Author: Chantelle Kadala

Head Writer at SAY MORE Services. We Engage, Educate and Entertain. Enjoy the journey or your time is wasted. www.SayMoreServices.com

C is for 1-800-4-A-CHILD – A to Z on Child Abuse

The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline

1-800-4-A-CHILD

Childhelp National Hotline

1-800-4-A-CHILD Childhelp National Hotline

Children are helpless and unable to make informed decisions. Lacking the strength to resist or escape a violation they have every right to expect the protection and support of adults. When this doesn’t happen there is a betrayal of trust that has a profound effect on the mind and actions of the child. It’s important that steps are taken to provide a renewed sense of security within the child and heal the damage done to the fullest extent it can be healed.

Part of this process has to include counseling.  A person, let alone a child, cannot be expected to handle the aftermath of abuse with the reasoning and coping skills one would apply to other negative interactions in their lives. Abuse can have lifelong effects on victims and those who witness abuse and treating these problems is no small task.

In the case of child abuse the victim does not understand what and why this is happening; nor do they have the power or social awareness to stop it once it has begun. This makes treating children very complex when you add that a child may be unable to say how they have been hurt or how.

When victimized at a young age, children and adults seek therapy for a many reasons that are fallout from the abuse and not just the history of abuse itself. Immediately and oftentimes later in life other problems will hinder healing like substance abuse, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression and the inability to have healthy relationships on any level. Counseling seeks to help victims deal with the abuse and with the psychological and social problems that can occur as a result. Undoing lifelong damage is near impossible when tackled alone.

Counselors and therapist are trained to utilize tools and processes whereby with careful observation and gentle interactions they can guide the victim to a point where fear, confusion, pain and betrayal can be dealt with. Additionally, people participating in this healing process realize that any progress made is just a small part of a long and complicated process as the child grows and encounters situations that reawaken fears and open scars that need re-processing for more closure and understanding.

For victims of abuse, counseling is not an option.

REPORT ABUSE AND INSIST ON BEING INFORMED OF THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO VICTIMS.

Not every person is expected to know what to do when child abuse happens.  So how do you find the right help?

Childhelp

Childhelp can help.

 

From the Childhelp Website:

The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Serving the United States, its territories, and Canada, the Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous and confidential.

What to expect when calling the Hotline

When calling 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453), a qualified crisis counselor will answer and assist you, if you:

  • Need help and want to talk to a counselor.
  • Are in physical or emotional crisis and need support and encouragement
  • Connect you to the best possible resources in your area.
  • Have questions about the signs of child abuse.
  • Need to find out how to report known or suspected abuse.
  • Have questions about the reporting process and what you might expect through the process.
  • Want to learn about Childhelp programs that will address you or your child’s needs.
  • Want to learn about resources available to parents, grandparents & caregivers.
  • Need emotional support as survivor of abuse.
  • Want a referral to an agency, counseling or other services near where you live.
  • Want literature mailed to you. (Allow two weeks for delivery via the U.S. Postal Service.)
  • Want information on how to make a donation to Childhelp.

Childhelp crisis counselors cannot come to the home where the abuse is happening and take away the child or teen who is in danger of being hurt and put them in a new home.

The Childhelp Hotline crisis counselors can’t make the child abuse report for you, but we are here to help you through it.

 

 

Advertisements

B is for Bruises – A to Z on Child Abuse

Child Abuse PSA in Spain.

Child Abuse PSA in Spain.

A to Z on Child Abuse… B is for Bruises

Victims of abuse are rarely walking around with bruises for you to see.  The internal scars are forever for most.  So what might a victim of abuse show you that should raise questions?

Please read this very informative piece from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

 

Child Abuse – The Hidden Bruises

The statistics on physical child abuse are alarming. It is estimated hundreds of thousands of children are physically abused each year by a parent or close relative. Thousands actually die as a result of the abuse. For those who survive, the emotional trauma remains long after the external bruises have healed. Communities and the courts recognize that these emotional “hidden bruises” can be treated. Early recognition and treatment is important to minimize the long term effect of physical abuse. Whenever a child says he or she has been abused, it must be taken seriously and immediately evaluated.

Children who have been abused may display:

  • a poor self image
  • sexual acting out
  • inability to trust or love others
  • aggressive, disruptive, and sometimes illegal behavior
  • anger and rage
  • self destructive or self abusive behavior, suicidal thoughts
  • passive, withdrawn or clingy behavior
  • fear of entering into new relationships or activities
  • anxiety and fears
  • school problems or failure
  • feelings of sadness or other symptoms of depression
  • flashbacks, nightmares
  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • sleep problems

Often the severe emotional damage to abused children does not surface until adolescence or even later, when many abused children become abusing parents. An adult who was abused as a child often has trouble establishing lasting and stable personal relationships. These men and women may have trouble with physical closeness, touching, intimacy, and trust as adults. They are also at higher risk for anxiety, depression, substance abuse, medical illness, and problems at school or work.

Early identification and treatment is important to minimize the long-term consequences of abuse. Qualified mental health professionals should conduct a comprehensive evaluation and provide treatment for children who have been abused. Through treatment, the abused child begins to regain a sense of self-confidence and trust. The family can also be helped to learn new ways of support and communicating with one another. Parents may also benefit from support, parent training and anger management.

Physical abuse is not the only kind of child abuse. Many children are also victims of neglect, or sexual abuse, or emotional abuse. In all kinds of child abuse, the child and the family can benefit from evaluation and treatment from a qualified mental health professional.

If you found this information helpful and would like to make good mental health a reality, consider donating to the Campaign for America’s Kids. Your support will help the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry continue to produce and distribute vital mental health information, free of charge.
You may also mail in your contribution. Please make checks payable to the AACAP and send to Campaign for America’s Kids, P.O. Box 96106, Washington, DC 20090.

 

REFERENCE TO LETTER A – ADVOCACY

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Advocacy Day is Fast Approaching—Please Make Sure to Sign Up Today!

Advocacy DayRegistration is open for AACAP’s annual Advocacy Day. Join us May 8th and 9th in Washington, D.C!

 

A is for ADVOCACY

A great beginning to this A to Z Child Abuse Prevention project is ADVOCACY.

Advocacy – the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal: the act or process of advocating something

There are many causes out there and none can prove to be more important than those designed to protect our children. I say “our children” because all the children belong to all of us. There is no avenue to escape responsibility for those who come after us. Even if you don’t have children of your own, the children that are here and the ones to come will be your neighbors, your doctors, your bus drivers, the spouses of your future children. What happens to OUR children can and will affect you.

To keep the message simple I’ll simply state: If there is something you care about, believe that you can make a difference, and be an advocate. Just Do It.

You’ll think of a hundred reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t. A dozen scenarios that would be a better time or circumstance than now to take action will come to mind. Some convince themselves that a person as insignificant as them could not make a difference in a cause so big. I know these are lies. Lies I’ve told. Lies I’ve leaned on.

There is just no excuse for not doing the right thing. For standing by and doing nothing. Not when there is a need you know in your heart is true and not when all the negatives lie within NOT doing something.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting anyone quit their job and volunteer full time at their favorite shelter or sell all their worldly possessions and donate the money to charity. The world doesn’t work that way because it is an all-around bad economic model.

What I am asking you to do is simply… DO SOMETHING. Even if it is just one small thing you can do, if you and thousands of other people do it then it becomes a big thing. It could be the hugest thing and you were part of it.

Again, ADVOCACY is a perfect start to this project because it is FREE. It’s just you and your voice, your words, your actions. You educating, motivating, fighting, changing minds and changing policy. It’s so easy I am doing it right now from the convenience of my couch and it cost me thirty minutes of my life.

So what can you do to be an advocate?

  • Research local child abuse prevention organizations and simply sign up to be on their mailing list. They don’t spam and their newsletters will let you know what you can  do, what they need and FUN events in your area for fundraising.
  • Put the link to an organization you are passionate about in your email signature. I’m not talking about an ad or a call to action but a simple line like this is free advertising which is commodity for strapped charities.

The Child Abuse Prevention Center changes lives and you could too.

  • Blog, Pin, Tweet, put a bumper sticker on your car, wear a charity t-shirt, get your next credit card branded with your charity (they get a donation) put a flyer in your shop window… put the word out there without saying a word. We are curious creatures and the more people thinking about and looking into the organizations you care about the better.
  • If you know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who has connections or can affect change in your area talk to them and let them see how much Child Abuse Prevention means to you. Caring can be contagious and your genuine pleas could reach the right ears.
  • Write editorials in your local print and online newspapers and newsletters letting people know about your charity of choice and what they can do.
  • If you know of a need and know someone who can provide that need, make the connection and get the best deal possible for a good cause. Your connections could move something from unattainable to realistic or, even better, FREE.

ADVOCACY… You CAN Do It!

Big Things Are Happening in April

I’m late in posting this one but I have been trying to think of what to do for the April A to Z Blogging Challenge and then it came to me…

A to Z Challenge

A to Z Challenge

APRIL IS CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH and this being a cause that is very important to me, I’m very excited to announce that I will be participating in the challenge and in a way that promotes a cause that literally saves lives. So…

A to Z – CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION

I will come up with a better title and get started on this thing. I can not explain how excited I am and I hopefully my passion will be translated on these pages as I try to educate and motivate.

I hope to do good things and I ask that you do not let me slide on this important commitment. If I am missing a day then I am falling behind and I beg you to give me hell for it.

Thank you to all who will join me in this challenge!

If you are willing to give up a little space in your email it would be great if you could add something like this to your email signature.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Learn more at https://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/
No one will be offended and you never know who you could touch.

Dealing with Teenagers !#@$

San Francisco Photo taken by my son Mikeal at age 15

San Francisco Photo taken by my son Mikeal at age 15

Dealing with Teenagers !#@$

Raising a teenager is hard! I know, because I have one, and more often than not, it’s exhausting finding the right balance between being overprotective and being too lax.

There is a healthy middle ground, and finding that sweet spot was tough. Staying there is even harder as teens grow and mature, but there are steps you can take.

Click to read Five Steps to Establish Boundaries for Your Teen without Going Overboard

One Percent

Some of my favorite moments on this blogging journey are when I see that someone has stopped by my blog and so I go to their blog all excited and hoping that a unique experience is about to happen. Sometimes it does, a lot of times it doesn’t (can we issue blogging licenses like driving licenses so people will stop posting their get rich schemes).

But today I went by 4thaluv and discovered a thoughtful, and dare I say compelling blog I couldn’t stop reading.

Sitting here thinking, “Everybody should read this!” Not to tell you what to think but to get you thinking. It’s irrelevant to our relationship what your opinion is… I just really want you to have one and feel strongly about it.

I then remembered that there was a convenient REBLOG button. Hooray!

So everybody read this:

Standout Teen is Homeless

Standout Teen is Homeless

Standout Teen is Homeless

Some of us have so much STUFF in our homes we park our cars on the street because the garage is full to busting or pay rent to put our STUFF in storage but this boy has only what he can carry from shelter to shelter, bettering his life and smiling the whole time.

If you can find room in your heart, maybe you could find room in your life for a child with no home.  Take the time to consider foster care, adoption and donations to local nonprofits that support and rescue children.  You could very well save a life but you will most definitely change a life.

You Will Never Believe Where this Standout Teen Calls Home…  yahoo article
Kendal Benjamin wants to be known as a champion, someone who works hard and surpasses limitations. The 17-year-old senior at C.A. Johnson High School in Columbia, S.C. is an outstanding student and athlete, an all-star by any measure, yet he begins and ends his days among 17 other children in a homeless shelter.Benjamin recently moved away from his mother to allow her a chance to focus on her own life, and took refuge at Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter. From the teen’s perspective, his living circumstances make him persistent and push his ambitions higher.

“Sometimes you have to work through stuff, you have to persevere,” Benjamin tells the Good News Blog. “I’ve learned to be patient. The reason we’re in this situation is because my mom wasn’t patient.”

Benjamin and his mother have been moving from shelter to shelter since he was in fifth grade. He decided to go out on his own last November, which is when he found a spot at the children’s shelter. His mother, a former nurse, lost her job, and Benjamin felt she would have a better chance of getting on her feet if she didn’t have to take care of him.

“Me and my mom were struggling real bad, and she wasn’t able to support me,” he recalls. “There was no point in her trying to help me out when she couldn’t help herself out.”

As Benjamin’s father hasn’t been around most of his life, the high-schooler ventured out on his own, allowing his mom to move into a transitional home for adults.

Benjamin describes life in the shelter in the most positive way possible. The residence is a two-story home with a dining hall and living room. Benjamin shares a room with a few other kids, and they are served dinner each day. For other meals, the teen relies on school lunch, food stamps and donations.

Benjamin focuses on what’s pushing him forward. He makes good grades in school, his favorite course is science, and he plans to study athletic training at Gardner Webb University, if he doesn’t go into professional sports.

In extra-curricular activities, Benjamin is equally impressive. He plays defensive end in football and throws the discus and shot put in track. Last year, he ranked best in Track & Field at his school, placed third in the district championship, third in the region, and went on to compete at state. He also won “Mr. Junior” in his school pageant.

For Benjamin, education and athletics provide a “gateway” out of hardship.

“School offers me a place to do better,” he comments. “It gives me a chance so I can get out of here.”

Sharlee Dixon, Benjamin’s social worker at school, attests to his strengths as a student and person.

“What I think is special about Kendal is that he does not allow his situation to stop him,” she tells the Good News Blog. “I’ve seen children in the same situation take it as the worst thing in world. They can’t see a future for themselves. I’ve also seen them use it as a crutch. They have a sense of entitlement that the world owes them something. Kendal is the exact opposite of both of those. He doesn’t feel like we owe him anything, except to give him his education so he can move forward.”

According to Dixon, as many as 1,000 children are considered homeless in the area. Benjamin says he doesn’t bring up his home life with other kids unless they ask. He’s not ashamed, rather he doesn’t want to dwell on negativity. Now that his story is making headlines, he’s happy others can empathize with his journey.

“After the story came out, other kids have opened up to me,” Benjamin recalls. “They say,’ I’m homeless too, I’ve been going through the same thing. I’m glad you said something. I’m glad you did that.'”

He jokes, “I’m a local celebrity.”