Wednesday, November 26, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Does mandated reporting keep children safe?

Learn more

What: 19th annual Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Conference, “National Scandal: Family Courts Give Children to Identified Pedophiles”

When: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 27

Where: Veterans’ Memorial Center, 203 E. 14th St., Davis

Cost: Free

Info: www.issb.us

By Connie Valentine

April is dedicated nationally to child abuse prevention and sexual assault awareness. These titles long ago lost their power to shock. Child abuse and sexual assault continue to be national scourges with full media coverage.

After the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal at Penn State University, we are acutely aware that athletic coaches, teachers, priests, rabbis, Boy Scout leaders, psychiatrists, juvenile court referees, foster parents and men — most sex offenders are male and 90 percent know their victims — from just about any profession can be child sexual predators.

There is some good news. At the Penn State Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Conference in the midst of Hurricane Sandy last October, researcher David Finkelhor, Ph.D., announced that child abuse had declined between 2007 and 2011. He showed multiple statistics to prove his statement.

But statistics are tricky. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website shows a substantial increase in the number of reported child abuse and neglect cases (from 3.2 million to 3.4 million) and number of children involved (from 5.9 million to 6.2 million). During those years, the child population remained stable (74 million versus 73.9 million).

The big difference was a decline in substantiated child victims (794,000 versus 681,000). It sounds like an impressive drop in child abuse, but the drop is only in the number of children who were believed by adults in the system. This could be called “decline by disbelief.”

A total of 6.2 million children came to the attention of child welfare services in 2011, yet only 11 percent were believed. That is quite a winnowing process. More than half of reports were made by mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect. Are large numbers of mandated reporters making questionable reports of suspected abuse? I doubt it. The process is nerve-wracking and the stakes are high.

For those 681,000 child victims who were fortunate enough to be believed, there was a large jump in the rate of physical abuse (from 10.8 percent to 17.6 percent) and sexual abuse (7.6 percent to 9.1 percent).

Is the trend similar in California? Yes. The total number of child sexual abuse cases in California also rose between 2007 and 2011 from 38,465 to 40,638, and substantiation rates plunged from 17.2 percent to 9.9 percent. Only half as many children were believed in 2011 as in 2007.

This is a big problem for children who speak out. Mandated reporting does not keep them safe.

Things go particularly badly for children who report that a parent is abusing them. It turns out that family court judges and professionals are trained to be highly skeptical of allegations of abuse. The parent reporting abuse to family court is frequently punished by having custody changed to the alleged sex offender, sometimes even when sexual abuse has been substantiated. If the abuse is not substantiated, the child has little or no chance of protection and is not likely to be believed in the future.

To find out more about research into how and why this is happening and how children are affected, please come to the 19th annual Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Conference, “National Scandal: Family Courts Give Children to Identified Pedophiles” from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Veterans’ Memorial Center, 203 E. 14th St. in Davis.

There is no cost and no registration for the event, unless you are a therapist and wish to receive continuing education units. Visit www.issb.us for more information.

— Connie Valentine is a Davis resident and member of the Incest Survivors Speakers Bureau, which sponsors the conference.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Fremont Weir parking lot remains closed

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1

     
    Occupy movement settles in at UC Davis

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Time to give thanks for nature’s beauty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Food fight … in a good way

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Guard reinforcements contain damage in Ferguson

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Weather affecting Thanksgiving travelers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Second cat-hoarding suspect arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    LCI marks 50 years with special service

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Happy Thanksgiving from The Enterprise

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Year-end films to see, or not, on KDRT

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Girls who volunteer may apply for grant

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Round up at the registers for Davis schools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis Community Gift Project brightens holidays for children

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Speaker proposes changes in humanities doctorate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Senior Center hosts holiday sing-along

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Sutter sponsors qigong for holiday de-stress

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Learn to use Skype at Connections Café

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Boy Scouts start Christmas tree sales on Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Volunteers needed to grow plants for habitat restoration

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Rainbow City community meeting set Dec. 1

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    She wants more from him

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Musings in the wake of Ferguson decision

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Rich Rifkin: Is it time to be a bear or a bull?

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

    Planting love at new home

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Innovation parks comparison

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    No excuses, but there’s hope for UCD after 2-9 season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Joseph, Manzanares lead 10 All-Big Sky Aggie picks

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS wrestling is not just for boys

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Let’s not lose another good DHS coach

    By Chris Saur | From Page: B1

    Blue Devils prepare for a new season on the mat

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Davis Little League offers early sign-up discounts

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Kings get past Pelicans

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    .

    Features

    Salute to non-steamed broccoli

    By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    It really is ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’

    By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Death notice: Buddy Ralph Mills

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Elzyne Thompson

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Ready, Set, Shop!

    Shop locally: You can have your pie and eat it too

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: RSS1

    Santa’s little helper: secrets to happy holiday shopping

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: RSS2

    Make sure it gets there: deadlines for shopping and shipping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: RSS2

    Downtown lights up at holiday open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: RSS3

    Full of warm wishes and over-sharing, the holiday card lives on

    By The Associated Press | From Page: RSS4

    Shop smart: Protect your wallet and your identity this shopping season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RSS5

    Woodland celebrates the holidays downtown

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RSS5