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In This Issue
New SA Advocate and Interns
Stop the Rape of Our Children
Child Sexual Abuse - It Does Exist!
Predators and Grooming Children
Long Term Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Rock Against Rape April 29!

            
Sad girl newsletter

Stop the Rape of Our Children:

The Epidemic of Child Sexual  

Abuse in West Central Illinois

 

If you are seriously concerned about child sexual abuse and want to help, don't miss this

presentation.  

 

Registering to attend this free presentation is encouraged due to limited seating.  Details about the presentation will follow this registration information.   

 

MACOMB - Tuesday, April 5

Macomb City Hall Community Rm.

232 E. Jackson, 7:00 to 8:30 pm

Click here to register.    

 

MONMOUTH - Thursday, April 14,  Bridgeway

301 Industrial Park Road

6:30 to 8:00 pm  

Click here to register.   

 

GALESBURG - Tuesday, April 19

Carl Sandburg College

Crist Student Center Bldg. B

2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd.

7:00 to 8:30 pm

Click here to register.  

 

CARTHAGE - Wed., April 20

Univ. of IL Extension Cntr.

550 N. Madison

6:30 to 8:00 pm

Click here to register. 

 

 

ABOUT THE PRESENTATION... 

 

The first physical contact between predator and child is often nonsexual touching designed to identify limits: an accidental touch, an arm around the shoulder, a brushing of hair.  Nonsexual touching desensitizes the child.  It breaks down inhibitions and leads to more overt sexual touching-the predator's ultimate goal.  Such is, in part, the grooming process of predator to child. "Grooming process" is a term for the preparation predators take in order to ultimately sexually abuse children.  Unfortunately, just being a child puts them at risk - the most innocent and helpless of human beings.   

 

Western Illinois Regional Council-Community Action Agency (WIRC-CAA) Victim Services program is sponsoring "Stop the Rape of Our Children," informational presentations on the epidemic of child sexual abuse in west central Illinois.  "We have seen a 45% increase in child sexual abuse in our five county service area. Victim Services is compelled to inform the public of this painful reality and hopefully, through these upcoming presentations, we can provide the knowledge of how adults can help children in our communities," says WIRC-CAA Victim Services Director Diane Mayfield.  The presentation will provide information on the perpetrators' grooming of children; how to recognize an abused child; actions you can take to help the abused child and the long-term effects on the sexually abused child.  "No longer can this epidemic of child sexual abuse go on.  It is a reality that most individuals choose not to accept or believe.  We are reaching out to the public so they, along with Victim Services, can help and protect the children in our communities," Mayfield emphasizes.  The presenters will consist of professionals directly involved in helping sexually abused children in the region.

 

Registering for this free event is encouraged due to limited seating (See links above).  Refreshments will be served.  For any additional information, contact Victim Services at (309) 836-2148. You can also register on the WIRC website at

http://www.wirpc.org. 

 

WIRC-CAA Victim Services provides assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and their families in Hancock, Henderson, McDonough, and Warren counties with sexual assault services also provided in Knox County.   

 

 


VICTIM SERVICES STAFF

New SA Advocate


Victim Services has a new Sexual Assault Medical/Legal Advocate.  Jill Mann joined the staff in December.  She is from Monmouth and received her BA from Monmouth College with a double major in Psychology and Spanish


New Interns

 

Stacey Fichtel is a new intern at Victim Services.  Stacey is from Aurora, Illinois and is a senior at Western Illinois University.  She will be graduating in May 2011, with a Bachelor of Social Work and a minor in Sociology.  After graduation, Stacey intends to attend graduate school for a Master's in Social Work with a concentration in Advocacy, Leadership, and Social Change.  

 

Rachel Staggemeyer is also a new Victim Services intern.  Originally from Carlinville, Illinois, Rachel is a senior at Western Illinois University.  She is majoring in both Social Work and Psychology and will graduate in May 2011.  She is especially passionate about education and prevention on the topics of teen dating violence and childhood obesity.  Her future plans include obtaining a Master's Degree in Social Work. 

 

 

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Patti Sullivan-Howd

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 Sad girl newsletter STOP THE RAPE OF OUR CHILDREN

"...we knew some folks would be shocked and upset that we would pair the word 'rape' with 'children'."

                                                 - Diane Mayfield, Victim Services Director

 

As Victim Services staff began planning for this year's Sexual Assault Awareness (SAAM) and Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAPM) activities, our discussion began with the usual question, "what should our theme be?"  We listed previous ones from over the years for SAAM and the usual "It Shouldn't Hurt to Be a Child" for CAPM as well as brainstorming for this year.  Nothing seemed to jump out for us until the discussion progressed to the clients we're serving.

 

As I had recently completed a report for our Board of Directors, I mentioned again that we were seeing lots of children and adolescents.  Other staff confirmed the increase in clients age seventeen and under.  We are seeing them for counseling as well as for legal advocacy with
No Contact Orders.   Someone talked about just having responded to the hospital for a young child who had been victimized and the pain she had seen in both the child's and the mother's eyes.   So we knew we had our theme and what we needed to be addressed.  Click here to read more.  

   

 eyemask Child Sexual Abuse - It Does Exist!   

 

How many times growing up have we heard "ignoring it does not make it go away"?  I know I heard it when I put off doing my chores or my homework.  Such a true statement, and yet all too often when the subject of child sexual abuse comes up, people will change the subject or make excuses to walk away to avoid the topic.  I have actually had more than one person say things to me such as "that's disturbing," "let's not talk about that, it's too depressing" or "can we switch to a less icky topic?"   

It is a sad topic, and the mere mention of it strikes fear in parents but it does exist and so it cannot be ignored.  Research has shown that one in three girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18, and that of the 22.3 million adolescents in the United States now, 1.8 million have been victims of sexual assault and/or abuse.  One third of children are abused more than once.  Click here to read more. 

 

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PREDATORS AND THE GROOMING  

PROCESS OF CHILDREN

 

Imagine that you are a con artist. You recently met an elderly widow with a good-sized bank account. Your own financial engine is running on fumes. You decide to take her money. So you befriend the lady. You run small errands for her. You buy her gifts. You listen to her stories and you comfort her when she feels lonely. You put your arm around her and tell her you understand her problems. You spend time with her each day. You gain her trust. Her natural suspicion disappears. Only then does the conversation shift to money. You tell her about a tremendous investment opportunity. You offer her a chance to share in this special event. If she's curious, you play on that curiosity. You answer her questions and downplay her fears. And your work pays off. She trusts you and she signs the check. Three minutes after her bank opens, you're in the wind, cash in hand and ready to target your next victim.

 

But what if you're a child predator?

 

Not much of this process will change. A predator will identify and engage their victim. They will gain the child's trust, break down the child's defenses, and manipulate their victim into performing or permitting the desired sex act. If necessary, the predator will gain access to the child by employing the same techniques with the child's parent or adult caretaker. This process is called grooming. It increases the predator's access to their victim and decreases the likelihood of discovery.

Click here to read more. 

 

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LONG TERM EFFECTS OF  

CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE

 

"These survivors need support from friends and family, as well as therapists, to help them realize their worth and regain their dignity as a valued human being."

                                    - Rebecca Danner, Victim Services Counselor 

 

When a child is sexually abused, oftentimes you will hear people ask "How long will this child suffer from the abuse?"  Unfortunately, the effects 

of childhood sexual abuse may impact the individual into his/her adult life.  Sexually abused children not only face an assault on their developing sense of their sexual identity, but also a blow to their construction of the world as a safe environment and their developing sense of others as trustworthy. In essence, child sexual abuse involves a breach of trust or an exploitation of vulnerability, and frequently both. In those that are abused by someone with whom they had a close relationship, the impact is likely to be all the more profound.

Click here to read more.  

 

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More Details to Come Soon! 

All proceeds benefit WIRC-CAA Victim Services, which provides assistance to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in Hancock, Henderson, McDonough and Warren counties.

 
WIRC-CAA Victim Services

The Victim Services Program provides free and confidential services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Hancock, Henderson, McDonough and Warren counties.

WIRC-CAA Victim Services
P. O. Box 157
Macomb, IL 61455
(309) 837-6622 (Domestic Violence)
(309) 836-2148 (Sexual Assault)
24-Hour Crisis Line (309) 837-5555
victimservices@wirpc.org
http:\\www.wirpc.org