Revved Up Kids http://www.revvedupkids.org Be Smart Be Strong Be Safe Sat, 24 Jun 2017 01:37:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Top Ten Safety Tips http://www.revvedupkids.org/top-ten-safety-tips/ http://www.revvedupkids.org/top-ten-safety-tips/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 01:37:46 +0000 http://www.revvedupkids.org/?p=2692 Revved Up Kids top ten safety tips: June is National Safety Month, and while the primary focus of the National Safety Council is accidental injury and death, we thought it was a good time to share the Revved Up Kids top ten safety tips for kids and teens (and adults!). Use this list to open [...]

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Top Ten Safety TipsRevved Up Kids top ten safety tips:

June is National Safety Month, and while the primary focus of the National Safety Council is accidental injury and death, we thought it was a good time to share the Revved Up Kids top ten safety tips for kids and teens (and adults!).

Use this list to open a dialogue in your family about predators and personal safety. The easiest target for a predator is the child who doesn’t know they exist, and open conversations about safety and sexual abuse are the best defense. Help your child be smart, be strong and be safe!

Top Ten Safety Tips #1

Distraction creates opportunity – when out, tune in to your surroundings, don’t get distracted by your phone, your friends, your music (wear one earbud). Opportunist criminals look for victims who are distracted.

Top Ten Safety Tips #2

Trust your gut –understand that your body knows danger and learn to trust it. If you feel nervous or threatened in any situation (even with someone you know) get away to somewhere you feel safe.

Top Ten Safety Tips #3

Just because you know someone doesn’t mean they’re safe – predators almost always know their victims, stranger danger is a misguided concept.

Top Ten Safety Tips #4

Friends of friends are strangers – predators are everywhere on social media, it’s the perfect place to find victims. The best way to protect yourself is to only allow people to follow you who you know and trust in your offline world. Online, predators start out as strangers, but develop relationships with their intended victims and groom them over time. Many times, victims trust this person completely and believe they are in love.

Top Ten Safety Tips #5

Guard your safe space – a five foot radius around your body is your safe space. No one should be allowed inside without your permission. No one is allowed to touch you without your permission. If you feel threatened, run away before the person gets inside your safe space.

Top Ten Safety Tips #6

Always be with people – you cut your risk of an attack in half by being with just one other person. Always try to stay around people and activity. When in danger away from home, run to people and activity.

Top Ten Safety Tips #7

Grown-ups don’t need help from children – teach kids that adults do not need to ask them for help, they can ask other adults. Especially if a stranger is asking for help, kids should understand this is an unsafe situation. If it’s someone they know and they really want to help, they can ask you for permission first.

Top Ten Safety Tips #8

Have a list of safe adults – kids should have three or four “safe grown-ups” who would always pick them up in an emergency, and who can always be there for them if they need help or need someone to talk to. It’s wise to identify safe neighbors, too.

Top Ten Safety Tips #9

Safety trumps politeness – teach kids that if anyone is making them scared or upset, they do not owe that person politeness, they have permission to run away without an explanation.

Top Ten Safety Tips #1 0

Know the families of your child’s friends – unfortunately, sexual abuse often takes place at the home of a friend or neighbor. Do not let your child sleep over or have a play date unless you know everyone in the home well and trust them completely. Group sleepovers, like birthday parties, are less risky (see safety rule #6), but always tell your child to call you if anything doesn’t feel right.

Learn more by attending one of our training sessions for children, teens, parents or youth serving organizations. Visit www.revvedupkids.org or call 678.526.3335.

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Are teachers safe? http://www.revvedupkids.org/safe-vs-unsafe/ Tue, 23 May 2017 20:05:34 +0000 http://www.revvedupkids.org/?p=2669 Are teachers safe? Frankly, most are, but it's a well-known fact that predators gravitate to positions that give them access to children, and that presents a challenge in terms of safe vs. unsafe people. We see daily news accounts of arrests, and it’s no surprise that perpetrator professions are often “youth minister,” “coach,” “childcare worker,” and [...]

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safe vs. unsafeAre teachers safe? Frankly, most are, but it’s a well-known fact that predators gravitate to positions that give them access to children, and that presents a challenge in terms of safe vs. unsafe people. We see daily news accounts of arrests, and it’s no surprise that perpetrator professions are often “youth minister,” “coach,” “childcare worker,” and “teacher.” Because of this, no child serving organization can ever be completely safe. So how do we talk with our kids about this? How do we tell them that their teacher, or coach, the person they see daily, could be unsafe?

It’s so easy to tell kids “don’t talk to strangers” and convince ourselves that we’ve done our job protecting them from sexual abuse; the fact is, more than 90% of the time, your child’s attacker will be someone they know. Stranger-danger is a myth; the horrifying reality is that it’s those closest to us who pose the most danger to our kids.

Would you be comfortable talking with your child about “teacher-danger” or “coach-danger” or “neighbor-danger?” If your skin begins to crawl at the thought, you are not alone. When we hear stories about the youth pastor who had inappropriate sexual contact with a teen, or the coach who raped a player, it seems outrageous and uncommon, and yet these stories pepper the news on a daily basis. What’s uncommon is the white van that drove through the neighborhood and took a child.

Safe vs. Unsafe ~ The Conversation

The conversation about safe vs. unsafe needs to change, and that’s why Revved Up Kids is so passionate about our mission to protect children. We are the ones who are helping start the family dialogue, talking with kids about the fact that almost everyone they will ever meet would never consider harming them, but anyone could be an unsafe person, even someone they see regularly. Instead of waiting for your church or your school to be splashed all over the news because of an incident of sexual abuse, why not call Revved Up Kids to come in and provide training? Why not equip the children and teens with knowledge and protective behaviors; why not teach the staff and volunteers how to predator-proof their environment? Why not teach the parents how to spot a predator? An arrest and a news story means there are victims, and Revved Up Kids wants to prevent predators from accessing victims. Is your church, synagogue, school, or neighborhood ready to talk? Contact us!

 

Since 2010, Revved Up Kids has trained thousands of children to recognize dangerous people, avoid unsafe situations, and escape attackers. Our training programs are available for boys and girls in K-8th grade, for teen girls 11 and older, for parents, and for youth serving organizations. Contact us to discuss protecting the children you love from predators and violence, 678.526.3335.

 

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Pinwheels and Prevention http://www.revvedupkids.org/pinwheels-and-prevention/ Sat, 29 Apr 2017 20:13:26 +0000 http://www.revvedupkids.org/?p=2649 A pinwheel.... a universal symbol of joy. It's hard not to smile with a pinwheel in your hand, which is why it was selected as the national symbol for prevention of child abuse. In a perfect world, child abuse would not exist; every child would be joyful, happy, safe and loved. Sadly, we do not [...]

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A pinwheel….Pinwheels and Prevention

a universal symbol of joy. It’s hard not to smile with a pinwheel in your hand, which is why it was selected as the national symbol for prevention of child abuse.

In a perfect world, child abuse would not exist; every child would be joyful, happy, safe and loved. Sadly, we do not live in a perfect world. We live in a world where a report of child abuse is made to authorities every ten seconds of every day. We live in a world where more than one in ten of our children are sexually abused before they turn 18. We live in a world where adults routinely damage children emotionally and physically. We live in a world where people by and sell our children for sex. Our world is definitely not perfect, and the worst part is the deafening silence around this issue, especially the issue of sexual abuse. Revved Up Kids believes at its core that we will never solve the problem of child sexual abuse until adults can have open, productive, conversations about the issue. Did you know that there are an estimated 40 million adults in the US who are survivors of sexual abuse? Contrast that to cancer, which has about 14 million US survivors. How many people do you know who have battled cancer? Statistically, you probably know three times as many who are sexual abuse survivors; but they are people whose pain is hidden because it’s not a comfortable conversation.

This post is a call to action. The staff at Revved Up Kids is working tirelessly every day to ensure the safety of all children, but we need your help! If you are a survivor, be brave and speak up. Tell your story and empower other survivors to do the same. If you are reading this post, vow to do just one thing to be part of the solution. Visit our prevention page, http://www.revvedupkids.org/pinwheels/ and take one action step.

It’s time we mandate that joyful, happy, loved and safe isn’t a privilege, it’s a right for all of our children.

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He loves you….he loves you not http://www.revvedupkids.org/teen-dating-violence/ Sun, 19 Feb 2017 23:30:45 +0000 http://www.revvedupkids.org/?p=2372 He loves you…. He loves you BECAUSE you’re not perfect. He loves you WHEN you have an opinion. He loves you EVEN THOUGH you have a life apart from him. He loves you WITHOUT conditions or expectations. He loves you IN SPITE OF the fact that you and he are different. He REALLY loves you. [...]

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teen dating violenceHe loves you….

He loves you BECAUSE you’re not perfect.
He loves you WHEN you have an opinion.
He loves you EVEN THOUGH you have a life apart from him.
He loves you WITHOUT conditions or expectations.
He loves you IN SPITE OF the fact that you and he are different.
He REALLY loves you.

He loves you not….

He loves you BECAUSE you take his advice on how to be more perfect.
He loves you WHEN your opinions mirror his.
He loves you EVEN THOUGH he hates your friends.
He loves you WITH conditions and expectations.
He loves you IN SPITE OF the fact that you still need to work on yourself so you’ll be more like him.
He REALLY DOESN’T love you.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and statistics tell us that 1 in 3 high school age girls who are in a dating relationship are experiencing abuse. Teens are routinely subjected to physical, emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of their dating partners, and most are not equipped to cope with it. They suffer in silence, ashamed and embarrassed, feeling like they have nowhere to turn for help. Our daughters (and sons) need to understand the dynamics of dating abuse so they can avoid abusive relationships. They need to understand the early signs of abuse before it turns physical, and parents need to keep the lines of communication open. If you are an adult or teen who is experiencing abuse in your relationship and you are ready to seek help, contact the national domestic violence crisis line at 800.621.4673. If you are a parent interested in starting a conversation with your teen, the following organizations provide excellent resources:

Partnership Against Domestic Violence

Love Is Respect

The One Love Foundation

Are you concerned about your relationship or concerned for the safety of someone close to you? Use the Revved Up Kids Relationship Red Flags tool to identify possible precursors to abuse.

 

Since 2010, Revved Up Kids has trained thousands of children to recognize dangerous people, avoid unsafe situations, and escape attackers. Our training programs are available for boys and girls in K-8th grade, for teen girls 11 and older, for parents, and for youth serving organizations. Contact us to discuss protecting the children you love from predators and violence, 678.526.3335.

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He makes $33,000/week….who is he? http://www.revvedupkids.org/end-trafficking/ Wed, 11 Jan 2017 15:01:44 +0000 http://www.revvedupkids.org/?p=2303 He is a trafficker, selling our children for sex in Atlanta, and according to a 2014 article by the Urban Institute, he makes just under $33,000 a week. January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Now that you’ve learned something new about child sex trafficking, are you [...]

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He is a trafficker, selling our children for sex in Atlanta, and according to a 2014 article by the Urban Institute, he makes just under $33,000 a week.

Trafficker Income Chart

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Now that you’ve learned something new about child sex trafficking, are you brave enough to read this entire article and learn more?

Trafficking, especially child sex trafficking is an issue that makes most people’s skin crawl, yet it’s a thriving business around the world, generating tens of billions of dollars annually for the traffickers. This article provides five quick facts and four simple action steps for readers. You don’t have to be rescuing children off the street to be impactful; simple steps by caring adults can cause meaningful change.

FACT #1 The issue is referred to by several names and acronyms, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST), human trafficking, and child sex trafficking. CSEC and DMST are used interchangeably by many experts, however, CSEC refers to a wider spectrum of victims, those who are transported internationally and sold into sexual slavery. DMST focuses on United States citizens under age 18 who are sold into sexual slavery. When someone says “human trafficking,” it refers more generally to the entire spectrum of trafficking, including adults and children, labor and sex. Sex trafficking accounts for the vast majority of all trafficking, over 80%.

FACT #2 It does happen in your back yard. Research shows that in Atlanta, while sex tourism (out of towners purchasing sex with children when they are here for conventions or meetings, or just passing through our airport) does occur, most individuals who purchase sex with a child live in the Atlanta suburbs; 2/3 live north of I-285. These are your neighbors and your co-workers, the people sitting next to you in church, and they are buying sex with children on a regular basis.

FACT #3 Children don’t choose this life! Georgia Cares, an Atlanta-based rescue and restoration organization, indicates that more than 3/4 of the children they serve indicate that they were sexually abused before they were trafficked. Child sexual abuse is the root of this issue. Often children who are sexually abused will run away from home, and most runaways are approached by someone in the sex industry within two days of being on the street. Often children who are in foster care because of dysfunction in their families will be lured by traffickers who promise them a glamourous life and lots of money. Often children who are in loving families but are experiencing the growing pains and unhappiness that accompanies adolescence will retreat to online relationships to fill a void, and that’s where the traffickers find them. Our role as adults is to recognize that no child makes a choice to sell themselves for sex, it’s a complex situation that involves masterful manipulation over time by the traffickers. Blaming a child for falling victim to sexual exploitation is not the answer.

FACT #4 The average age of a trafficking victim is 12-14 years old. Local high schools are a prime recruiting ground. Traffickers are male and female. Some male traffickers also use females to lure other females into trafficking.

FACT #5 There has been an explosion in sex trafficking in recent years because criminals have discovered that selling a child is more lucrative than selling a drug, and it can be done online. A drug can only turn a profit one time, a child can generate $300-$2000 per day. Buying a child for sex online is as easy as buying a pizza. Sites like Craigslist and Backpage do little to filter the prolific number of ads that sell children. Traffickers thinly veil their advertisements by using words like “young” in their descriptions. Photos of 12-year-old girls in provocative clothing and makeup often make them appear to be young adults.

EASY ACTION STEPS: If every reader would take just one or two of the simple action steps from the list below, momentum can be created in stopping this tragedy:

ACTION STEP #1 Change your vocabulary about this issue. Instead of using the word “Pimp” which has been glorified in pop culture over the years, use the word trafficker. Instead of using the word prostitute, use the word victim. Instead of using the word John, use the word buyer.

ACTION STEP #2 Take advantage of the ECPAT Code. This is a group of organizations in the travel and tourism industry who are committed to preventing trafficking on their properties. When you travel or host events for pleasure or business, be deliberate in selecting organizations who are Code members to receive your dollars; let them know that their action is important.

ACTION STEP #3 Know the signs of a trafficked child in your midst. Many trafficking victims are attending school and participating in extra-curricular activities. Look for attire and make up that is provocative or makes a child look older than she really is; look for tattoos (often traffickers will brand their victims with their name or a bar code tattoo; in Georgia, it is illegal to get a tattoo if you are under age 18); look for older friends or older boyfriends; look for expensive accessories (purses, shoes, jewelry, etc.). Any of these could be a sign, but several of them together are a red flag. Report suspected trafficking to national hotline 1-888-373-7888.

ACTION STEP #4 Be BOLD! Share this post, look for other information about CSEC, participate in the conversation by letting people know you care. Social media is a powerful platform and it’s being used to lure our children; let’s use it to solve the problem! Until caring adults in the community are willing to talk about it openly and honestly, the traffickers will continue to take our children. You’ve come this far, will you take another step and share this article with others? Will you take another next step and learn more by clicking on the links below?

Polaris Project https://polarisproject.org/

Shared Hope International http://sharedhope.org/

FBI Bulletin on Human Trafficking https://leb.fbi.gov/2011/march/human-sex-trafficking

Since 2010, Revved Up Kids has trained thousands of children to recognize dangerous people, avoid unsafe situations, and escape attackers. Our training programs are available for boys and girls in K-8th grade, for teen girls 11 and older, for parents, and for youth serving organizations. Contact us to discuss protecting the children you love from predators and violence, 678.526.3335.

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