One With Courage
It takes courage to report abuse. For an adult or child to find their voice can be difficult. Once they do, there is help available. One With Courage is centered around the courage it takes to talk about child sexual abuse and the unique role children’s advocacy centers in South Carolina play in providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to child victims of abuse once someone makes a report.
1.Unexplained Injuries Visible signs of physical abuse may include unexplained burns or bruises in the shape of objects. You may also hear unconvincing explanations of a child’s injuries.
6. Changes in sleeping Abused children may have frequent nightmares or have difficulty falling asleep, and as a result may appear tired or fatigued.
8. Lack of personal care or hygiene Abused and neglected children may appear uncared for. They may present as consistently dirty and have severe body odor, or they may lack sufficient clothing for the weather.
If you recognize any of these signs from a child, do not hesitate to do something about it. Whether it is bringing it up to them and getting confirmation, or reporting abuse of any kind right away. To report abuse to the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) use the button to the right.
1. He looks normal and acts normal, so he can’t be a child molester. Sex offenders are knowledgeable about the importance of their public image, and can hide their private behaviors. Parents and other responsible adults trust these individuals. This leads to continued access to child victims.
2. Only Men Sexually Abuse Children. While male perpetrators tend to be the majority of reported cases of abuse, women are also capable of child sexual assault and reports of female perpetrators are on the rise.
5. The Victim is Always a Girl. Just as women can be sex offenders, boys may be victims of abuse. Unfortunately, child sexual abuse with male victims is underreported due to social and cultural attitudes: boys are taught to fight back and not let others see vulnerability.
6. Child victims of sexual abuse will have physical signs of the abuse. An absence of physical evidence is often used as support that a perpetrator must be innocent. Many acts leave no physical trace.
7. Stranger Danger. 85% of all reported cases of child molestation involve a child and a known perpetrator. The people most likely to abuse a child are the ones with the most opportunity, most access, and most trust such as parents, step-parents, uncles, aunts, babysitters, tutors, and family friends.
9. Child Sexual Abuse is a cultural or socioeconomic problem. It is frequently believed that abuse is a problem plaguing only certain families or people with a certain level of family income and education. Sexual abuse crosses all socioeconomic, neighborhood, race and class barriers.
These myths and many others create a stigma around sexual abuse and abuse in general. We are on the path to stop this and help people recognize abuse in situations they never thought was possible because of certain beliefs. Click the learn more button to view a printable PDF about the myths of abuse.