Children Benefit from CAP

A nine year old girl disclosed that her older sister’s husband throws her against the wall and hits her whenever he visits her house. Her parents give her ice packs to keep the bruising and swelling down. She was also fearful because she saw him drop the baby in the playpen. She realized, because of the CAP workshop, that she should speak up for the baby, especially since the baby is unable to speak for herself. She also felt empowered to speak on her own behalf. A referral was made.

An eleven year old girl disclosed to a CAP worker that her 15 year old brother touches her, tells her to take off her clothes, touches her in her private places and threatens to say she likes it and is a part of it if she tells. She was frightened that she wouldn’t be believed. She repeated her experience to the school nurse and a report was made.

A seven year old boy was at his local YMCA for a swimming lesson. Because his mother could not go into the men’s locker room, he had to go in by himself to change. While he was changing, he was approached by a middle age man who attempted to molest him. He ran from the locker room and told his mother what had happened to him. The police were immediately called. The officers interviewing the boy asked several questions about the man’s face and hair. They were particularly interested in whether or not he had thinning hair, perhaps a bald spot. The boy, who was getting frustrated, told them he had been in a CAP workshop and had been told to look for distinguishing features on any stranger who might be a problem. He said, “I can’t answer all your questions about his head because he was so tall. But, I can tell you what his legs looked like!” Based on his accurate description, the offender was apprehended and arrested. The boy’s mother wrote a thank you note to the local CAP project.

An eight year old child told us that a couple of weeks ago, someone had come into their class and done a “Stranger Danger” program. Since that time, she said she had bad dreams about being abducted. She told the CAP facilitator she felt much better after our program because now there were things she could do to stay safe.

During review time a student came out to talk to the facilitator because she realized that she had been bullying other kids in her school. She continued to tell the facilitator that she was not aware how bullying affected the other, and that it could make a person feel really depressed. And, in her mind she was only trying to fit in with the others and act cool and thought it was a good way to feel strong and popular. The student later admitted that she was bullied by her older sister and that she wishes they could get along. The child was referred to the guidance department and will receive the proper help.

During review time a third grade child disclosed that when she goes home a man in her building opens his drapes and exposes himself. The facilitator told the child that she was brave to tell and that they were going to try to get her some help. A report was made and the prosecutor’s office investigated the situation. It was brought to our attention that this man has assaulted other children in the building.

After a 5th grade elementary workshop a student came out at review time and asked the facilitator this question: “it is true that adults don’t always believe you?” She disclosed that her uncle rubbed her upper leg and attempted to touch her private parts. The child told her mom but she didn’t believe her. During another attempt, her mother caught the uncle trying to touch the student and she told the uncle to leave her alone and then told her dad. Her dad called the cops and told the child that the uncle was in jail. The facilitator made a report and found out the uncle was not in jail. Because of the CAP presentation this child was empowered to come out to speak about her experience and said she will tell others how important it is to be persistent and tell someone else when things like this happens, when the first person doesn’t believe you.

While reviewing the doll show (stranger role play) in the kindergarten program, a boy raised his hand and suggested that if someone was covering your mouth you could pull back their pinkie. He said that his sister in fourth grade had learned this in the CAP program and came home and taught the family the CAP yell and the “pinkie pull”.

After the first day of an NJ CAP Bullying Prevention Student Workshop, a third grade girl came to speak with the CAP Facilitator at Review Time. She had learned from the workshop how bad bullying can make a person feel and how leaving someone out of a group could be hurtful. She told the facilitator that there was a girl in her lunch period who sits alone because she has no friends. The child then told the facilitator that because of what she had learned, she had decided that she was going to go and sit with the girl at lunch so she wouldn’t feel all alone.

During review time a fourth grade students asked the facilitator if he could confess something to her. At first the child stated that he was very embarrassed but until now he hadn’t realized that he was a bully. He knows that making fun of people is wrong but he had never thought about how his words made others feel until he attended the CAP program. The child stated that he now realized that everything he said and did can either help someone or bring them down. Now instead of using his energy to hurt others he wants to make a difference and defend kids from being bullied. He thanked the CAP Facilitator for coming to his school and teaching the student strategies not only to keep them safe but to be a better person. In parting he said to tell their boss, he thought they are all great.

After a CAP Cyber Empowerment workshop, a 6th grade student came to the facilitator at Review Time and disclosed that he had been having trouble with another student and he felt like killing himself because of the problem. The CAP facilitator told him that because of the seriousness of this situation, they would have to report it to the contact person. The information was given to the Administrator and the student felt much better about telling someone about his problem. He was connected with the school counselor and the family placed him in outside counseling. Thanks to CAP being in that school on that day, he now knows life is worth the living.

During Review Time, following a CAP Workshop, an 11 year old girl disclosed to the CAP Facilitator that for “a very long time,” the man who lives with her Grandmother in the same apartment building as her family has been touching her. When asked what she meant by a “very long time,” she explained that she was only 5 years old when it all started. This man is always trying to find ways to be alone with her and touches her private parts. The last time it occurred was the week she was participating in the CAP Workshop. She is very sad and always nervous that she is going to see him. She said she does not know what to do. The Facilitator assured her it was not her fault and how much courage it took for her to disclose this situation. The CAP Facilitator along with the school contact person made a report to SCR.

After a CAP workshop, the classroom teacher told the CAP facilitators that she was surprised to see how one student responded so positively to the presentation. She went on to explain that, one child who volunteered to help out has never volunteered or asked to be included in a classroom activity prior to CAP. The teacher could not believe the level of comfort the child showed and how the child was so empowered by the presentation that she volunteered to participate.

After a Teen CAP workshop, a counselor approached the facilitators to let them know that she had been receiving positive feedback from all the teachers about how amazing the workshop was. She even stated: “After just day 1 of the workshop, our counselors were having children come in to talk about various situations they or someone they knew were dealing with. I truly feel if it hadn’t been for the CAP workshop, these types of issues may have never been addressed.”

NJ CAP is a RTC of the International Center for Assault Prevention. It partners with state, national and worldwide prevention advocates.