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How to Cope with Sexual Abuse as An Adult

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As it is well known, any form of abuse is hard to cope with for its victim. There are many centers and help lines that would take the victims to provide them with life tools and tips that could help them make their lives more bearable and easier in a way. However, there are many people who don’t open up or speak about the abuse they lived as a child until they’ve grown older. The reason? Many.

The human mind is a powerful and wise asset that can block any sort of negative experience from our lives, saving it into our deepest and wildest memories. Nevertheless, anything can trigger that memory at any moment of our lives, a tv show, a smell, a place, a situation, anything! And it is important to have in mind that there are support groups that help adults who have been victims of child abuse in the past.

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If the victim was abused by someone close to them, the effects could be greater, as trust and feelings are involved and are hard to get away from. Many of the survivors feel guilty, and usually tend to start drinking, and other illegal practices (criminal activity, drugs abuse, among others).

There are organizations that offer free and confidential support, as we know how much it means to the victims to keep their identities kept in private. There is no need to worry, these groups have been formed by specialist on the matter, and know how to handle these situations with professionalism and confidentiality.

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If you know somebody, or you have been victim of child abuse in the past, have in mind that you’re not alone, and that there are ways to get out of this. On the web, there are forums and help groups that meet once or twice a week online and that, through conversations and life experiences, can help you relate and overpass this difficult time.

Types of Child Abuse

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It is a fact that, as parents, we tend to protect our children up to point when they feel we are overprotecting them. But, as we are currently living on a fast-pace world, in which bullying and many other forms of abuse can cross their lives at any time, it is always prudent to be one step ahead and know some of the multiple ways of abuse there are out there. This, to always be prepared on how to action when a child of our own, or one we know, comes home as a victim of child abuse.

Physical Abuse

Many may think that physical abuse can come only from parents. However, there have been cases of physical abuse coming from teachers and other school mates to kids. For a teacher, this could mean the loss of their licence to teach for a very long period (if not indefinite). Justice has shown that if there are proves of a child being physically abuse by its teacher, the abuser can and will face a time in jail and the revocation of their teaching licence.

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Neglection

A very common type of child abuse, but that doesn’t get called by its name often is neglection. When a child gets neglected, he or she is a victim of poor daily care, including medical attention, personal hygiene, and even feeding. If a child does not have the primary attention that he or she needs to live, then they’re being victims of neglection and the adults responsible for them could get taken to court and face a sentence in jail.

Emotional Abuse

Calling children names is just one way of this terrible case of child abuse. Children can be very hurtful with words, but the problem isn’t the names they call. The real problem is where do they learn all these names? Are they being victims of these names at home and they’re only imitating a situation they live often? It is important to considerate how the aggressors really are trying to imitate a pattern they are living at home. Emotional abuse is a chain that needs to be stopped from the very first link.

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When we learn how to deal with child abuse, no matter the severity of the matter, we’ll be helping, not only the victim, but the abuser as well, as at one point, the aggressor is also a victim of somebody else.

Racial and Religious Bullying on Schools

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Due to the recent terrorist attacks that have been on the news in many different parts of the world, many children have started getting in touch with their local helplines, asking for assistance on how to deal with racial and religious bullying that they’ve been suffering at school in the recent times.

These types of bullying are not new to the scene. However, and because of all the hate that has been spreading on a variety of sceneries, it has increased considerably in the recent times. As a guide, in the United Kingdom alone, there have more than 2.500 sessions registered on children seeking for help because are being victims of bullying at school, because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs..

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In many of the cases recorded, children have confessed they’ve hurt themselves to ease the pain caused by their schoolmates. It is important to point out the similitudes between the cases, highlighting:

  • Threats of violence
  • Being victims of exclusion and jokes when wearing a visible religious item
  • Being called names, such as terrorist, church-freak- among others

For some children, bullying got so intense and irritating that they stopped attending to classes, dropping school, and isolating themselves at home.

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For parents to know, it is very importadsvnt to always teach our children to love, accept and embrace themselves and their culture, as that is exactly what makes them special and, most of the times, being “different” ends up being a great thing, as it is what defines our spot in a diverse society.

 

Cyberbullying: All You Should Know About It

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There are many types of bullying, but without a doubt cyberbullying is one of the most dangerous ones. The reason? Anonymity.

As cyberbullying talks place through electronic devices, it is easier for bullies to keep their real identity hidden from the bullied, which makes the scenery even worst for the victim, as the bully could be somebody close to them, using personal information against them.

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Cyberbullying can happen at any time of the day, any day of the week, and this makes it even harder for the victim, as they feel vulnerable at any moment.

As well as harassing the victim, the bully can post photos online of its victims, which means there are no direct connections between the bully and the bullied, but the effect is the same, and even worst, as the image or message can get spread over the net and reach more people.

Cyberbullies know that using their phones or other electronic devices to cause damage is a tool that, in times, could be hard to track, as they can easily use different IP addresses and delete all the information that could incriminate them.

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As for the consequences, children who have been bullied have the tendency or are more susceptible start using drugs, start hurting themselves, have severe health problems, present lower self-esteem, and even show the will to skip school indefinitely.

To stop cyberbullying, many schools around the world have started new security policies, mainly oriented to parents, as any sort of uncommon behaviour should always be treated at home first. Through talks and workshops, parents learn to deal with their children, whether they are bullies or being bullied at.

Actions are an important matter to eradicate bullying and hate from our schools, it is a matter of time and effort, but it is not an impossible task.

 

Hundreds of People Arrested After Human Trafficking Operation

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A state-wide operation was held all over California to combat human trafficking and as a result, 474 people got arrested and 28 sexually exploited children got rescued, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

In the mission, more than 30 federal agents took part, counting the local and state law forces as well that got involved, including the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force. This, as the third annual “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild”, which lasted 3 days, from Thursday to Saturday.

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In total, there were 474 arrests, on the list of imprisoned, there were 142 males that already had solicitation charges, and 36 other males that were under suspicion of pimping. In addition, there were 28 children who had been exploited sexually and commercially and other 27 adults who had been victims of the same sort of crime.

After the mission had concluded, the minors who were rescued got specially attended by several children and family services across the state and even after the investigatory work finishes, they’ll be still taken care of, affirmed Sheriff Jim McDonnell.

Operation Reclaim and Rebuild focused on rescuing victims of sexual slavery and human trafficking, providing victims with much-needed services, identifying and arresting their captors, seeking successful prosecutions, and disrupting the demand for vulnerable victims by targeting their customers,” the release stated.

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“Police agencies and other trafficking task forces throughout our state joined in the enforcement operation to send the clear message that California law enforcement shares a unified mandate: Human trafficking must not be tolerated in our state!” – said McDonnell.

As a way to keep names and identities safe, the authorities did not release or provide any other information than the given in this post.

Child Trafficking: What Is It?

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According to the International Labour Organization, around 1.2 million children get trafficked per year, the purposes are many, adaptation, work exploitation, slavery, drug trades, and the most common one, sexual exploitation.

Around the world, there are many organizations that seek to stop this horrible crime, through many methods that help raising money to support the lives of the children that have been victims of a case of human trafficking. As we mentioned earlier, there are many forms of child trafficking and for many objectives. You’ll find a list of the most common ones as follows:

To join armed forces: In many countries, there are organized armed groups that use and train children, mostly under 16, to become real soldiers. Living under hostile surroundings and deplorable circumstances, these victims must learn, from a very young age to defend themselves using weapons and other combat techniques. In many cases, these children have been taken or stolen from their homes and do not understand what is going on as they first arrive to the place where they’ll be kept.

For drugs trading: Children have been used in many regions of the world to serve as a means of transportation for drug trafficking. Dealers pay big amounts of money to use children to take big cargos of drugs from one country to another. Some of the times, children are used under lies, as they ignore the content of the shipment they’re carrying.

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Sexual exploitation: For this matter, there are no limitations for felony, as the children do not necessary have to be in contact with the aggressor. Online child pornography, or explicit photos of a minor touching himself is also sexual exploitation and it’s penalized with jail.

For forced labour and begging: One of the main purposes for child trafficking is to make money out of them, not only through forced labours, but also, through begging. Many children traffickers kidnap their victims and get them to work as beggars on the streets, using their childhood and innocence to manipulate those who give them money.

Child trafficking is a problem that has been around for many years now, and it is only up to us as a society to work ways to eradicate this commonly sad issue.

Get to know the Ricky Martin Foundation

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We all have heard about Ricky Martin as an international pop star, we all have sang his songs and even danced to many of his hits, but did you know that this pop icon has his own foundation dedicated to help those who have been abused or sexually exploited?

Rafael Nuñez Ricky Martin Foundation2The Ricky Martin Foundation is an organization that denounces human trafficking and educates people about its existence through community initiatives and many other activities. The foundation has its very own strategy, which are as follow:

Investigate: The foundation does a research in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean countries to Educate and create awareness on how to Prevent this sort of crimes.

Rafael Nuñez Ricky Martin Foundation3Also, the foundation has many special activities to raise money and help those who have been victims of trafficking, such as its Annual Golf Tournament, which takes place in Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort in Puerto Rico, where all the profits go to strengthen their mission of combatting human trafficking.

Another activity that has been planned recently, is the contest to win tickets and a roundtrip to Las Vegas in a chance to meet Ricky Martin in person on his Monte Carlo Hotel concert residency. The invitation is to donate on a website, and for every $10 donated, the person will receive 100 entries for the grand-prize.

 

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Overall, the foundation has many activities to support and help those who have been victims of trafficking, and that’s why we support and spread the word on the excellent labour they are doing to make this crime stop. If all of us help human trafficking stop, it eventually will. The change we want in society starts with us. Let’s all share the dream of the creator of this foundation:

“My dream right now is seeing the abolition of modern day slavery and human trafficking.”

Ricky Martin.

Do You Know What’s Your Child Sharing Online?

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Kids these days have access to many online sites and features that we only dreamt of and saw in the movies. However, this is not always a good thing, as they are more vulnerable for predators, paedophiles, and bullies. Even when kids do not play out in the streets as often anymore, they are the most exposed to danger that children their age have ever been.

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As parents, we surely teach them values and many useful tools that help them develop their character and personality among this society. Though, we don’t seem to teach them how to behave online, as we trust their innocence and exposure to certain sites and apps we consider “safe” but, what we ignore is the fact that many online predators and bullies hide on these apps, claiming to be kids their same age and selling themselves as friendly and sweet-innocent people.

We know this type of conversation may result uncomfortable for us and for our kids, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Here you’ll find some useful tips on how to draw online limits and underline what’s appropriate and what goes beyond those limits:

  • Start the conversation casually, you could even start looking at apps together, and take it from there. Start discussing which sites you like and which ones you think are suitable for your child’s age. Then, listen to their point of view and decide together.
  • Explain there are people who may not be who they seem to be, so explain that they must be very careful on how much they share on their social media.
  • Talk to them about posting and sharing photos online. Ask them to tell you as soon as somebody starts asking for pictures they consider unusual and too private.
  • Discuss how difficult it is to identify someone online, as there are many ways somebody can pretend to be somebody else. Tell them not to share private information, address, schools, etc. This sort of information should never be relevant for anybody apart from family members.

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There’s nothing that could top the feeling of trust between a kid and its parents. So, embrace trust among your family members and talk to them about the danger they’re exposed to when they’re online. Trust is a card only a family must play in their favour.

Sexual Knowledge on Children, What’s Normal and What’s Not?

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As parents, we must be ready to face any sort of questions from our children that may leave us wondering “where did they hear about this?”, “It’s too soon for them to know about this or to express this way”. However, we must be alert on how much or how little our children should know about sexuality at a certain age. Here, you’ll find some tips by paediatricians of the American Academy of Paediatrics on what’s normal for children to know and speak about when they reach a determined age in their lives:

Touching and masturbating are normal and very common practices. Still, those are practices that should always be done in private. When a kid starts rubbing himself against others, or asking an adult to engage in specific sexual acts, you should talk to them and let them know that it is inappropriate and that it shouldn’t be done again.  Also, as parents, we have to start finding out where did they get the idea of sharing their privacy and intimacy with others, as these sort of behaviour is not taught in schools or in any other academic entity.

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When a kid refers to adult-topics with security, fluency and through crude mimic movements, its when parents should bring the topic into discussion on the next chance they get to talk, as it is very unusual for a child to have a wide range knowledge on sexual matters, specifically on topics merely based on sexuality in a non-educational way.

Children simulating sexual acts, physical aggression, and inappropriate vulgar names for body parts. Let’s keep in mind that in schools, as well as at home, children are taught body part names through their proper names, such as penis, vagina, breasts, testicles, etc. Calling these parts through offensive names is a sign for parents to step in.

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When at home, try to talk about sexuality as a normal topic, because it really is. Do not speak with taboos and prohibitions that may leave your children confused and wanting to know more. They probably will try to look for the incomplete information online and with friends, and these sources are clearly not the most accurate and educational ones.

Teach your children to respect their bodies and their friend’s, as it should be a rule to learn which body parts are ok to touch and which aren’t. Teach them that a hug and a handshake are ok to share between friends, but that genitals and buttocks are private parts that nobody, but themselves can touch them.

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It is a matter of communication, speak to your children about sexuality and you’ll give them the tools to develop on an environment that will allow them to grow free and secure on what’s right and what has crossed the line of privacy.

Venezuelan Police Dismantle Child-pornography Case in The Country

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After receiving many police reports, that ended up on the activation of a crime investigation, Carlos Alberto Ortiz Mora, age 48, was caught into prison as the leader of a gang dedicated to produce and export child pornography. The latest charged pressed against this man, was the one presented by his stepdaughter, who accused him of attempted rape.

A couple of weeks passed before the investigation ended up on officers taking into prison Ortiz Mora, who was the leader of an international child pornography organization. The officers couldn’t be more surprised as to when they found more than 5.000 files (videos and photographs) on Ortiz’s electronic devices in which he could be clearly seen posing next to children and corpses that had been sent to a morgue in Caracas.

As an extra information in this case, the police found out that Carlos Alberto Ortiz Mora had bank accounts on international currencies, all of them with large amounts of funds. This worked as evidence to incriminate the suspect to international child pornography.

“There are pictures that are 15 years old and more. In many of the files, we could identify a woman who’s on her mid-thirties and that is known to be his current partner and assistant”- an insider added.

So far, there have been two official charges presented against Ortiz Mora, being the most significant one, the one presented by his own stepdaughter. However, police departments do not question the fact that many more could see the light during the upcoming weeks.

It’s relevant to mention that Ortiz Mora was known to be an influential psychology, not only for his office, but for his important academic resumé, highlighting that he was soon to found the Venezuelan Society of Forensic Science.