How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: a Guide for Parents
Child abuse is a terrible experience that can cause severe mental trauma to the children that live through it. And, unfortunately, the number of said children is woefully high. It is said that one in seven children will become the victim of abuse at some point in their lives.
What is even worse, however, is that most child abuse instances go completely unnoticed until it is too late, often with horrifying consequences.
So, how could you, as a parent, a teacher, or a child caretaker spot the signs of abuse in time and protect the children under your care from this silent pandemic?
In this article we will examine a booklet the aim of which is to tackle these very questions: How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: a Guide for Parents. We will take a look at its main points, its recommendations on the subject of parental controls, and see how we can add to what we find.
How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: Types of Abuse
The book “How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: a Guide for Parents” distinguishes between four different kinds of abuse: Neglect, Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, and Sexual Abuse.
All these kinds can manifest either on their own or simultaneously and they are, in no way, mutually exclusive. If anything, it has been noted that there are always at least two kinds of abuse going on at the same time. Yet, each one has its own distinct set of characteristics and telltale signs:
Neglecting to take care of the basic needs of a child in your care when you are not physically (i.e. disability-injury) or financially (poverty) unable to do so is considered abuse and is very common amongst parents or caretakers involved with drugs or other such substances like alcohol.
How can technology help?
First of all, we have to understand that cases of neglect are usually a very delicate subject. No one would like to intrude on a family that is just having a very hard time financially and telling that and neglect apart is sometimes next to impossible.
Here, technology comes to play a crucial role as a discreet way of “intruding” on someone’s privacy for a very short time, just to verify that there is no abuse.
Fortunately, people nowadays are more than glad to share their most private moments with the world on social media apps. So, usually, a Facebook search of the person suspected of neglecting a child in their care is usually more than enough to either confirm or refute such suspicions. If the adult in question has photos of themselves in new clothes or enjoying a meal in a restaurant and their child is showing signs of neglect, one would have sufficient grounds to look further.
And if a Facebook search yields no results, or they have a private profile, hacking into it is not as difficult as it sounds.
This one is a little easier to spot and more straightforward to confront as physical abuse almost always results in some kind of injury that can be spotted. However, as the authors of “How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: a Guide for Parents” state, children will customarily get cuts and bruises during play. Thus, one should be able to tell those apart from actual abuse.
How can technology help?
There are instances, however, when the abuser is very careful and methodical about how they abuse their victim, leaving no marks. Also, physical abuse almost always takes place behind closed doors. In those cases, a concerned adult could make use of a spy app; install it on the victim’s phone, and take control of the camera when they think they are most likely to catch the abuser red-handed.
This is another kind of abuse that is exceptionally hard to spot and combat. As the book “How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: a Guide for Parents” states, this kind of abuse often takes the form of excessive pressure on the child to perform well in academia or sports, so, it is often confused with overzealousness on the part of the caretaker.
How can technology help?
Technology can be a catalyst in spotting and rooting out abusive behavior of this sort. This is mainly because emotional abuse is usually extended to texting as well as verbal attacks in the house or classroom. Thus, someone who has access to the victim’s phone can skim through their messages and check for abusive behaviour. What is more, even if this is not possible, you can still gain access to one’s messaging with a spy app.
This is the most serious and one of the most common kinds of abuse. According to “How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: a Guide for Parents“, this is also the one where the abusers are, more often than not, a trusted person of the victim’s; a parent, guardian or close family friend. As such, they are very hard to spot. What is more, this is the kind of abuse that leaves the longest-lasting emotional damage.
How can technology help?
Other than the obvious way of finding out sexual abuse through a child’s messages, there is one more. And there, technology is key too. The other thing one could look for is the child’s mannerisms and overall behaviour and sexuality. Children that have been abused sexually will very often behave in a more casual way towards sexuality, or become oversexualised themselves, confusing sexual relations with affection. (especially if that is the only kind of “non-violent” contact they have had with the abuser, who could be a trusted person.).
The next part of the book “How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: a Guide for Parents” has to do with methods to protect your child from abuse of any sort. As this is an article about how technology can help you prevent child abuse, we will not touch upon the more “IRL” ways of protecting a child. The authors of “How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: a Guide for Parents” have already done an excellent job. What we will focus on, instead, is the digital aspect.
1. Set Good Digital Rules for Kids
True enough, in our day everything, from bank transactions to riding the bus and even cooking has been modernized. (in some cases even beyond recognition). Child abusers would not be an exception. Many child abusers, and especially sexual predators, will, nowadays, use the internet to locate and prey on their victims.
This is where we have to be extra diligent. Especially given how victims of abuse rarely speak out. To begin with, we should set some ground rules with our children:
Always ask a trusted adult when you encounter content you should not be viewing.
Never give out your personal information to strangers.
Never talk to people whom you do not know over the internet.
If you see something that troubles you, always consult a trusted adult.
People on the internet are not always good. Never agree to meet anyone from the internet in person.
Never send your photos to people on the internet. If possible, avoid having your own photos online as profile pictures that can be viewed by anyone.
2. Get A Child Protection Tool
However, as with all rules, sometimes, kids forget. This is why it would be wise to employ some sort of digital shield for your children.
How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse With Clevguard: a Parent’s Guide
After you have subscribed to the appropriate package, you will get an email with exact instructions on how to install it both on the target device and yours.
Then, you will gain access to the following features:
Feature 1: Web Block
This feature will allow you to block unwanted content such as adult websites, games, etc. This can be done either through Clevguard’s Preset Categories of potentially harmful content, like drugs, or by selecting specific websites to block.
Feature 2: App Block
This feature will help you prevent your child from using certain apps you have deemed inappropriate in general, or, even limit the usage of safe apps to specific windows of time to allow them to study uninterrupted. It can also be used to let them use certain apps only when you can supervise them.
Feature 3: Capture/Lock Screen
Kids can be quite secretive, something that could be to your disadvantage if you are trying to protect them from online predators. The Capture/Lock Screen feature can help you monitor everything going on on your child’s screen in real-time (whom they are texting, what they are saying on watching) and even block access to their phones altogether.
Feature 4: Realtime GPS Real Time GPS lets you track your child’s exact location at all times so that you know where they are and whether they have deviated from the route you have set for them when they are going places.
Feature 5: Call Filter
The call filter can be used to block calls from unknown numbers. That way, even if your child gives their number to a stranger, the situation can still be saved before it is too late.
Feature 6: Activity Report
The activity report is ideal for busy parents and caretakers who need a comprehensive report of their child’s activities and potential threats to them. Neat and organized.
How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: Concluding remarks
While the bibliography on the subject of child protection has some great entries like “How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: a Guide for Parents” it is far from extensive and is now just covering modern-day aspects like:
Since you can do almost anything now and avail anything online, it is also possible to geofence your website. This requires a more complex job and external tools for custom geofencing. But it effectively targets the audience you want, if used with an internal strategy.
How do I create a geofence on Google Maps?Jack Rob2022-02-01T01:35:02+00:00
To set up a Geofence on Google Map, you need a Google Map object reference, then use the addCircle() function which expects CircleOptions() objects as a parameter. This is where you will input the center coordinates of the circle latitude, longitude, and radius of your geofencing. After completing a list of geofences, you can add it to a geofencing request.
Note that the Geofencing API here has charges per 1000 hits after consuming all the initial free requests. If you’ll pay for a Geofence feature alone, why not opt for a mobile app that has lots of features to comprehensively serve your purpose well.
Can I do my own geofencing?Jack Rob2022-02-01T01:01:23+00:00
Yes, you can, with some considerations of course. If you want to make it your own solution, it needs a lot of time, a great team of developers, and finances. Building your own geofence system needs another software to make it all run smoothly. And mostly for Android, you can monitor up to 100 geofences while iOS can only monitor 20.
So to make everything easier for you, just choose among the available fence software online. One of the affordable apps is mSpy. There are simple 3-Way steps that you can follow and you can set up a geofence of your child and husband.
Can I block myself from watching porn?Alex Torres2022-01-14T06:18:58+00:00
Of course. If you think that your consumption of porn is preventing you from doing important tasks, or you think you are getting addicted to it, you may block the porn sites that you usually visit. You may also ask someone to block them for you if you are having a difficult time doing it. If it gets out of hand, don’t hesitate to ask for professional help.
Is viewing porn a bad thing?Alex Torres2022-01-17T02:22:15+00:00
It depends on your belief and cultural background. Some people despise pornography because it’s explicitly forbidden by their religions, and others just don’t seem to care what people think about it.
However, as an adult or a responsible parent, you must set certain restrictions and rules on the use of the internet at home as exposure to obscene materials at a very young age may negatively affect your kids as they grow older. You may not be able to fully regulate the sexual needs of your kids– especially if they are teenagers– but, at least, you can guide them toward becoming sexually responsible.
Is it legal to spy on your children?Jack Rob2021-12-28T22:28:17+00:00
While there is the common misconception that spying on your children is okay, there are actually several laws that prohibit that very thing. However, while spying is illegal, it is still acceptable to monitor your children, within reason, and apply whatever parental controls scheme you wish.
Are parental controls effective?Jack Rob2021-12-28T22:27:20+00:00
Parental controls are a double edged sword. On the one hand, you have the ability to monitor and control your kid’s usage of the internet. On the other hand, however, if applied against the child’s wishes or without proper care to be discreet, it can cause resentment and tensions, if nothing worse.
What are the 4 types of abuse?Jack Rob2021-12-28T22:26:36+00:00