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Child Abuse Prevention Month of April 2018

Child Abuse Prevention Church Focus Group Responses

  1. What can you/we do to increase awareness of Child Abuse in our community?
    • Discussions.
    • Continue to talk about it.
    • Billboards on signs of child sex abuse.
    • Planned Parenthood future discussions.
    • Grooming Behavior should be made known.
    • More dialogue. Don't make it seem like it needs to be a secret.
    • Get comfortable talking about it. Pay attention to what is going on around you.
    • More publicity, improve education for the general public, not just mandatory reporters.
    • Target ads directly to the moms who know it's happening but are scared, or to teenage girls.
    • Having meetings like this brings awareness to those who aren't aware of how big of a problem there is in our community.
    • Educate children at early age as to what healthy sexual relationships and physical relationships are. Understanding what is healthy allows understanding of what is not.
    • Just getting out information & what to look for. Educate not only the public, but also the kids … the kids might think that the abuse is just something that happens to all kids.
  2. Have you seen evidence of Child Abuse in our community?
    • 3 said No.
    • 4 said Yes.
    • In the media.
    • Yes. Neglect & sexual & physical abuse.
    • Yes. All over. Watch the behavior of children and parent interaction.
    • Yes. Children's Inn has been OVERCAPACITY EVERY NIGHT for last 2 YEARS. Using mattresses on floor - but they take care of the children.
    • Neglect - families come to hospital with children who are dirty, no clothes or diapers, juice or pop in bottles.
    • Children who bully others, children speaking about highly inappropriate subject matter beyond their years.
  3. If you saw a child being abused or heard about it, did you report it? If not, then why not?
    • Yes.
    • I would.
    • Yes, mandatory reporter.
    • Yes, contacted social worker at work.
    • Yes, as a teacher I am a mandatory reporter.
    • I would let proper authorities know about the issue.
    • Lack of evidence, but spoke to teachers who can observe better.
    • Have not personally witnessed abuse, neglect - was documented & passed on to further.
    • Yes, as a citizen. Yes it was a non-emergency situation & I called the non-emergency police number. As a teacher, I reported several abuse/neglect cases.
    • Yes, but I worry about the protocol for reporting as an educator. It seems unless it is egregious, there is a hesitancy get CPS involved.
    • Yes. Sometimes you have to report over and over and follow up with details to help the investigators and give them time to get the proof.
    • European Culture & kids aren't shamed for knowing about sex. Learn that their parents can be trusted. Not keep secrets.
  4. How could you/we encourage people to report child abuse when they are aware of it?
    • Call authorities.
    • Is there any kind of hotline to call? There is for suicide… (Child Abuse Hotline is 1-800-422-4453, manned 24/7 and in 170 different languages.)
    • Make them more aware of who & where to report it to.
    • Ask them if they want the child to continue to be abused.
    • Educating people as to where they should report to. And to be taken seriously.
    • School counselor, nurse, teacher, pastor, youth leader, coach, an adult they trust.
    • Make resources more readily available & well advertised so people know where to go if they observe these things.
    • If they know it is anonymous reporting & no repercussions people will be more willing. Also make it about protecting children.
    • Educate!!! Go to teachers - First Responders who are Mandatory Reporters. Hardest - innocence of child compared. Feel power of scissor/pencils, throw at shooter…
  5. How could you/we encourage children to report sex abuse if they are victims of it?
    • Do not freak out.
    • Encourage them to seek pastor, school counseling.
    • Make them know that they aren’t in trouble, it isn't their fault.
    • De-sensitize & normalize conversation of sex and sex abuse.
    • By teaching them at an early age that sexual abuse is not acceptable.
    • Placing ourselves in positions where we can be advocates for them. Volunteer, mentor.
    • Be a safe person by accepting and believing what the child says. Don't judge or be shocked.
    • They can feel better. They can live better. They can learn more about themselves and find happiness/healing.
    • Having conversations with them in a trusting environment, also first off just creating positive trusting environment/relationship.
    • Help them to understand that what is happening isn't their fault & it isn't OK what is happening to them. Let them know there are safe people to tell.
  6. Who should child sex abuse victims report it to? Who would be the most receptive?
    • Teachers.
    • Parents, teachers.
    • Someone they trust.
    • Pastor - contact authorities.
    • Teachers, school counselor, police.
    • Teacher, caregivers, minister, police.
    • Teachers, school workers, hospital workers.
    • Police, teachers, counselors at school, ministers.
    • Anyone in their school, church, home who they trust.
    • Emotional + psychological abuse. Do not blame the victims.
    • School counselor, pastor, or school nurse or resource officer, youth activity leaders.
    • Medical staff, firefighter, police officer, teachers, pastor, trusting family member or family friend.
  7. Why do you think the local news media reports very little about child sex abuse?
    • Uncomfortable topic.
    • Uncomfortable subject.
    • To protect the children's identity.
    • People don't want to hear about it.
    • Too touchy a subject - don’t have all facts.
    • It is horribly unnerving to hear about & realize that it happens.
    • It's easier to ignore than to face it, it's hard to talk about … taboo. It's not profitable for them.
    • It isn't often reported, it is a close family member and the media doesn’t hear about it. It might be minors involved.
    • Sandusky case State Pen Univ. Nabor Michigan or State + Olympic took anonymous perpetrator. If you've been abused & not dealt with it, - difficult totally to handle.
  8. Do you have any other comments or suggestions?
    • Replace "Report Your Abuse" with " Report The Abuse" on billboards.
    • Replace "But Protect Your Children" with "Protect your Children" on billboards.
    • Reword "Child Pain" billboard. (Wording is actual wording from a Child Abuse victim.)
    • Market to the mom.
    • Keep up good work.
    • Add abuse by neighbor. Direct reports to police or Child's Voice.
    • "Stranger Danger" needs to be watch out for "strange behavior."
    • Keep up the good work. (Domestic violence help cards in Prairie Center bathrooms are flying off the shelves since social workers put them there.)
    • If interested, are read & remembered. Not get freaked out when they talk about, or act out in play, things that are sexual in nature. Be OK to hear it - undealt w/situations, not resolved.
    • I feel like people feel that is isn't their business to get involved & worry about false accusations. A hotline situation so you could ask what you should do in certain situations. We need more protection for the kids.

Child Abuse Prevention Month of April 2018

Child Abuse Prevention Church Focus Group Responses
Focus group consisted of 8-10 people at 5 tables.