Sexual Abuse or Assault of Children and Adolescents

Sexual Abuse or Assault of Children and Adolescents 

The Brazos County Rape Crisis Center, Inc. dba, Rape Crisis Center, Brazos Valley a non-political, non-profit organization, was founded in October of 1983. A special training program and continual in-service training helps volunteers support and counsel rape/incest victims and their families.

FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY
The primary objective of the Friends of the Family program is to encourage the reporting of child/adolescent sexual abuse.

Through support services for children 13 to 17 years of age, and his/her family, the Rape Crisis Center hopes to increase reporting of the crime and assist the survivor in the recovery process.

Each volunteer goes through two screening processes to determine if he/she is suitable for the training program.

Through specialized and in-service training, each volunteer acquires the skills and knowledge to recognize the symptoms of child sexual abuse and understands the stages of recovery. The volunteers are also knowledgeable about legal and medical procedures. The volunteers are available 24 hours a day.

WHY WAS FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY FOUNDED?
The primary objective of the Friends of the Family program is to encourage the reporting of child/adolescent sexual abuse.

Through supportive counseling with children 13 years of age to 17 years of age, and his/her family, the Rape Crisis Center hopes to increase reporting of the crime and assist the survivor in the recovery process.

WHAT IS CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE?
Child sexual abuse is the exploitation of a child or adolescent under the age of 17 by an adult (or another child at least two years older than the victim) for the purpose of the offender’s own sexual gratification.

Child or adolescent sexual abuse can be physical or non-physical. Non-physical sexual abuse includes:

Exhibitionism (indecent exposure)
Voyeurism (peeping in doors/windows)
Child Pornography

Physical sexual abuse of a child or adolescent can be non-violent or violent and includes:
Fondling of a child’s genitals
Non-violent Sexual Intercourse
Incest
Violent acts, such as rape

HOW CAN THE FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY PROGRAM HELP?
Friends of the Family provides personal attention and support to the child or adolescent and his/her family without being involved in the investigation of the crime.

In addition to providing a friendly, objective ear, Friends of the Family can answer questions about medical and legal procedures, phases of recovery and, when necessary, provide a referral to a professional therapist for counseling.

Some parents may not know how to warn their children about child sexual abuse or how much to tell them, Friends of the Family can help parents decide when and how to explain child sexual abuse and what steps can be taken to help prevent it.

The Brazos County Rape Crisis Center in Bryan, Texas offers a prevention program that is available for presentation to all ages of children and/or their parents. The Center also provides Red Flag/Green Flag coloring books that will assist parents in explaining good touches/bad touches to their children.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
It is your legal responsibility to report suspected cases to a protection agency or the child abuse hotline. You do not have to prove the abuse, only report and initiate an investigation. You do not have to give your name.

Be aware that child sexual abuse is not an isolated problem. It can happen to any child regardless of age, race, sex, or socioeconomic class.

Be aware that 85% of all reported child sexual abuse cases are committed by relatives or close friends of the victim’s family.

Don’t wait to talk to your child about “bad touches”. By the age of 10, one in four girls and one in five boys will have been sexually molested.

Teach children assertiveness and that adults are not always right.

Teach children the names of the parts of the body and which parts are private.

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