volunteer or choose to work with children. The screen scientifically identifies those adults who fail to recognize the boundaries that should exist between adults and children. Without such a comprehensive program we will continue to struggle and predators will continue to victimize our children.”
For more information on adult and children’s sexual abuse prevention programs contact Stacy Pendarvis at http://www.EmpowerToProtect.com.
SingleSource Services (http://www.singlesourceservices.com) is located in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.The company provides background screening to over 2,500 business across a wide variety of industries and non-profit organizations. SingleSource was founded in 1995 and believes that backgrounds are like fingerprints and prides itself on its long term customer relationships and strong commitment to fulfill its corporate civic duties.
Sources: Darkness To Light, Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute.