Informed teachers are a key component in the fight against child abuse. Here is how you can be One with Courage.
It takes extraordinary courage
As mandated reporters, educators have an opportunity to observe patterns and behaviors of multiple children every day. With an obligation to report, when a child discloses it is important to follow the correct process of reporting, not only for legal reasons, but also to protect a child from secondary trauma.
Learn the signs and symptoms of abuse
Know what “grooming” of a child looks like and be observant of interactions between adults and youth. Abused children may display behaviors shown at earlier ages, such as thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, fear of the dark or strangers. For some children, even the loss of acquired language or memory problems may be an issue.
Abuse is a crime of secrecy
Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, is a crime of secrecy because of the perceived power of the perpetrator and the victim’s feelings of intimidation, shame or fear. Teachers and educators play an important role in a child’s life and often represent a safe place for victims to disclose abuse, particularly when the abuse occurs in the home. It is important to report child abuse. If you see something or suspect abuse, report it.
Report abuse immediately
Don’t wait for the child to be headed home at the end of the day or weekend. Contact law enforcement or child protective services to get help.
Start a conversation
Start a conversation with colleagues, administrators, and parents about the signs and symptoms of abuse.
Encourage colleagues and school administrators to join the One with Courage campaign by distributing campaign materials in the new teacher materials, to student teachers, during in-service days and in the teachers’ lounge.
Display Awareness Banners
Download the One with Courage banner ads and have them placed on your school’s website or your personal blog/website.
Download and share the printable document about the signs of abuse (PDF)
Contact your local Children’s Justice Center (CJC)
Contact your local Children’s Justice Center (CJC) to find out how you can be more involved, volunteer, and/or serve on the board.
Ask how to access a prevention curriculum for your school that follows the state health education guidelines.
Remember, you are obligated by law to report suspected child abuse.
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