Janet Rosenzweig, MS, PhD, MPA, VP for Programs & Research for Prevent Child Abuse America
Fall means soccer, winter brings basketball, and then finally we get to play baseball; so go the seasons of childhood. As parents, we idealize the gifts that youth sports can bring to kids such as improving physical fitness, learning about teamwork, and experiencing the thrill of victory. But the Sandusky tragedy reminds us that even people who seem to have our kids’ best interests at heart may not.
Parental involvement with kids’ sports has always been beneficial to family relationships and children’s self-esteem. Now we’re reminded that child safety is also enhanced by the presence of a parent or other observant adult at practices and games. A convicted pedophile that I interviewed for The Sex-Wise Parent told me that “nothing makes a child less attractive than having his parent around all the time.” Most of us can’t be around all the time, but we can take steps to ensure that there is always one adult with eyes on your child.
Many youth sports teams have specific volunteer or required roles to help the team operate like “snack parent” or “equipment parent.” As the next team season approaches, think about collaborating with other parents to develop a rotating schedule for a “stand parent”, an adult to attend each game or practice to watch over and cheer for each player.
Rima Himelstein, M.D., Crozer-Keystone Health System
Recently, I became the doctor of a 17-year-old girl who had been raped. She told me that right after the rape, she was scared and told her mother. Her mother immediately took her to the ER. Following medical guidelines, the ER doctor gave her emergency contraception and treated her empirically for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). My patient told the ER doctor what had happened and even told him that she knew the person. But she refused to tell anyone, including her mother and the police, his name. Like most teenagers who have been victims of sexual assault, my patient chose not to disclose the name of the perpetrator.
Is it really rare? No. Sexual assault, which is a crime of violence and aggression, includes sexual behaviors ranging from unwanted touching to dating violence to rape. Sexual assault includes situations in which the victim cannot consent because of intoxication, inability to understand the consequences, or misperceptions because of age or level of cognitive development. Sexual assault is not really rare at all; in fact, it’s all too common.
The most recent and rigorous studies have found that approximately 27.5% of college women — more than one in four — reported experiences that met the legal criteria for rape. Researchers also found that among female rape victims surveyed, more than half (54%) were under age 18; 32.4% were 12–17; and 21.6% were under age 12 at time of victimization. Studies have also indicated that alcohol is often involved.
Anita Kulick, President & CEO, Educating Communities for Parenting
Today's guest blogger is Anita Kulick, President & CEO of Educating Communities for Parenting in Philadelphia. ECP offers a variety of programs and services for teen and adult parents, adjudicated delinquent youth, young adults aging out of the foster care system, preschoolers, and children at grave risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of violence.
Child abuse isn’t new, but it’s not something most people talk about. That all changed with the Jerry Sandusky case. When the story became headline news for months, child abuse was impossible to ignore any longer. Everyone had an opinion about it. The discussions weren’t about Sandusky’s guilt or innocence, but about who was responsible for reporting suspicions to the authorities. The questions many people began asking themselves were, “What would I have done? What should I have done?”
The law is clear when it comes to professionals who are mandated to report concerns, but for average citizens the answer is far more difficult and a lot more personal.
- Allergies and Asthma
- Anita Kulick
- Anna Nguyen
- Beth Wallace
- Child Abuse
- Christopher C. Chang
- Colds and Flu
- Driver's Ed
- Drugs and Alcohol
- Flaura Winston
- Gary A. Emmett
- Growing Pains
- Hazel Guinto-Ocampo
- Health Hazards
- Health reform
- Infectious Diseases
- Janet Rosenzweig
- Katherine Dahlsgaard
- Lauren Falini
- Learning Curve