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Section 2

Minors in Catawba College Programs Policy Training

Section 2:  Training Objectives

After completing this training, you will be able to:tr-bullseye.gif

  • Protect minor children who participate  in activities and programs
  • Act as a positive role model and avoid  putting yourself in a risky situation
  • Successfully pass the policy  assessment

The Facts about  Sexual Abuse
Most people consider child sexual abuse to be unacceptable  behavior. At the same time, one in four girls and one in six boys experience  sexual abuse before their eighteenth birthday.

Therefore, we have to assume that child sexual abuse is happening to both boys and girls in our community today. Sexual abuse thrives in an environment where adults are inattentive, in denial, or afraid to take action. We must actively work to  prevent it. We must take steps to create a safe  environment for minors. The earlier that abuse is caught,  the better the chance of recovery for the minor.

What is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is any sexual act between an adult and a minor  or between two minors when one exerts power over the other. There can be no  case of a consensual act between an adult and a minor due to the inherent power  dynamic. Forcing, coercing, or persuading a child to engage in any type of  sexual contact is sexual abuse. However, sexual abuse doesn't always involve  bodily contact. If an adult engages in any sexual behavior with a child to meet  the adult's sexual interest or needs, it is sexual abuse. Exhibitionism, exposure  to pornography, voyeurism, sexting, and other communication in a sexual manner  over the phone or internet is sexual abuse. Sexual abuse can occur between  members of the opposite sex or members of the same sex. Sexual abuse is a  crime. Aiding and abetting a sexual offender is also a crime.

What Is Sexual  Harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwelcome verbal or physical sexual  conduct which because of its severity and/or persistence interferes significantly  with an individual's work or education, or adversely affects an individual's  living conditions. Harassment also occurs when a person uses a position of  authority to engage in unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors,  or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Warning Signs
A warning sign is an opportunity for prevention and a chance  for you to recognize a risk to a minor. Sexually abused children may display a wide  range of physical or emotional symptoms. While these symptoms do not  necessarily indicate that child sexual abuse has happened, they combine to  raise your level of concern about the situation. Sometimes there are no warning  signs. Warning signs differ by the age of the minor. You should be aware of the  following possible warning signs.

Emotional or  Behavioral Signs

  • Sexual behavior that is not  appropriate for the child's age
  • Sexual language that is not  appropriate for the child's age
  • Withdrawal
  • Depression
  • Unexplained anger
  • Rebellion
  • Refusal to be left alone
  • Finding reasons not to go home
  • Finding reasons to avoid being with a  specific person that the minor used to spend time  with
  • Problems sleeping such as nightmares  or sleepwalking
  • Bed-wetting or bowel-movement  accidents in children who have previously out grown  it
  • Fire-setting
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Suicidal gestures
  • Self-mutilation
  • Running away
  • Making degrading comments about  themselves and considering themselves as  "damaged  goods"
  • Falling grades or a change in school  behavior
  • Using alcohol or drugs

Portrait of an Abuser
A myth of sexual abuse is that the abusers are usually  strangers. On the contrary, most child sexual abusers are known to the victim.  The abuser could be a family member, friend of the family, teacher, older youth,  or coach. In addition, one third of all child sexual abuse is committed by  another child under the age of eighteen. Some abusers are careful and  calculated about the process they take to earn the victim's trust. This process  of slowly introducing a  child to sexual activity is called grooming. These abusers set up the situation  so that they can take advantage of the child. They become friends with  potential victims and their families. They earn  trust and seek time alone with the children. Sometimes they spend time doing what  the child wants. Sometimes, they give gifts. Their goal is to spend time with  the child in one adult and one child situations. Then, they may threaten or  force the child to participate in sexual contact and maintain secrecy. Another  kind of abuser is a situational  offender.  They take advantage of the situation and opportunity to find and abuse a  victim. These abusers are impulsive and abuse minors to meet their own sexual  or control needs.

The Effects of Abuse
The most damaging effects of child abuse are the emotional  effects. Abused children can blame themselves, lack trust, and have difficulties  forming relationships into adulthood. Often, these children feel that they are  worthless or damaged at their core. As an adult, this may cause the victim to fall  short of reaching his or her potential. Also, abused children have trouble  regulating their emotions. As they grow into adults, they can struggle with  emotions and turn to drugs or alcohol. While not every abused child repeats the  cycle as an adult, these children are more at risk for abusing their own  children as an adult. The effects of child sexual abuse affect not only the  individual, but the community, and the future community.


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