Module 8 Reflection

Responses to Child Abuse & Supporting Survivors

What are risk factors of child abuse/ACEs? What are protective factors against child abuse/ACEs?

Risk factors were defined by the video as "any attribute, characteristic, or exposure that increases the likelihood that a certain outcome will occur." The examples provided were poverty, exposure to community violence, and poor social connections. Protective factors "mitigate or offset the impact of risk factors that might lead to poor outcomes." Examples include: supportive family networks, communities taht support parents, and access to social services. Having protective factors in place from the beginning can stop adverse effects from occurring. The presence of more protective factors than risk factors means a better chance to avoid adversity. It is important to keep in mind that having risk factors does not mean you'll develop ACEs and having protective factors won't keep ACEs away.

How can child abuse/ACEs be prevented?

Child abuse and ACEs can both be prevented before they ever start. How? Just like the saying says, "It takes a village." Communities can provide programs that support and educate parents. Schools and other youth-based facilities can provide quality childcare and education early in life. All of us need to be committed to helping ALL families flourish and succeed in our community. Teaching parents what their children need physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually can help parents have more confidence, help children positively develop, and prevent child abuse.

How can we support survivors of child abuse/ACEs?

One these ran throughout the videos from the survivors: believe them. All three told and were not believed at first. No one helped them. They already felt powerless from their abuser. Now people they trusted brushed it off. Show survivors of child abuse love and compassion. Encourage them to get professional help so they can heal. Finally, understand that healing is a journey. You must support them on good days and bad days, not just the good days.

How did this module's content relate to prior courses or your own experiences?

Overall, what did you think of the module and interactivities this week? What were your favorite activities? What activities did you dislike or were unclear? Be specific!

I never thought much about preventing child abuse. I think it's because I'm on the side of education where I was taught what to do with suspected abuse. I teach my students (all future teachers) to provide a safe environment, be loving, understand how children develop, and to discipline vs. punish because children may not have that anywhere else. I'm not sure why I never made the connection to teach the parents all of that. One of the videos said we need to look at the conditions in which parents are raising their children instead of blaming the parents. I was only partially thinking this way. I was thinking teachers should make up for the deficits at home. While that is still true, the community (schools included) needs to come together and support parents. Our communities will be better if the parents are better parents.

I was introduced to ACEs for the first time this semester in my Trauma and Crisis Intervention Course. I was glad to see the CDC and other agencies were taking these seriously and trying to help children early on.

Overall, what did you think of the module and interactivities this week? What were your favorite activities? What activities did you dislike or were unclear? Be specific!

The videos from Interactivity 8.2 were so interesting. I loved seeing all the different programs out there to help parents. I had an advantage when I became a mom. I had a Master's in Early Childhood/Child Development, so I understood how children developed and what they needed. I also grew up in a chaotic home, and I knew what I DID NOT want to do. It is difficult to break the cycle and it takes conscious choices. Not all people have the knowledge I did or the will to make sure I was different. It's fantastic that there are community organizations out there to support parents and prevent abuse before it starts.

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