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Child Abuse and Neglect Handbook: Victim Identification for School Aged Children

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Child abuse is a hard topic to talk about, and even harder to diagnose without proper training. Though there is a list of general characteristics that child abuse victim's exhibit, it could be difficult to diagnose because everyone reacts to

Child abuse is a hard topic to talk about, and even harder to diagnose without proper training. Though there is a list of general characteristics that child abuse victim's exhibit, it could be difficult to diagnose because everyone reacts to maltreatment differently. Teachers are required by law to report any case where they believe a child is in an abusive environment. Unfortunately, teachers are given the tools to report the abuse, but they lack the knowledge of what to look for. The results are two fold; one is there is an overflow of false reporting, and two, the children who do not having obvious symptoms go unnoticed. This project aims to bridge the gap between these two extremes. It will lower the frequency of false reporting while increasing the chance that a child in need will be helped. The best way to achieve this is through education. The purpose of the study is to create an informational manual for teachers at the kindergarten and elementary level on how to identify child abuse and neglect victims. It will outline the behavioral and physical symptoms of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. It will also highlight the importance of realizing that not all maltreatment victims react the same to abuse. It will then follow into advice on how to approach the situation and what questions to ask. The primary form of research was primary observation by volunteering at the Mesa Child Crisis Center (with IRB approval). Interviews were conducted with Child Crisis Center workers, child behavioral psychologists, and Special Victims Unit detectives. The goal of this research is to help teachers better identify children that are at risk of abuse
eglect, and to understand the theory behind their behavior. In the end, teachers will be more informed on the topic so they can better help their students and create a safe environment for them, and be more confident in reporting.

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2015-12

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Motherhood as an Influence on Help-Seeking Practices Among Women Who Experience Intimate Partner Violence

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This thesis explores how motherhood as a status and social identity influences the help-seeking decisions made by women who experience Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and enter a domestic violence shelter in Arizona. Specifically, this report examines the types, severity, and

This thesis explores how motherhood as a status and social identity influences the help-seeking decisions made by women who experience Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and enter a domestic violence shelter in Arizona. Specifically, this report examines the types, severity, and frequency of violence experienced by women with children and the methods of help-seeking among women without children and women with children. Special attention is paid to women who cite their children as a primary reason for seeking legal intervention and those who cite their children as a primary reason for not seeking legal intervention in their relationships. For the purposes of this study, a survey investigating the types and severity of violence experienced, the help-seeking practices of, and the safety-planning measures taken by IPV survivors was distributed to over 600 women in emergency domestic violence shelters in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Data from both closed- and open-ended questions asked on the survey is analyzed in the context of a review of existing literature on the subject and of current Arizona state-level policies and legislation. Conclusions focus on how the surveyed women's status as mothers related to the specific variables of their victimization and the help-seeking methods they used to achieve safety, and how state-level legislation reacts and acts as a barrier to certain types of help-seeking behaviors.

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2014-05

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Addressing Childhood Trauma in the Classroom

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Over the past few years, the issue of childhood trauma in the United States has become significant. A growing number of children are experiencing abuse, neglect, or some other form of maltreatment each year. Considering the stressful home lives of

Over the past few years, the issue of childhood trauma in the United States has become significant. A growing number of children are experiencing abuse, neglect, or some other form of maltreatment each year. Considering the stressful home lives of maltreated children, the one sure sanctuary is school. However, this idea requires teachers to be actively involved in identifying and caring for the children who need it most. Traumatic childhood experiences leave lasting scars on its victims, so it is helpful if teachers learn how to identify and support children who have lived through them. It is unfortunate that teachers will most likely encounter children throughout their career who have experienced horrendous things, but it is a reality. With this being said, teachers need to develop an understanding of what traumatized children live with, and learn how to address these issues with skilled sensitivity. Schools are not just a place where children learn how to read and write; they build the foundation for a successful life. This project was designed to provide teachers with a necessary resource for helping children who have suffered traumatic experiences. The methodology of this project began with interviews with organizations specializing in working with traumatized children such as Arizonans for Children, Free Arts for Abused Children, The Sojourner Center, and UMOM. The next step was a review of the current literature on the subject of childhood trauma. The findings have all been compiled into one, convenient document for teacher use and distribution. Upon completion of this document, an interactive video presentation will be made available through an online education website, so that distribution will be made simpler. Hopefully, teachers will share the information with people in their networks and create a chain reaction. The goal is to make it available to as many teachers as possible, so that more children will receive the support they need.

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2016-05