tv ABC7 News at 900PM on KOFY KOFY June 9, 2013 9:00pm-9:31pm PDT
♪ ♪ ♪ >> cheryl: welcome to "beyond the headlines," i'm cheryl jennings. child abuse is a heartbreaking subject that touches nearly every community across the united states. it occurs in all communities across all social yeo economic levels within all religions and every level of education. according to the government. the united states has the worst record in industrialized nation losing five children every day to abuse death. joining me in the studio from the san francisco child abuse
prevention center is katie allbright. >> thank you so much for having me around for shining the spotlight on this important issue. >>er love what the prevention does. you are celebrating an anniversary today? >> yes, we have been working in san francisco for 40 years preventing child abuse. we are very excited about our future and vision. we're here to stay and looking forward to the next 40 years. >> cheryl: this was started by a man with immense compassion for the issue? >> he was a pediatrician at general hospital and saw incidents of violence in the hospital, how in the community can come together to protect children. that inspired a man and we were able to do it for 40 years here in san francisco. >> cheryl: you have a number of statistics that you shared with me earlier? >> and actually children in our
country every 47 seconds. across our country it cost $124 billion in child abuse. it's a problem that impacts every part of our community, from education, to employment to long-term health. it's something we have to solve. there is hope there are ways of solving the problem. >> cheryl: the now the center does a variety of things. you can wrap your arms around family? >> we do, we provide a supportive hug to help children and families. there are three different ways. we support families one whereon in any kind of services they need, whether it's mental health whether it's food or shelter. we are there 24/7. we also are able to reach out into the community and educate the community, particularly young children, folks likes teachers to report and identify child abuse as well as create
partners to make a strong bond in the community. >> cheryl: you also have an emergency hot line, crisis line? >> it's called the talk line. we have 24/7. it's operated by a volunteers that support families. it's 441-kids. they can call day or night and have a supportive ear to listen to any problems that folks may have. we are really there to help and provide support. >> cheryl: you have a brand-new program that you are developing with the help of tipping points and other community partners? >> we are thrilled. children's advocacy center, a place where kids have been sexually abused can come and talk to folks so they have one interview. all the people, city folks that are required by law to prosecute
by law can be in that place. there are many centers a around the country but not in san francisco. so san francisco to protect children all in a comprehensive way. >> you are building a place. this is astonishing? >> we are renovate ago place in bay view on third street and opening this year. >> cheryl: and other place, that place is crowded. i've been there? >> we are ren oh vaigs elevate go. it's a wonderful victorian firehouse in the haight. we feel like firefighters were there 24/7 and it's very appropriate. we are looking forward to make a safe space for our families and for our staff men's to be able to provide comprehensive services. >> cheryl: you'll be reaching out to the community with more education programs weewlts are really reaching out during public awareness campaigns,
going deeply with our schools. it's a fantastic inflame our schools and teach kids how to stay safe. we work with parents and how to teach parents to listen to our kids in ways that may be uncomfortable and talking about very difficult subjects. we really work with the community on a broad base so everyone can understand how to prevent child abuse. >> cheryl: thank you so much. all of that takes money. we wanted to encourage you to donate to the child abuse prevention center. we do have to take a break. we're going to learn about youthful training tips for parents and kids. stay with us. stay with us. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] citibank's app for ipad makes it easy for ann to manage her finances when she's on the go. even when she's not going anywhere. citi tablet apps. easier banking. standard at citibank. they have no idea what it was like before u-verse high speed internet. yeah, you couldn't just stream movies to a device like that.
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mother nature's cool like that. citibank mobile check deposit. easier banking. standard at citibank. >> cheryl: welcome back to "beyond the headlines". i'm cheryl jennings. today we have been talking about important issue of child abuse and child abuse prevention. the center runs a campaign in teaching children thousand keep themselves safe. i had a chance to visit the program last year. >> this first grade class in san francisco is the first in the city to see the new training tools to teach them how to protect themselves from abuse, that includes child sexual abuse. miss molly. >> we all have private body parts. the next person beside. >> you the awarenessness class, they wear baby suits. >> do we go swimming naked?
>> no. >> do we come to school naked? >> no. >> we have to cover our private body parts up. >> molly developed this safety program over 15 years of working with the san francisco child abuse prevention center. it offers a crisis talk line for stressed out family members, counseling, classes, temporary day care and access to computers, but this child safety program is a front line effort to arm kids against offenders. the message is simple -- say no, get away and tell someone. >> no one touches your private body parts unless it is to clean you clean or healthy. if anyone wants to touch your private body parts, what do you think you should say? >> no. >> this teaches kids about their personal safety in a variety of different situations. >> i don't like the way were
playing. would that be okay? >> no. >> we call that unsafe touch. >> safe and unsafe touches is getting major support from private donors to expand. >> sexual abuse, one in every four young girls and one in six boys. we know there are many cases that never get reported. >> people realize that it is not something that a child can, quote, get over. >> cheryl: he is with the columbia foundation in san francisco. it's offering a large grant to expand the awareness classes. >> more children and materials in classroom can be gotten, to the sooner we will be down the road to eliminating this ill. >> columbia foundation and blue ribbon partners are challenging other foundations to join them? >> we want to support the professionals working in this area. >> patty is a long time volunteer for the prevention
center. she founded blue ribbon partners and shows her support as a business. they designed the heart blue ribbon symbol and created and paid for the new safety materials for children. >> we wanted to empower them to have the strength to protect themselves and to be safe. >> now, help so the way to give tools they need to be safe. >> what do you think they should say? >> no. we're going tell someone. >> cheryl: those are powerful words. and molly from the san francisco child abuse prevention center. and as a result of that story it's helped? >> yes. >> there were only two of you? >> right now only two trainers and public schools in san francisco, just the elementary schools and talk with kids k-5th
grade. >> do you children? >> we have children and many children who have never heard this before, no one ever stopped to talk to them about the safety rules about private body parts and that is key to prevention is talking to the kids before someone violates them. >> you have one little kid recently? >> just recently i was talking to a group of 7-year-olds. i was explaining the safety rule with private body parts, he looked at me and said, i didn't know that. i didn't know they supposed so someone had broken the safety rule. it was the first time she heard that safety rule. >> and that ratchets things up, you are trained and they did reporting and teachers in the classroom and that stuff.
that is the key but not only are they training the kids and teaching the kids we train. >> teachers and everybody. >> so as a result of that, you i know the center offers these training forces other people in the community, as well? >> yes. we're also embarking on new public awareness campaign from enough abuse campaign from massachusetts. >> cheryl: we've got a website but we wanted to shoe people. is it much different than what you are doing on in addition? >> it's a good supplement. its campaign that will reach out to everyone in the community that needs to protect children. we want together with our partners from the greater bay area to bring it as a national officer for everyone to learn how we can end sexual abuse
here. >> if people go to the website, what will they find? >> they'll find lots of information on what numbers they can call in their community. if they suspect someone has been sexually abused what to look for. tips for parents and how to talk to their kids. >> cheryl: is this something you would encourage people in the san francisco bay area to get started on or it? >> i encourage them to look at the website and sign up just for the newsletter and there will be more to come. >> cheryl: so it's free? >> yes. >> cheryl: so it's an easy way, non-judgmental to get the information? >> sure. >> cheryl: what advice would you have for parents and children that might be caught up in this dilemma? >> started talking about it. i think the advice for children would be if anyone has broken a safety rule with them, it's not
their fault. people kids don't tell because they believe it is their fault. parents need to talk to their children, but in f anyone breaks a safety rule with them, especially sexually abuses them, they need to tell someone it's not their fault. it's eight becauser has broken the safety rule and not them. that is, i think, a really important for parents to understand. sexual predator, they gain trust from their child so they can abuse them. what would look like if a trusted adult broke a safety rule with you. >> cheryl: the important thing is to tell somebody. >> until somebody believes you and helps you. >> cheryl: thank you for all the work you do. we do have to take another short break. we'll hear from a valuable location helping children that have been exposed to sexual
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debby. she is the director and forensic interviewer. that is a big job. i know you have been doing it for a long time. tell people what happens at the interview center? >> the children's interview center in contra costa is our child advocacy center. we have a team of prosecutors, law enforcement, child protective services, medical folks and mental health that coordinate services and to help improve investigation. our two goals is to minimize additional trauma to kids and family after sex abuse allegation and maximize the investigation and prosecution. >> cheryl: we wanted folks at home to show what it looks like. it's a very comfortable place. >> during the interview we draw during the interview. our medical examiner may do a
medical examiner for evidence. >> cheryl: of course. >> that is the interview room. >> cheryl: you've made it very warm and friendly. >> being a child facility is one of the standards of the national children's alliance for accreditation. >> cheryl: so kids don't have to go through another interview? >> exactly. basically the investigators are all sitting in in room. they are looking through this mirror or on the tv and watching. they also can communicate with the interviewer through a radio. basically everyone is getting their interview done, all the people but from a child's perspective they are having one conversation. >> cheryl: they soe they don't get re-traumatized. >> so they are asking questions that the child can understand. >> cheryl: and not leading
questions? >> right. >> and people have been suspicious of kids as eyewitnesses and how good their testimony is. they can be very good reporters of things that happened to them that they've seen, but you have to question them in appropriate way. things like kids, we grownups know the answers and we usually do. they won't correct adults and try to answer it. they'll usually answer yes if they don't understand the question because they think we know what we are talking about and you have to be careful especially with young kids not lead them in the questioning. try to get the most accurate information. >> cheryl: what is the youngest child you've interviewed? >> two. we have interviewed from two through 17 and developmentally
disabled. we have about third of our kids, third are school age kid and third are teens. >> cheryl: another program. >> it's a program of community and visitation and exchange program. they work with families where violence has been used. they are supporting parents and safe access to their kids. they are supporting parenting and learning how to be a parent to their child. >> cheryl: what kind of training from law enforcement? >> training protocol for the county and how to interview kids in the field they minimize their contract with the kids. >> cheryl: thank you for what you are doing. all right. we do have to take another break. when we come back, we're going
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about the well-being of children and child abuse. a man who survived a horrendous childhood has back prominent activist for this issue using celebrity status. he has written a book, called "a private family matters," and victor rivers. thank you so much for joining us today? >> my pleasure. >> cheryl: i remember meeting you last year and i heard your story. i want people to hear what happened to you. tell us what happened? >> i grew up in a home where domestic violence and child abuse was on the level have torture. as child i was beaten and tied up. i was locked in closets. i was burned to name a few of the things and witnessing the brutality against other family members and especially my mother. >> cheryl: when i heard that story. i couldn't get it out of my mind. did it cause you to get into trouble when i started getting
older? >> it did. for the first 50 years of my life, it was my father that ways becauser, i was getting in trouble in school, but when i got to high school i joined a street gang. i was well on my path to becoming a violent individual yself. basically repeating the cycle that my father introduced me to. my story is that story, that child i was taken in by my high school and i was able to turn my life around from the street gang to president of my senior class and scholarship athlete. >> how did it shape the rest of your life? >> it allowed me to reclaim my life, to reclaim my self-eggs team and to realize that in life there are always going to be
obstacles but it's how we deal with them. so in my journey at that high school, i lived with seven different families. each family had their own issues but they dealt with them without abuse. they treated with love and respect. they were able to direct me in a way that i had never seen before. you are talking at 15 1/2 that is when that began. i was a big kid i was six two, 200 pounds and i was fairly violent. wears introduced to a new way of life. >> cheryl: you became a famous actor and activist on this issue. you speak out about this. what happens to kids who are bullied. we see what happened to you, but this is going on a lot? >> what begins in the home, someone being bullied can make that kid angry. that kid comes to school and he
becomes a bully and then sometimes they show up with a gun to seek revenge. we can't regard this as a private family matter. even it doesn't impact your household it will get into our streets, into our schools and into our world. it is something we all have to address and break the sigh liens on these issues and talk about. >> cheryl: you do a lot of work for domestic violence and it's not just about the women in the household. it affects the entire family? >> if it is occurring at home, there is usually not only are their women and men in the home but also children. so as an example, it's 15 times more likely that child abuse occurs at home where domestic violence is present. 2,000 children die each year from child abuse. it absolutely is direct correlation. when i talk about domestic
violence, it's family violence and that encompasses everything, not just violent behavior but we're talking about verbal abuse and many other forms of abuse that can impact a person when they are growing up as a child or even as an adult. >> cheryl: one of the thing you and i talked about is the domestic violence programs and child prevention programs. you think it's shortsighted? >> we often talk about whether using high school as an example. if there is programs in those high schools that help kids like me find a different path, whether arts, music and dance, cut those back, they say we don't have money for those programs but we have billions to build more state of the art prisons. that is something i experienced. i spent five weeks inside san quentin and every guy i talked to had family violence in his
background. it's a catalyst. so we should make that investment. >> cheryl: that is all the time we have for this program. i really appreciated your time. that is going to do it for "beyond the headlines." thank you so much for joining us today. >> for more information about today's program go to our website at abc7news.com we're on facebook and twitter. have a great week. you kids should count yourselves lucky. we didn't have u-verse back in my day. you couldn't just... guys... there you are. you know you couldn't just pause a show in one room, then... where was i... you couldn't pause a show in one room then start playing it in another. and...i'm talking to myself... [ male announcer ] call to get u-verse tv for just $19 a month for 2 years with qualifying bundles. rethink possible.
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