Programs & Services
EDISTO CHILDREN’S CENTER
Nationally Accredited – Edisto Children’s Center provides a multidisciplinary approach to child abuse and neglect. Types of child abuse and neglect are below.
The Goals of the Edisto Children’s Center
- Prevent further trauma to the child that may be caused by continuous contacts with different community professionals.
- Provide services to families to help them regain maximum functioning all aimed at protecting the child from further harm and trauma.
- Maintain open communication and case coordination among professionals and agencies involved in their case.
- Gather information that may be useful in criminal and civil proceedings.
- Hold offenders accountable by improving prosecution of child abuse cases through our multi-disciplinary approach.
Child Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse of a child is inappropriately exposing or subjecting the child to sexual contact, activity, or behavior. Sexual abuse includes oral, anal, genital, buttock, and breast contact. It also includes the use of objects for vaginal or anal penetration, fondling, or sexual stimulation. Making a child available to others as a child prostitute, and stimulating a child with inappropriate solicitation activity may be with a boy or a girl and is done for the benefit of the offender. In addition, exploitation of a child for, exhibitionism, and erotic material are also forms of sexual abuse.
What Are the Effects of Child Sexual Abuse?
The effects of sexual abuse extend far beyond childhood. Sexual abuse robs children of their childhood and creates a loss of trust, feelings of guilt and self-abusive behavior. It can lead to antisocial behavior, depression, identity confusion, loss of self-esteem and other serious emotional problems. It can also lead to difficulty with intimate relationships later in life. The sexual victimization of children is ethically and morally wrong.
Child Physical Abuse
Physical abuse of a child is any non-accidental injury to a child. This includes hitting, kicking, slapping, shaking, burning, pinching, hair pulling, biting, choking, whipping. Physical abuse is the most visible form of child maltreatment. Physical abuse results from inappropriate or excessive physical trauma.
Failure to provide for a child’s physical needs. This includes lack of supervision, inappropriate housing or shelter, inadequate provision of food and water, inappropriate clothing for season or weather, abandonment, denial of medical care and inadequate hygiene.
What to do if you think someone is abusing a child?
- Provide a safe environment (be comforting, welcoming, and a good listener)
- Listen carefully
- Be supportive, not judgmental
- Do not investigate
- REPORT IT!!! Anyone can and should report suspected child abuse and neglect. Protecting children is everyone’s job whether you know the child or not. Do not assume that someone else will intervene. People are often concerned that their suspicions will be unfounded but it does not matter. Reporting suspected abuse may save a child’s life.
Report any suspected abuse to Law Enforcement or the Department of Social Services
Community Victim Services Programs
CASA’s Victim Services include the following programs, our Shelter Temporary Emergency Program, Sexual Assault Program, and Community Domestic Violence Program. Each of the these programs aim to provide holistic services to individuals and families who have been affected by domestic violence and sexual assault.
CASA/Family Systems’ temporary emergency shelter for battered women and their children was started in 1991 and has the capacity to house 18-21 women and children at any given time. The shelter is open 24 hours a day – seven days a week providing services to victims of domestic violence at no cost. Services include individual and group counseling, advocacy, and case-management.
Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior that includes but is not limited to the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It affects individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Domestic Violence is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can have lifelong effects on families.
If you have been assaulted by your spouse or partner, whether it has been one time or ten, you need a safety plan to leave your abusive environment.
Gather together important documents, such as your marriage license, birth certificates for you and your children, car registration, personal identification, checkbooks, social security cards, etc.
Hide an extra set of car and house keys either outside or at a neighbor’s home whom you trust.
Pack a suitcase for you and your children and store it with a neighbor or friend whom you trust.
Contact CASA/Family Systems to get help in obtaining emergency shelter services at our 24 hour hotline.
- 24 hour crisis counseling
- Individual counseling
- Medical advocacy
- Information and referral
- Criminal Justice advocacy
- Support groups
- Temporary Emergency Shelter
- Assistance with Petitions for Protections
Types of sexual assault are below.
Sexual Violence refers to crimes which includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. The perpetrator may be a stranger, acquaintance, friend, family member, or intimate partner. Researchers, practitioners, and policymakers agree that all forms of sexual violence harm the individual, the family unit, and society and that much work remains to be done to enhance the criminal justice response to these crimes.
Sexual Assault covers a wide range of unwanted behaviors – up to but not including penetration – that are attempted or completed against a victim’s will or when a victim cannot consent because of age, disability, or the influence of alcohol or drugs. Sexual assault may involve actual or threatened physical force, use of weapons, coercion, intimidation, or pressure and may include:
- Intentional touching of the victim’s genitals, anus, groin, or breasts
- Exposure to exhibitionism
- Undesired exposure to pornography
- Public display of images that were taken in a private context or when the victim was unaware
Rape is nonconsensual oral, anal, or vaginal penetration of the victim by body parts or objects using force, threats of bodily harm, or by taking advantage of a victim who is incapacitated or otherwise incapable of giving consent.
Incapacitation may include mental or cognitive disability, self-induced or forced intoxication, status as minor, or any other condition defined by law that voids an individual’s ability to give consent.
EDUCATION & OUTREACH PROGRAMS
CASA’s Education and Outreach Services consist of the following prevention programs: Community Advocacy Program and Strengthening Families. These programs all aim to provide prevention programs to our community and families in an effort to reduce unhealthy interpersonal behaviors. Strengthening Families Program is an evidenced-based parenting program aimed at improving social competencies, strengthening parental bonds, reducing problem behaviors, and improving family relationships and parental skills.
Community Advocacy Program
The Community Advocacy Program is a primary prevention program that focuses on prevention programs for the community with an emphasis on elementary, middle, high and college aged students on sexual assault, dating violence, and domestic violence. Curriculums used include but not limited to: Girl’s Circle and the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP).
Strengthening Families Program
Strengthening Families Program is a nationally and internationally recognized evidence-based program that grows parenting and family skills. CASA/Family Systems began implementing this program in 2014 in partnership with Children’s Trust Fund. The program significantly reduces problem behaviors. The program has also demonstrated that child maltreatment decreases as parents strengthen bonds with their children and learn more effective parenting skills.