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29 September 2008 @ 11:21 pm

Thanks to Evie Primeval for creating it!

Still far from complete, but getting there!
Current Mood: accomplished
22 September 2008 @ 03:37 pm
MM All,

I have finally gotten the network presentable. Far from complete, but it's worth having a look:

PACA: Pagans Against Child Abuse

Please stop by and let me know what you think. If you find the information useful or have anything to add, please join in.

Brightest Blessings,
~ DodiaFae
Current Mood: VERY accomplished
15 September 2008 @ 09:41 pm
Hi All,

I've been hard at work creating a network for PACA. The reason for doing this is that there are things I want to do with PACA that just can't be accomplished in a group format.

One of the things I want to do with it is to create a network to bring different Pagan organizations together, where they can learn how to keep their members (all members) safe from predators. I also want to create a place where teens and children (and their parents) can learn what tactics predators use, and how to protect themselves from predators.

The network is well on it's way to completion. Once it is nearly there, I will be posting banners and links so that anyone who happens by this group will be able to find their way to the new network. I hope you will stop by and at least check it out.

As for this group, I've deleted most of the articles and discussions that were here before. The ones I've left up were written by me. Some of the "credit to" information of the other articles has changed, and will be listed correctly on the network.

In the meantime, please visit the main group here.

Also, please check out the site where PACA was born:

Brightest Blessings,
~ DodiaFae
Current Mood: accomplished
Hi All,

My sister recommended a book to me called "Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane)." by Gavin de Becker. She sent me link to an excerpt from Chapter Five ("Talk to Strangers") Here is an interesting excerpt:

Children are taught The Rule when young, but the very week it’s handed down, they see their parents violate it over and over. And they are themselves encouraged to violate it: "Say hello to the nice lady," "Answer the man’s question," "Tell Mr. Evans your name." What children actually learn is: Never talk to strangers unless they are wearing a clown suit or a uniform, or they work at the bank, or they’re registering us to vote, or they’re seeking signatures on a petition, or they’re handing out tasty samples, or they’re nice.

Never Talk to Strangers, it turns out, isn’t a rule after all, but a highly flexible and incomprehensible concept that only Mom and Dad really understand – if even they do.

The idea is that whatever we teach our kids, we must lead by example. And in the case of not talking to strangers, this is impossible. Not to mention the fact that most abusers are known to their victims and their families.

Another important thing to consider is that if your child is ever separated from you in a mall (yes, this is possible, even with the most vigilant parents) they may have to rely on strangers. I worked in retail in a mall in college, and there were several occasions when I had to leave the store to help a small child in the middle of the mall, lost and crying for their mommy. I always brought them to the customer service desk as opposed to the security guard booth.

One thing I want to point out is that no one else stopped to help these children, and when I did, no one around the child batted an eyelash or gave a second glance. Now, if any of those children had listened that that rule, who knows what would have happened. Of course, that could go either way... what if the wrong person stopped to "help" them(selves)? These small children, lost and afraid and crying, would not be able to defend themselves against a predator who is much larger than them. But maybe their mother would have realized that her child had wandered off, and gone back and found them. Maybe she wouldn't.

de Becker stresses in his book that we absolutely can not put any of the responsibility for protecting our children on our children. They are not equipped to handle this task. Women and children are raped every day by sexual predators. There is no way that we can expect our children to be able to defend themselves against someone that a grown woman would have a hard time defending herself against. Just think about the difference in size and strength of the average 13 year old and the average 37 year old. Another excerpt from the link above:

Until a child is old enough to understand what predatory strategies look like, old enough and confident enough to resist them, assertive enough to seek help, powerful enough to enforce the word No – until all that happens, a child is too young to be his own protector, too young to merit any of your reliance, too young to be part of the defense system, period.

While we absolutely should educate them of the dangers and how to avoid them, we can not expect them to "take care of themselves". The very idea that a child can protect themselves from a predator is right up there with leaving a 5 year old in charge of the younger kids while you go out. Would anyone hire a 5 year old babysitter? I don't think so, and anyone leaving a 5 year old home alone is likely to have that child removed from their care for neglect. So, expecting your child to take any responsibility for protecting themselves from predators is like that, neglect. The stakes are just too high, and the price you may end up paying is unimaginable.

Since we're on the subject of children in malls, etc., I would also like to mention a couple of other safety tips that have been passed on to me. One is NOT to tell your child to look for a police officer if they are separated from you. The reason is that, to the average 5 year old, a police uniform and a security guard uniform look pretty much the same. After all, they can't really see much of the detail above the pants, and both tend to have that blue stripe down each leg, and they both often wear with shirts with a patch stitched onto the sleeve. There is a mall near where I live, where the security guard uniforms look like those of state troopers, right up to the hats!

You don't want your child looking to security officers. While the majority would most likely be helpful, a surprising number of "cop wannabees" get into security work, because they failed the psychological exams required to get into police work. This information I got from people I've known who worked in security. When you take into consideration that a mall security guard would have as much access to children as someone working at a Chuck E Cheese (many malls have play areas in the food court, an arcade, etc.) and that they would have an intimate knowledge of where the cameras in the mall can "see", and which places are private, it's a perfect job for a predator to have. Please note that I am absolutely NOT saying that all mall security guards are pedophiles. But I do want to remind everyone that pedophiles DO look for jobs that will give them access to children, or where they can watch children. And do you really want to take that chance?

So, who do you tell your child to look to for help if they get separated from you? Tell them to look for the mother who has children with her, especially if she has an infant. A mother is more likely to be sympathetic to the plight of a lost child and do what she can to help.

Please check out the link above. The information there makes a lot of sense.

Bright Blessings,
~ DodiaFae
30 May 2008 @ 01:24 pm
Child molestation has reached epidemic proportions. 25-33% of children continue to be molested. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthdays. What we are doing now, is not working. It’s time to change that. The time for looking the other way has come to an end.

Think about those numbers for a minute... if I were to just count the grandchildren of my parents, there are 13 all together. 6 girls and 7 boys. If 1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused by their 18 birthday, that means that chances are very likely that one of the girls in my family will be sexually abused. If 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused, that means it is very likely that one of the boys in my family will be sexually abused. 25-33%... that's a quarter to one third of all children. One quarter of my parents' grandchildren would be 3.25.

How do these numbers translate into your family?

95% of all child molestation is done by someone that the child and/or family knows, not by strangers. That does not necessarily mean that someone you know right now is likely a pedophile. Some will find a way to become a "family friend" to gain access to children. So please be sure to read the Warriors For Innocence grooming articles.

This will give you an idea of the extent to which a predator will go in order to gain your trust and to gain access to your child. The only way to prevent this is to be aware of the tricks used, and to be vigilant. I'm not saying to lock your kids up and don't let anyone near them. I'm just saying that you should educate your children, agree on some rules (especially where the internet is concerned), and pay attention to how others interact with your children and with you.

I was pointed in the direction of this excellent website, which gives a ton of information on how these people get parents to give them access to their children. The quotes above is from this site. It's called Warriors For Innocence (WFI)

I tried posting a link to this particular article on the WFI site, but I can't seem to get it to work properly. So here is the info. Please note that this article is from the Warriors For Innocence website:

Child Sexual Abuse Statistics
A lot of people ask about the statistics on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). I've dug up a few numbers. It just makes me sick to my stomach every time I see these...
CSA Stats

1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthdays.

1 in 5 children are sexually solicited while on the Internet.

Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under.

The median age for reported sexual abuse is 9 years old.

Approximately 20% of the victims of sexual abuse are under age eight.

50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are under age twelve.

Most child victims never report the abuse. Over 30% of victims never disclose the experience to ANYONE.

85-90% of all sexual assaults against children are committed by someone whom the victim knew.

35% involve a family member, and 50% of all assaults take place in the home of the child or the offender.

Nearly 70% of child sex offenders have between 1 and 9 victims; at least 20% have 10 to 40 victims.

An average serial child molester may have as many as 400 victims in his lifetime.

The typical sexual predator will assault 117 times before being caught.

An estimated 3.3 percent of the 4,300 released child molesters were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within 3 years. Most of the children they were alleged to have molested after leaving prison were age 13 or younger.

Almost 80% of victims initially deny abuse or are tentative in disclosing. Of those who do disclose, approximately 75% disclose accidentally. Additionally, of those who do disclose, more than 20% eventually recant even though the abuse occurred.

Fabricated sexual abuse reports constitute only 1% to 4% of all reported cases. Of these reports, 75% are falsely reported by adults and 25% are reported by children. Children only fabricate ½% of the time.

Victims of child sexual abuse report more substance abuse problems. 70-80% of sexual abuse survivors report excessive drug and alcohol use.

Young girls who are sexually abused are 3 times more likely to develop psychiatric disorders or alcohol and drug abuse in adulthood, than girls who are not sexually abused.

Among male survivors, more than 70% seek psychological treatment for issues such as substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide. Males who have been sexually abused are more likely to violently victimize others.

here, here, and here

Bright Blessings,
Current Mood: Horrified
30 May 2008 @ 12:49 am
Hail and Welcome!

This is a group designed to inform, discuss, and protect our most precious asset: children. Anyone who would like to post information about protecting kids from any form of abuse, warnings about convicted predators/abusers that are on the loose, questions about how to keep kids safe and spot problems with adults in the child's life, information on missing and exploited children, etc.... is free to do so. You are also more than welcome to share your own ordeals if you, yourself, are a survivor. There will be a topic titled "Survivor Stories" for this purpose.

There is a simple rule that is designed to keep this forum a safe haven for all involved and all who pass by and may need guidance or help:

RESPECT: Please be respectful of others. This is NOT a debate forum. This is a place where child safety comes FIRST. Regardless of differences of opinions elsewhere, most people can agree that the safety of children is more important. Following this simple rule will help to keep things civil.

Please note: This group is a continuation of the work done by Nightshadow and Rain. I've agreed to take over ownership and administration of this group at their request because I feel it is so important. We need to keep our children safe. We need more groups like this. In an effort to get the word out, I have copied this group in several different networking sites on the web.

If you find the information here informative, please join the group and invite others. For those folks that you are uncomfortable inviting to a Pagan group, feel free to copy and paste any information into an email to them, or email links to sites we've linked to. The more people that have this information, the fewer victims there will be! I firmly believe this. The child of an informed parent is a safer child. Even the children of others around you will be safer for having one more aware person around them. The main purpose of this group is to spread the word, to inform others of tactics used by child predators. The more people arm themselves with the facts and ways to combat this problem, the safer all of our children will be.

Thank you for your support of this group.

Brightest Blessings,