Keeping kids safe.Byline: SUSAN PALMER The Register-Guard
LOLITA TYMAS goes to her children's soccer practices and games, rain or shine. Her oldest, 7-year-old Tyler Hanks, has a new coach this year, and while Tymas likes him, she doesn't know him very well.
On a recent weekday afternoon as rain turned to hail, she stood under an umbrella watching Tyler kick the soccer ball in a high arcing curve over the heads of his teammates.
She had her younger son, 5-year-old Kyle, in tow. His practice would follow and she'd be there, too. "He's too young to leave alone," Tymas said.
Last year, she was a little less protective. She knew Tyler's coach and his family well. This year, she sticks around to be on the safe side.
"How do you forgive yourself if you take a chance and something happens?" she said. As the manager of before- and after-school programs for kids, she's doubly aware of the challenges parents face in keeping children safe.
Daily revelations about the extent of priest pedophilia pedophilia, psychosexual disorder in which there is a preference for sexual activity with prepubertal children. Pedophiles are almost always males. The children are more often of the opposite sex (about twice as often) and are typically 13 years or age or younger; and a rash of local abuse cases have underscored the harsh reality Harsh Reality are a little-known, proto-prog band born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire out of the remnants of the Freightliner Blues Band (formerly the Revolution) in the early sixties. for parents that people in positions of trust aren't necessarily trustworthy.
That's one of the reasons Steve Swenson, a Eugene police captain, became a Scout leader A Scout Leader generally refers to the trained adult leader of a Scout unit. The terms used vary from country to country, over time, and with the type of unit. Roles
There are many different roles a leader can fulfill depending on the type of unit. . He wanted to keep an eye on to watch.
See also: Eye his son as he moves through the Scouting scouting: see Boy Scouts; Girl Scouts.
Activities of various national and worldwide organizations for youth aimed at developing character, citizenship, and individual skills. Scouting began when Robert S. program.
"Parents should never ever put 100 percent of their faith in someone else," Swenson said.
Neither should they rely on traditional programs designed to teach children to recognize and avoid abusers, prevention experts say.
The "no, go, tell" strategies that are most common fail because abusers patiently target their victims so cleverly that children often don't understand they're being abused until it's too late.
"There isn't any other domain in our life where we pit kids against adults or older juveniles and expect kids to prevail," said Keith Kaufman, a Portland State University psychology professor who has interviewed thousands of sex offenders sex offender n. generic term for all persons convicted of crimes involving sex, including rape, molestation, sexual harassment and pornography production or distribution. in a study designed to develop abuse prevention strategies.
Instead, parents and adults who supervise children's programs need to be educated to take responsibility for protecting children.
The first step in that process is understanding that children are most at risk of being abused in their own homes, Kaufman said.
In 1998, the last year that the Oregon Department of Human Services reported the relationship between victims and their molesters, 63 percent of the children had been abused by family members, stepfathers or live-in boyfriends. Fathers or father figures represented 34 percent of the offenders, the state reported.
Yet adults are better versed Versed® Midazolam Pharmacology A preoperative sedative in training children about the danger that strangers represent, warning them to stay away from people they don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. , Kaufman said.
"The most difficult thing to do is to get parents to look at the people the kids do know," he said.
Outside the family circle, about 18 percent of abusers are known to the victims, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. state research. They can be friends, neighbors, coaches or volunteers - and most often they're smart, manipulative ma·nip·u·la·tive
Serving, tending, or having the power to manipulate.
Any of various objects designed to be moved or arranged by hand as a means of developing motor skills or understanding abstractions, especially in and willing to take their time in identifying and approaching their victims.
M., 51, began fondling his girlfriend's daughter when she was 6 years old. The abuse lasted seven years. He also fondled his girlfriend's son at least once.
L., 33, had sex with his wife's 11-year-old sister. While on probation for that offense, he fondled a 4-year-old girl.
And he had many other victims, another 15 by his reckoning, ranging in age from 4 to 17. He was never caught or prosecuted for any of those incidents.
"Each person that I abused was an opportunity that I took advantage of when it came. I never went out seeking a stranger," he said.
The two men are registered sex offenders in Lane County and are currently in sex offender treatment programs. They agreed to interviews as part of their treatment and on the condition that their full names not be used.
Both men confess to a knack for recognizing the neediness of potential victims and to coercing them into sex in a grooming process that prevention experts say parents need to understand so they can guard against it.
They aren't the only molesters speaking out about their crimes.
Sex offenders in treatment at the Center for Behavioral Intervention behavioral intervention Behavior modification, behavior 'mod', behavioral therapy, behaviorism Psychiatry The use of operant conditioning models, ie positive and negative reinforcement, to modify undesired behaviors–eg, anxiety. in Beaverton have written a pamphlet for parents that spells out how they abuse children.
Sex abuse is a lengthy process, not a single incident, said Cory Jewell-Jensen, a nationally known expert on sex offenders who runs the Portland center with her husband, Steve Jensen Steve Jensen (born April 14, 1955 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is a retired professional ice hockey player who played 438 games in the National Hockey League in 1976-82 after starring for the Michigan Tech men's ice hockey team in the early 1970s. . The center provides state-mandated treatment for sex offenders.
Molesters build relationships with children before abusing them, often starting with playful or affectionate touch within view of the parents so that children assume it's OK, the center's pamphlet explains.
They learn their victims' likes and dislikes and pay attention to them in ways that make children feel special.
With a child's defenses declining and trust building, more intrusive behavior begins. By the time victims question the contact, they're often involved to a degree that they may feel responsible.
M. began his abuse when he, his girlfriend and her two young children hopped in the shower together one day. Nothing happened then, but it was the moment he found himself excited by a child, he said.
Soon, he was encouraging nudity in the house while the children played together and while he read to them. Bedtime bedtime Sleep disorders The time when one attempts to fall asleep–as distinguished from the time when one gets into bed tuck-in sessions included massages that eventually led to fondling, and the fondling went on for years, he said.
Parents need to be watchful about behavior before it escalates, M. said.
"I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I'd take it a step farther and didn't get resistance and I'd take it a step farther. It just requires a lot of vigilance on the part of the parent about the behavior of a partner," he said.
Kids starved starve
v. starved, starv·ing, starves
1. To suffer or die from extreme or prolonged lack of food.
2. Informal To be hungry.
3. To suffer from deprivation. for attention
L. took advantage of children when they were placed in his care. Some children he abused while baby-sitting. Once, he took advantage of a homeless teen-ager, offering her a place to spend the night.
He often gave his victims marijuana or alcohol. "I was seeking my own sexual gratification GRATIFICATION. A reward given voluntarily for some service or benefit rendered, without being requested so to do, either expressly or by implication. , with no empathy for my victims. I believed in my own mind that they wanted to do these things "These Things" is an EP by She Wants Revenge, released in 2005 by Perfect Kiss, a subsidiary of Geffen Records. Music Video
The music video stars Shirley Manson, lead singer of the band Garbage. Track Listing
1. "These Things [Radio Edit]" - 3:17
2. ," he said.
L. targeted emotionally needy children because they made the most willing prey.
"If they're starving starve
v. starved, starv·ing, starves
1. To suffer or die from extreme or prolonged lack of food.
2. Informal To be hungry.
3. To suffer from deprivation. for attention, they're looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. attention from anybody," he said.
Children receiving enough attention from parents and other adults would have been less likely victims, he said, and children well-trained about appropriate touch also would have been less likely to tolerate his advances.
"The smarter kids are about sexual touching, the more aware they are of what's not right, the better off they are," he said.
But educating children once or twice about touching isn't enough, abuse prevention experts say. Children need regular reinforcement about appropriate touch.
They also need to feel like they can talk with parents about a subject that makes many people uncomfortable, Jewell-Jensen said.
Once abuse has begun, molesters are adept at convincing children that they won't be believed or that they'll be in as much trouble as the molester mo·lest
tr.v. mo·lest·ed, mo·lest·ing, mo·lests
1. To disturb, interfere with, or annoy.
2. To subject to unwanted or improper sexual activity. or that other family members will suffer if they tell.
M. said that while he never directly threatened his girlfriend's daughter if she told, his angry temper kept the household under his sway.
Children also may struggle with mixed feelings about offenders, Kaufman said. If a child has otherwise enjoyed the nonsexual aspect of the relationship, he or she faces the dilemma of deciding what to give up. "Am I willing to trade off all the richness that this person brings to me and something that is strange or uncomfortable a few times?" he said.
Parents should be wary of adults who spend most of their free time with children and who seek "alone time" with children. They should question unexpected gifts or money and watch for changes in a child's behavior, experts say.
And parents also need to trust their own instincts, Kaufman said.
"I can't tell you how many times we've heard from parents: `You know, in retrospect, it does seem strange that so much of so-and-so's life was focused around kids.' But it's always in retrospect," he said.
The Oregon State Police reported about 4,100 child and juvenile victims of sex abuse in 2000, the most recent numbers available.
In Lane County, the number of sex abuse victims from infant to age 18 has ranged from 400 to 500 annually from 1996 to 2000, according to the state police records.
Abuse prevention experts say those cases are just the tip of the iceberg tip of the iceberg
n. pl. tips of the iceberg
A small evident part or aspect of something largely hidden: afraid that these few reported cases of the disease might only be the tip of the iceberg. .
Offenders in treatment report that they average more than 100 incidents of abuse before they get caught, Jewell-Jensen said.
"Our offenders tell us they touch lots of kids," she said.
Jewell-Jensen has spent a lot of time educating people in law enforcement and social service agencies about molester techniques, but in the past two years, she's turned her attention to parents, developing a workshop that she has delivered to about a dozen parent groups in the Portland area.
Her presentation includes tips on talking with children about sex, how to respond when a child reports abuse and the factors that place children at higher risk.
Among those: living in a single-parent home, drug or alcohol abuse by parents, sexually preoccupied parents and inadequate parental supervision Parental supervision is a parenting technique that involves looking after, or monitoring a child's activities.
Young children are generally incapable of looking after themselves, and incompetent in making informed decisions for their own well-being. .
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. also has taken an interest in prevention. Despite its better-known focus on fighting illness, the agency gave Portland State's Kaufman a $700,000 grant in 1998 to study both adult and juvenile child abusers child abuser Public health A person who mentally or physically abuses a child Typical CA profile Age < 30, slightly more likely to be ♀, whose mother was unemployed/employed part time as a manual laborer Typical victim Young children, teens. , documenting their patterns to come up with strategies to help keep kids safe.
Kaufman is also comparing the home life of children who have been abused with those who haven't.
"We're looking at what kind of household rules parents employ, what kind of supervision children receive and how parents monitor their children," he said. "We want to understand what happens normatively and what happens where abuses occurred."
The study is a year and a half from completion, but when the work is done, he expects to able to develop a program that will help parents identify suspicious behavior and give them reasonable ways to check it to minimize unfair accusations.
He envisions an education campaign much like that of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, with people talking as frankly and regularly about preventing abuse as they do about keeping drunks off the road.
Despite the national focus on pedophile pedophile Forensic psychiatry A person with pedophilia; there are an estimated 500,000 pedophiles in the world. See Child prostitution, Megan's law, Pedophilia. priests, researchers say the number of abused children actually has decreased nationally in the past decade.
Figures compiled by the state police don't reflect that decline, and those who work with abused children don't have fewer clients.
"We're not seeing it," said Ray Broderick, director of the Child Advocacy Child advocacy refers to a range of individuals, professionals and advocacy organizations who promote the optimal development of children. An individual or organization engaging in advocacy typically seeks to protect children’s rights which may be abridged or abused in a Center in Eugene, which supports abuse victims interacting with the district attorney's office. In the past seven years, his agency has seen the number of clients increase from 150 in 1995 when the agency was open for half the year to 610 last year.
The pornography issue
Those who work with offenders in Oregon are anxious about the future, Jewell-Jensen said. They expect to see the state's numbers increase, driven by the explosion in Internet child pornography Child pornography is the visual representation of minors under the age of 18 engaged in sexual activity or the visual representation of minors engaging in lewd or erotic behavior designed to arouse the viewer's sexual interest. and a decrease in the length of parole for offenders coming out of prison.
Jewell-Jensen, who last month appeared on an Oprah Winfrey “Oprah” redirects here. For the show, see The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 29, 1954) is the American multiple-Emmy Award winning host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the highest-rated talk show in television history. show that focused on child molesters Noun 1. child molester - a man who has sex (usually sodomy) with a boy as the passive partner
degenerate, deviant, deviate, pervert - a person whose behavior deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behavior , said online pornography is pushing more people toward active abuse.
"We're seeing people crossing the line who never would have offended before," she said.
Before the Internet, child pornography was more difficult to obtain. Now it's easily available, and pedophiles can find and encourage each other in chat rooms, she said.
FBI data support her concern. The agency reports a 1,200 percent increase in online child pornography and child exploitation crimes from 1996 to 2000.
Also of concern: Measure 11-mandated sentences give criminals the bulk of their time behind bars with less post-prison supervision once they get out. Sex offender treatment is required for almost all offenders when they leave prison, and it's a process that can take from three to five years, therapists say.
Many molesters come out of prison with less than two years of parole remaining, insufficient time for effective treatment, Jewell-Jensen said. The state ended in-prison sex offender treatment programs in 1997, in a cost-cutting move.
"We're sitting in these groups with more and more people who don't care
"Don't Care" is a 1994 (see 1994 in music) single by American death metal band Obituary. if they re-offend," she said.
While changes in sentencing guidelines over the years make it hard to generalize generalize /gen·er·al·ize/ (-iz)
1. to spread throughout the body, as when local disease becomes systemic.
2. to form a general principle; to reason inductively. about post-prison supervision, Lane County parole officer Jeff Collins says Jewell-Jensen's concerns are well-founded and cites two recent cases of offenders - one a rapist rap·ist
One who commits rape.
Noun 1. rapist - someone who forces another to have sexual intercourse
aggressor, assailant, assaulter, attacker - someone who attacks , one a hard-core pedophile - who got out of prison with only six months of supervision.
Within weeks of his release, the pedophile disappeared, Collins said. "These are the guys who keep you awake at night," he said.
M., who is three years into 10 years of parole, said it took a while for him to appreciate the sex offender treatment program he was required to take.
"In the beginning, I thought it was stupid," he said.
But 2 1/2 years into it, he said he's stopped lying about sex, stopped manipulating other people and made some progress toward confronting the attitudes that kept him from caring about how his behavior hurt others.
He doesn't think of himself as "cured."
"I can't say that I would never offend again. If I lose sight of what my goals are, I could revert," he said.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Physical signs of abuse are:
Unexplained bruises Bruises Definition
Bruises, or ecchymoses, are a discoloration and tenderness of the skin or mucous membranes due to the leakage of blood from an injured blood vessel into the tissues. Pupura refers to bruising as the result of a disease condition. , redness, or bleeding of the child's genitals gen·i·tals
Genitalia. , anus or mouth.
Pain at the genitals, anus or mouth.
Genital genital /gen·i·tal/ (jen´i-t'l)
1. pertaining to reproduction, or to the reproductive organs.
2. (in the plural) the reproductive organs.
1. sores or milky milky (mil´ke)
1. having the appearance of milk; whitish, cloudy, fluid.
2. filled with or consisting of milk or a milklike fluid. fluids in the genital area.
Emotional signs of abuse also might be triggered by other stresses in a child's life, such as divorce, problems in school, or the death of a family member or pet. Several of them together should prompt a parent to ask questions.
Nightmares, trouble sleeping, fear of the dark or other sleeping problems.
Extreme fear of "monsters."
Spacing out at odd times.
Loss of appetite loss of appetite Medtalk Anorexia, see there or trouble eating or swallowing.
Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, anger or withdrawal. Fear of certain people or places (a child may not want to be left alone with a baby sitter, a friend, a relative or some other child or adult; or a child who is usually talkative and cheery cheer·y
adj. cheer·i·er, cheer·i·est
Showing or suggesting good spirits; cheerful: a cheery hello.
cheer may become quiet and distant when around a certain person).
Stomach illness all of the time with no identifiable reason.
An older child behaving like a younger child, such as bed-wetting or thumb-sucking.
Sexual activities with toys or other children, such as simulating sex with dolls or asking other children/siblings to behave sexually.
New words for private body parts.
Refusing to talk about a "secret" he or she has with an adult or older child.
Talking about a new older friend.
Suddenly having money.
Cutting or burning herself or himself as an adolescent.
If you have questions, call 1-888-PREVENT. If you suspect abuse, call police or the Child Welfare office at 686-7557.
- Stop It Now, a child sexual abuse Child sexual abuse is an umbrella term describing criminal and civil offenses in which an adult engages in sexual activity with a minor or exploits a minor for the purpose of sexual gratification. prevention agency
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Books: For children: "A Very Touching Book" by Jan Hindman; for teens: "No is Not Enough" by Caren Adams, Jennifer Fay and Jan Loreen-Martin; for adults: "By Silence Betrayed" by John Crewdson.
Online: Stop it Now - www.stopitnow.com or call the group's hot line at 1-888-PREVENT; National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information - www.calib.com/nccanch
Parent pamphlet: "Protecting Your Children: Advice from Molesters" is available locally at the Child Advocacy Center, 682-3938; or from the Center for Behavioral Intervention in Beaverton, (503) 644-2772.
Child Welfare abuse hot line: 686-7557