prevention & awareness
Embrace is an organization deeply committed to the safety and protection of children. 100% of Embrace Staff, Board of Directors, and Core Volunteers complete Sexual Abuse Awareness training modules through the MinistrySafe Child Safety Systems. This foundational training equips staff and volunteers with “eyes to see” the grooming of an abuser and key indicators of child sexual abuse. Our policies and procedures guide interaction between adults and children to provide an added layer of protection. Volunteers present at any Embrace-hosted event where children are present must have a current, approved background check through their church, licensing agency, or Embrace. Our staff may decline volunteers if, based on screening techniques, references, or background information, they have any reservations about the individual.
Recognizing the importance of providing and maintaining a safe environment for children, Embrace appoints and maintains a Safety Committee. The Committee will meet annually to discuss risk management practices and updates. The Committee may also meet, when necessary, to address a circumstance or respond to the report of any incident or allegation.
The purpose of the Safety Committee is to enable Embrace to carry out appropriate activities while safeguarding children against emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
SAFETY COMMITTEE CONTACTS:
Susan Etheridge: [email protected]
LaShon Ross: [email protected]
Denise Kendrick: [email protected]
texas abuse hotline
signs of sexual abuse in children
Are you aware of some of the most common warning signs of sexual abuse in children? These behaviors don’t mean that a child has been sexually abused, but adults who observe several of these warning signs in a child should take note, and take action. A local Children’s Advocacy Center is a great place to get help. Suggestions for what to do if you see warning signs are also available here.
Warning signs in young children:
- Behaving like a younger child (regression to bedwetting or thumb sucking)
- Acquires new words for private body parts
- Fear of being away from caregivers
- Sudden interest in sexual organs of self & others
- Acts out or suggests sexual games with other children
- Wetting or soiling accidents (beyond toilet training)
- Mimics adult-like or sexual behaviors with stuffed animals or dolls
- Avoiding clothing changes or bathing
Warning signs in school-aged children and adolescents:
- Suddenly has toys, money, or gifts without explanation
- Seems distracted or distant
- Sudden change in eating habits
- Nightmares or sleep problems
- Sudden fear of certain familiar places or people
- Talks about having secrets or being unable to talk about something
- Mentions a new or older friend but unwilling to share details or name them
- Writes, draws, plays or dreams about sexual or frightening images
Signs primarily seen in teens:
- Self mutilation, cutting, and other self-injurious behaviors
- Poor personal hygiene
- Drug or alcohol use
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Eating disorder
- Sexual promiscuity
- Rebellion or withdrawal; running away from home
- Change in attitude towards school or academic performance
Physical warning signs of sexual abuse are rare and may include bleeding, bruising or discharge in genital, anus or mouth, STPs, painful urination or bowel movements, and trouble walking or sitting.
Remember that traumatic events such as a divorce, death in the family, or bullying can elicit similar behaviors, but listen to your instincts. If something seems off, and can’t put your finger on why, talk to the child about it.
The warning signs above are compiled from a number of resources including:
Child Abuse Alert: A Desk Reference