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Friday, October 28, 2011

Wake Up America...We must protect children!

Penn State University faces a national scandal! In 2002, an assistant football coach witnessed a sexual assault of a child, told administrators and no one reported it to police. Seven more assaults have now been reported.

Americans have heard horror stories about sexual assaults by priests, sex traffickers and the growing porn industry. The tragic truth is, children are sexually assaulted at home and in their neighborhoods every day. These children grow up and become parents. Often, the cycle of abuse continues. Americans are paying a high price for their silence.

When children feel powerless, violated and/or unloved, they act out in self-destructive ways. They may turn to drugs, sex, food, cutting, bullying, become an easy victim or join a gang to feel powerful! Around 80 percent of prison inmates were abused as children.


During the past year, 3 out of 5 children were exposed to violence at home or in their neighborhoods. It is up to citizens to stop this epidemic. If YOU don’t speak up, you are guilty of allowing abuse to continue.

10 things you can do to help stop child abuse.

1. Watch toddlers at play. A child tries to dominate by shoving playmates and crying for a toy. This is normal, childish behavior. Adults must correct children so they mature properly and learn to respect others. Don’t ignore aggressive behavior! Little bullies can become abusers.

2. STAY ALERT! Don’t let anyone hit, slap or verbally abuse a child. Children need protection, attention and encouragement. Adults are role models. Discipline children by taking way privileges but don’t back down or you will teach a child how to manipulate YOU.

3. Peace starts at home! Make a family rule… we treat each other with respect. Bully/victim behavior is learned at home. (25 percent of women and 10 percent of men are in abusive relationship) Verbal, sexual or physical abuse teaches children to be victims and/or bullies.

4. Don’t be your child’s best friend! Undisciplined children become angry when they don’t have the skills to develop positive friends. They may bully or become targets of abuse because they don’t know what else to do. This could lead them toward self-destructive behaviors.

5. Discuss family problems together and allow everyone to have a voice. Children mature and grow strong when they are heard and help solve conflicts, peacefully.

6. Discipline, rules, love, attention and support give children self-confidence. If bullied, they know they are NOT the problem. Self-worth gives children the inner power to stand up to bullies, walk away and report bad behavior.

7. Self-discipline keeps children safe. For example: If I pick a fight with you and you fight back, I am in control. If I pick a fight with you and you walk away, you are in control. Children can develop courage and character by speaking up and standing up to bullies.

8. Does your school have an “anti-bully” policy? Do neighbors work together to stop bullies on the block? Don’t ignore bullies! They can form gangs and make your neighborhood less safe. Don’t tolerate any destructive behavior.

9. BE AN ADVOCATE and get involved! CNN Special, “Bullying: It stops here!” stated, “Social Combat: the new norm for youth.” We must all speak up and work with neighbors to stop bad behavior.

10. Start a movement to help create a safer environment in your school or in your neighborhood. Ask friends to join you. If you want to know what to do and how to do it, check out

Speak up to protect children and our future.

Stephanie L. Mann, Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant
Author, 4 national prevention books.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011



1. Keep your hands to yourself. Settle disagreements with words, not fists or weapons. (Parents…model non-violent behavior at home.)

2. If a bully provokes you, stay strong. Remember: If you react, he is in control. If you stay cool and calm, you are in control. Walk away!

3. If disputes escalate, seek help! Don’t form an audience. Encourage others to stop tolerating bad behavior.

4. Be alert! Find safe routes for walking to and from school, avoid hot spots (bully or drug house, group hang outs).

5. Know all your neighbors. (Parents: Ask trusted neighbors to be a safe house, if you are away and your child needs help.)

6. Trust your instincts! If they feel threatened or sense danger, get away fast. Run to a group of people, a lighted area or in a store for help.

7. Report any threats, destruction of property or suspicious activities to an adult, police officer or a school authority.

8. NEVER go with someone you don’t know and trust, even if he/she sounds like a nice person. If forced, fight back and run.

9. Don’t use alcohol or drugs. They reduce your self-awareness and make you an easy target for sexual assault and abuse.

10. If someone tries to be mean to you speak up with confidence and walk away. Report if the bad behavior persists. (Parent: Role-play with children what you want them to do.)

11. Hang out with friends who show support for each other. Avoid “friends” who bully, criticize, use put downs and make you feel bad.

12. Get involved in school and community activities (yearbook, chorus, plays, arts, church) to strengthen your network of supportive friend. (Parents: Children need a variety of friends to see and evaluate healthy relationships.)

13. Be a role model for others to follow. Volunteer at school or in the community. Learn to be a leader and encourage friends to join you.

14. Create a network of positive friends, family, neighbors and a religious family to help strengthen your character and ability to get along. A strong conscience (self-awareness) will keep you safe from harm.

For more information and resources: