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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 most the 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.

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Child Abuse Prevention Month of April 2018

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