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October 2020

Talking about Child Sexual Abuse in COVID times

 

We know this is a difficult time as a parent. We and our children have been pushed out of our usual comfortable lives,  and in many cases way out of our comfort zones, abruptly and in heart-wrenching, challenging ways.

It likely seems overwhelming to think about child sexual abuse during a global pandemic. Why add one more scary topic to the others you are already doing your best to explain to your children?

Because difficult, scary, unfamiliar conversations are at the heart of what we do as parents. Stepping into them is how we, and our relationships with our children, grow. Not all at once. Not every topic at the same time. Not by pushing ourselves or our children into a place of overwhelm and panic. But also not by hiding in fear or running away. No, we grow awkwardly, imperfectly, step by step, one comment, one question, one conversation at a time. 

Because even during a pandemic, unfortunately especially during times of crisis, children will be sexually abused by community helpers, family members, siblings, and peers.

When we step outside of what is familiar and comfortable, that is when we learn. We learn when we are able to settle into the dis-comfort and realize that, for the moment, we are safe, even if our feelings are amped up. We can breathe and look around with curiosity. We see opportunities that we might have missed otherwise.

Right now, in the midst of everything else — yes, right there with all the rest of your other fears– I am asking you to simply take a few of the small steps to reduce the risk of children you know being sexually abused.

You can do this, and you are not alone. There are other parents and community members who are working to protect our children with you. We will do what we need to do to keep our children as safe as we can from the COVID virus and from child sexual abuse. 

Take 5 minutes right now. Watch this 4 minute video from Child Safety Pledge. Commit to learning and doing more to protect your children. Then, congratulate yourself: you’ve taken the first step!

Want to know more? Feel free to call us at (660) 359-2874 for resources in your community. And as always, please call the Child Abuse Hotline if you suspect or know of any kind of child abuse that is happening and for more information regarding statistics please go to inhope.org. 

Child-abuse

 


Halloween during a Pandemic

Steps to Take when Trick or Treating

Traditional Halloween activities are fun, but some can increase the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 or influenza. Plan alternate ways to participate in Halloween.

Make trick-or-treating safer

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
  • Wash hands before handling treats.
  • Wear a mask.

Wear a mask

  • Make your cloth mask part of your costume.
  • A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
  • Do NOT wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.
  • Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing

Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you

  • Indoors and outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a long time.

Wash your hands

  • Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects or other people.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Parents: supervise young children using hand sanitizer.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any treats.

Halloween_costume_parade


October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced intimate partner violence, sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime. Now is a critical time for increasing education and awareness for domestic violence, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that over 15.5 million children in the U.S. are exposed annually to adult violence at home, with young children making up the majority of exposed youth among families who seek police involvement. For more information on red flags and signs of an abusive partner, visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCDV) website.

 


Cyber Bullying Tip Sheet

How To Understand And Handle Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is social terror by technology.

When a kid of any age, up to 18 is threatened, humiliated, harassed, or humiliated via use of technology -- this is Cyberbullying. Yet many college students are being cyberbullied as well.

Depending on their ages, up to 43% of students are being digitally harassed online. While most call it cyberbullying, it's important to understand that not all of these kids and teens are being bullied online, but they are being digitally harassed in one form or another. Either way it's not fun!

This social online terror is used through e-mail, cell phones, instant messaging, Web sites, online personal polling Web sites. It is done by kids deliberately and repeatedly and is used by an individual or group with the intention of harming other kids and teens.

  • Kids use technology to talk to their friends and make new ones. While most kids use the Internet responsibly, others are using all of this technology to terrorize and harass online!
  • Kids should be taught that if they wouldn't say something to someone's face, they shouldn't say it to them online, through texting, or posting in any other way.
  • Digital Harassment is the perfect way for the online aggressors to remain anonymous. So anonymous, there is no fear of punishment because they don't have to come face to face with their victim(s.)
  • The very first thing parents must do is learn the Internet. In other words …Speak the lingo and know the game!! If you don’t how will you help your children? If you do not work on a computer and the Internet regularly, there are libraries, schools, YMCAs and neighborhood associations who offer this instruction.
  • The second thing you must to is to communicate with your kids and teens. Let them know that it’s okay to come to you if they are being cyberbullied. Encourage them to tell you immediately if they are being digitally harassed, cyberbullied, cyberstalked or if they’ve been approached by a predator. Tell them you won’t be angry about anything. You just want to help them.
  • Be sure to keep your home computer(s) out in the open, such as a family room or kitchen.
  • Encourage your child to alert you if they are aware of others who may be the victims of similar behavior.
  • Explain that cyberbullying is harmful and unacceptable. Discuss appropriate online behavior and make it clear that there will be consequences for inappropriate behavior.

Although it’s important to install parental control filtering software, it’s just as important for you to monitor your child’s computer. You want to respect your children’s privacy yet, your child’s safety may override these privacy concerns. Tell your child that you are not spying on them but you may review their online communications if you think there is reason for concern.

#Essential4Kids #NationalBullyingPreventionMonth #Keepourkidssafe


United to End Bullying Coloring Contest!

Join our coloring contest and get out of your quarantine funk! Download, print, color, and turn into the advocacy center! For ages Kindergarten -12th grade! Contest ends Monday November 30th. Simple rules, download and color the following coloring page. K-6 winner will receive a $25 Build-a-Bear gift card! 7-12 grade winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card! Below is the coloring contest coloring page:

 

Coloring Contest-0001

 





National Bullying Prevention Month!

Every October, schools and organizations across the country join in observing National Bullying Prevention Month. The goal: encourage schools, communities and organizations to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying and put an end to hatred and racism by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of all forms of bullying on all children of all ages. A month of anti bullying activities is a month of ACTION!

October 5

#Essential4Kids #BullyingPreventionMonth #bullyingstopsnow #spreadkindnesslikeconfetti


Will Halloween be cancelled??

In a few weeks it will be Halloween. This is a holiday that many children look forward to every year. However, this year most children will be missing Halloween due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Many states are reporting an increase in Coronavirus cases and the flu season is beginning too. Therefore, it is not medically safe for children to be trick or treating this year. The major problem is most of these children have missed their birthdays, playing with their friends, summer vacation and now they are having to go to school remotely. As a result, children are feeling depressed and do not want to participate in school. With everything these children have been through, hopefully we can find some safe, fun ways for them to celebrate Halloween. Please check out the suggestions for Halloween safety listed by the CDC.
 
Cdchalloween
 

Bathroom Remodel donated by Weathered Windmill!

Our advocacy center got an updated and very appreciated face lift! Shawna Tabbert, owner of Weathered Windmill, was kind enough to redecorate our bathroom for us and we are beyond excited and ready to show it off. We are extremely grateful for this very kind donation,  just check out these before and after pictures!!
 
Weathered Windmill is a part of the Main Street Mercantile located in the heart of our downtown district, which is conveniently located right across from our office! Main Street Mercantile is home to local small business owners and artisans that has something for everyone. If you have not had a chance to stop in and see all of the beautiful items in the Mercantile you should definitely do so and don't forget to like them on Facebook!! We remain forever grateful for the amazing support we receive from our local community. Please check the links for the Main Street Mercantile and for Weathered Windmill, you wont be disappointed!
 
Bathroom Before
Bathroom Before