New month...new mental health highlight: Child Abuse Awareness Month!
This month we will work towards learning about what encompasses abuse/neglect and how to prevent it in our homes and community!
If you or someone you love is struggling with their mental health, there are resources available to help!
Facts about Child Abuse
- It’s estimated that at least 1 in 7 children in the US has experienced child abuse and/or neglect in the past year.
Neglect is the most common form of child abuse, followed by physical abuse, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse.
- Neglect: "(a) Willfully failing to provide proper and sufficient food, clothing, maintenance, regular school education as required by law, medical attendance or surgical treatment, and a clean and proper home; (b) Failure to do or permit to be done any act necessary for the child's physical or moral well-being; (c) Continued inappropriate placement of a child in an institution with the knowledge that the placement has resulted and may continue to result in harm to the child's mental or physical well-being."
- Physical and Emotional: "(a) Inflicting unnecessarily severe corporal punishment upon a child; (b) inflicting upon a child unnecessary suffering or pain, either mental or physical; (c) habitually tormenting, vexing or afflicting a child; (d) any willful act of omission or commission whereby unnecessary pain and suffering, whether mental or physical, is caused or permitted to be inflicted on a child; (e) or exposing a child to unnecessary hardship, fatigue or mental or physical strains that may tend to injure the health or physical or moral well-being of such child."
- Sexual: "completed nonconsensual sex act (i.e., rape); attempted nonconsensual sex act; abusive sexual contact (i.e., unwanted touching/fondling); exposing a child to other sexual activities; and non-contact sexual abuse (e.g., threatened sexual violence, exhibitionism, verbal sexual harassment).
In 2018, about 16% of children who were abused experienced more than one kind of maltreatment.
Boys and girls experience similar rates of childhood abuse (48.6% and 51% respectively).
Rates of child abuse and neglect are 5 times higher for children in families with low socio-economic status compared to children in families with higher socio-economic status.
Children younger than one year old are the most vulnerable to maltreatment, accounting for almost half of child fatalities from abuse in 2018.
In 2018, 76% of child abuse perpetrators were a parent to their victim.
In 2018, 62% of children placed in foster care were removed from their homes due to abusive neglect, totalling over 160,000 children.
Children who experienced any form of violence in childhood have a 13% greater likelihood of not graduating from high school.
Adult survivors of childhood abuse are more likely to experience mental health difficulties, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, eating disorders, and substance use disorders.
Adult survivors of childhood abuse are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors like smoking, alcohol and drug use, and unsafe sex. They’re also more likely to report overall lower health than those who haven’t experienced childhood abuse.
Myths about Child Abuse
Myth 1: Strangers are more likely to abuse/neglect my child.
Fact: Over 90% of sexual offenders are someone the child knows and trusts.
Myth 2: The long-term effects of abuse or neglect are minimal.
Fact: Children who experience abuse or neglect 9x more likely to be involved in criminal activity later in life. Furthermore, child abuse has been seen to physically alter DNA, affecting descendants. It is also very costly with lifetime costs of $124B and rising.
Myth 3: People report every case of child abuse.
Fact: CPS reports underestimate the true occurrence of child abuse and neglect. Working with our partners in law enforcement, legal and legislation, we make it easier to report abuse, more effective to prosecute it and less traumatic for the child in the process.
Myth 4: Child Abuse has to be able to be seen.
Fact: Child abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, or neglect. In fact, 25% of cases are emotional neglect or abuse which usually leave no hard evidence. We work with medical experts and forensic interviewers to ensure that the bruises you see and those you don’t are all recorded to ensure a child’s complete story is told.
Myth 5: All children know when to speak up about abuse.
Fact: Not even close. Only 1 in 10 children tell anyone.
Myth 6: I can’t do anything to prevent abuse in my communities.
Fact: You can do a world of difference by speaking up if you suspect abuse or neglect. You can call the Childhelp Child Abuse Hotline (1.800.4.A.CHILD) or call 911 if you believe a life is at risk. Fear, lack of knowledge and apathy can take a life but strength, education and taking action for the love of a child can free a hurting heart forever. And that’s no myth!
Myth 7: I have to be physically affected to suffer the consequences of abuse or neglect.
Fact: Child abuse has far-reaching impacts, and family dysfunctions like a mother treated violently, substance abuse in the house, a family member with mental illness, or parental separation/divorce can all have similar long-term health impacts to abuse and neglect. Many of the calls to the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline come from concerned friends and families of abuse victims who are in crisis. They turn to us to seek ways to stop the violence and find shelter.
My name is Ashley Crean and I am the Mental Health Coordinator (MHC) at Monmouth Regional High School. This is my first year at MRHS, but before joining the Falcon family I worked for 4 years at an alternative school for at-risk youth and students with disabilities. I graduated from Monmouth University where I earned my BA in Psychology and Sociology, MSEd in Educational Counseling, and Post-Graduate Certificate in Professional Counseling. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of New Jersey and Nationally Certified Counselor with additional certifications in School Counseling, Disaster Response and Crisis Counseling, and am an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning as well as a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. Welcome to my website, where you can learn more about the mental health services available to students, as well as access resources available for students, families, and staff. For more information, questions, and concerns, you can contact me at the following:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (732) 542-1170 x.1157
- Fax: (732) 542-5815
- Room #: 402
The mental health services at Monmouth Regional High School have been designed and organized to assist students with their personal, social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. There are many reasons that a student may reach out or be referred for mental health counseling: anxiety, depression, interpersonal/peer conflicts, trauma, behavioral outbursts, ADHD, LGBTQ+, personality disorders, teen issues, eating disorders, autism spectrum disorder, self-esteem, stress, relationship issues, spirituality, family conflict, domestic violence, divorce, oppositional defiance, etc. Substance use/abuse concerns should be referred to our Student Assistance Counselor (SAC), Dara Jarosz.
The MHC provides in-school assessment, crisis intervention, counseling and referral services to students who may be experiencing personal, family, and/or peer difficulties (such as those described above). My primary goal is to support students and assist them with managing their mental health and personal challenges to maximize their success in school. In addition to individual counseling, the MHC and SAC also offer groups depending on the needs of the school community.
If you are currently experiencing a mental health crisis, please call 911, visit your nearest emergency room, or call PerformCare at 1-877-652-7624.