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Sexual Abuse

Child abuse including emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse are continued major concerns in protecting our children and our future. This abuse effects all areas of our lives even when one is not exposed personally. As many as one out of three girls and one out of five boys is victimized in some way. This means that many of your friends and relatives are victims of abuse. Your efforts to protect children are important.

Press Release – National conference on child maltreatment to advance innovation through data solutions

This year Penn State’s Seventh Annual conference focuses on childhood well-being through its Child Maltreatment Solutions Network and is asking others to be leaders, too. The Penn State Solutions Network’s annual network conference focused on “Strengthening Child Safety and Wellbeing through Integrated Data Solutions,” and featured over 16 nationally and internationally recognized experts in the field of child maltreatment. Held on Sept. 27 and 28 at the University Park campus, the conference hosted researchers, policy makers, child welfare professionals and members of the public. The use of technology and data-driven innovations now and over the next few years provides the leading edge in service delivery and care for children. This helps and empowers the organizations and groups in the public and private sector that work with children and families. Understanding and knowing the power of integrated data solutions brought dozens of experts and a broad range of community leaders from around the country to University Park. The conference featured sessions from leaders in the field of child maltreatment and welfare, including Penn State Professor and Solutions Network Director Jennie Noll; University of Southern California Professor Emily Putnam-Hornstein; University of Washington Professor Melissa Jonson-Reid; and University of Chicago Professor Fred Wulczyn among others. The conference looks forward and is geared toward collaborative conversation and problem-solving, making this a unique opportunity to engage with experts on these critical...

Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal

Published Online Wed, 11 Nov 2011 22:46:00 Tonight Penn State Board of Trustees made a “rush to judgment“ according to some media sources regarding the ongoing sex abuse scandal at the university.  Coach Paterno was removed and dismissed as athletic director due to a reported moral lapse of judgment in not pursuing the suspected child abuse reporting himself despite his reports to his superiors of what he knew of the alleged sex abuse of a child by his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.  According to many students and faculty, the Board of Trustees appears to be using this opportunity to “scapegoat” Coach Paterno while apparently taking the focus off of those who legally failed to report the alleged child abuse perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky to the police. A report of a KDKA-TV News Poll Conducted By Survey USA of a survey of Penn State alumni is consistent with the recent Grand Jury findings in not condemning or invoking consequences for Coach Paterno.  Consequences are apparently due with the lack of action by Penn State University and administrators in not reporting the alleged abuse of children by Jerry Sandusky. The same survey placed the responsibility with President Spanier and his lack of action in not having reported the child sexual abuse to the police as mandated by Pennsylvania law for professionals such as teachers and faculty.  See Pennsylvania’s legal reporting laws:...

Child abuse, neglect can trigger permanent brain damage

December 14, 2000 Web posted at: 3:41 PM EST (2041 GMT) By Troy Goodman Health Writer (CNN) — Child abuse and neglect can “rewire” the nascent brain, scientists have found, which may lead to psychological problems throughout adulthood. “These changes are permanent,” said Dr. Martin Teicher of Mclean Hospital, a psychiatric center affiliated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. “This is not something people can just get over with and get on with their lives.” In a report published in the journal Cerebrum, Teicher analyzed the largest and most detailed study on how childhood experiences affect brain development. He used high-tech brain imaging on several hundred children and adults to identify four types of brain abnormalities — all of which were linked to child abuse and neglect. The abuse-related brain damage appears to foster such problems as adult aggressiveness, depression, anxiety and even memory and attention impairment. The report confirms smaller studies showing that the brain “rewires” itself in response to trauma. “A child’s interactions with the outside environment causes connections to form between brain cells,” said Teicher, who heads McLean’s Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program. “These connections are pruned during puberty and adulthood. So whatever a child experiences, for good or bad, helps determine how his brain is wired.” Previous experiments with monkeys raised without their mothers have already linked depression, schizophrenia, autism and attention deficit disorders to childhood maltreatment, according to other experts. There is even a growing body of evidence concerning “a history of childhood abuse among adolescents who later commit violent crimes,” according to Teicher’s report. Other doctors were quick to point out that...

Sexual Abuse Evaluation

The evaluation of child sexual abuse is to determine whether abuse has occurred and if the child needs treatment for medical or emotional problems. The evaluator and the child’s or adolescent’s therapist should be two different individuals.

Child Sexual Abuse: Evaluation and Outcomes

Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Outcomes of Child Sexual Abuse Jessica Smith  Penn State College of Medicine March 2002   Definition: “Sexual abuse of children refers to sexual behavior between a child and an adult or between two children when one of them is significantly older or uses coercion. The perpetrator and the victim may be of the same sex of the opposite sex.     The sexual behaviors include touching breasts, buttocks, and genitals whether the victim is dressed or undressed; exhibitionism; fellatio; cunnilingus; and penetration of the vagina or anus with sexual organs or with objects. Pornographic photography is usually included in the definition of sexual abuse. It is important to consider developmental factors in assessing whether sexual behaviors between two children is abusive or normative.”5 Epidemiology1: Women: 16.8% , Men: 7.9% Number of substantiated or indicated cases has decreased by 41% in the time period of 1992 to 2000. Risk Factors4: Age: incidence of child sexual abuse increases with age 0-3 y/o: 10% of victims 4-7 y/o: 28.4% of victims 8-11 y/o: 25% of victims 12 and older: 35.9% of victims Gender: 2.5-3:1 female predominance 25% of victims are male Disabilities: Risk increased for those with physical disabilities, especially those that impair the child’s perceived credibility: blindness, deafness, and mental retardation Gender effect: boys are over represented among sexually abused children when compared to sexually abused children without disabilities Family Constellation: Absence of one or both parents is a risk factor Presence of stepfather in home doubles the risk for girls Parental impairments are also associated with increased risk Socioeconomic status: More important for physical abuse and neglect...
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