The topic I am addressing is child sexual abuse with the target audience of daycare workers and early childhood educators concerning their duty as mandated reporters and what children are at risk for this abuse.
Child abuse is an umbrella term that covers a multitude of occurrences that intentionally harms a child. This could include and is not limited to mental, physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse as well as neglect all fall under this category. Child sexual abuse (CSA) is any type of sexual activity with a minor and this includes contact and non-contact incidents. Because of who the victims and offenders are, the outcomes associated are very diverse and so is the wide array of activity that constitutes sexual abuse. For example, the abuser sexually touching the child, the child being forced to touch the abuser, forcing the child to watch pornography, watching the child undress or bathe, exposing oneself to a child, or performing sexual acts on or with the child all constitute sexual abuse. This form of abuse can occur to any child but there are risk factors that increase the likelihood of victimization. Some risk factors for sexual abuse are gender, age, disability, socioeconomic status, and race and ethnicity. Signs of sexual abuse may be difficult to spot in a child who is being abused especially if they are younger and do not know the correct verbiage or have an understanding of how to express what is happening to them. Although it is tough, some signs to look for in a child who is presumed to be being sexually abused are increased sexual knowledge, using toys for sexual acts, symptoms of PTSD, molesting other children, or the presence of an STD.
I am researching this topic intending to inform mandated reports on what signs to look out for in children who may be being sexually abused. My goal is to present this data in an infographic that will be distributed to mandated reports and readily available in their classrooms, attached to an email, or easily posted on social media. The sections will include what the role of a mandated reported entails, what constitutes sexual abuse, the steps on who to call/report the abuse to, risk factors and the effects of CSA, and prevention strategies.
Having an infographic is appropriate for the topic I am covering and the audience I am targeting because it will be a small, yet informative sheet that will be aesthetically pleasing and easy to distribute. Something like this is easily accessible for classrooms, emails, or social media so that someone who isn’t a mandated reporter could read and know the signs of abuse and what to do next if they ever do come across a situation where the information is useful.