HOW CAN I BETTER UNDERSTAND WHAT MY CHILD IS GOING THROUGH?

Kids feel confused Consider that the child may have wanted to tell about the abuse but felt trapped, or threatened either by what they were told would be the consequences for telling, or by what they imagined. If you are a parent finding out about a disclosure made by your child to someone else, consider […]

UNDERSTANDING TREATMENT FOR THE VICTIM

Trust Being a victim of sexual abuse can have a devastating effect on a child’s object relations, particularly the ability to trust other people. In intrafamilial sexual abuse, the impact may be pervasive because a caretaker, who should be a protector and a limit-setter, exploits the child and violates the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Furthermore, […]

THE INVESTIGATION PROCESS

Breakdown Of The Investigation Process: Child Interview Medical Exam Non-offending Parent Interview Interview with the Alleged Offender Risk Assessment   Investigation of child sexual abuse   This chapter describes the role of Child Protective Services (CPS) in the investigation of cases of sexual abuse, the structure of the investigation, and risk assessment in child sexual […]

REPORT: PREPARING YOURSELF FOR THE PROCESS

If Child Custody Is At Stake If you are a parent and the person you suspect is your spouse or ex-spouse or your ex-spouses’ partner, and child custody is an issue – before reporting, call Mothers Against Child Sexual Abuse www.againstsexualabuse.org for a free phone consultation or contact Jewish Community Watch for assistance. The founder of […]

YOUR REACTION WHEN A CHILD TELLS ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE

What Protective Adults Need to Know About 85% of children who are sexually abused never tell, or delay telling, about the abuse. The closer the relationship between the child and the abuser, the less likely the child is to disclose. Often disclosure is gradual and may begin with vague hints or unclear information. If you […]

SIGNS THAT A CHILD MAY BE AT-RISK TO HARM ANOTHER CHILD

Do you know a child or adolescent who is: Confused about social rules and interactions? May experience typical gestures of friendliness or affection as sexual? Explores his or her own natural sexual curiosity with younger children or those of differing size, status, ability, or power? Seeks out the company of younger children and spends an […]

DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER

Most mental health practitioners believe that dissociation exists on a continuum. At one end of the continuum, are instances of dissociation that many people experience such as daydreaming or highway hypnosis. At the other end, though, is chronic and complex dissociation which may impair an individual’s ability to function in the “real” world. According to […]

EATING DISORDERS

Eating disorders are complex conditions that arise from a combination of long-standing emotional, psychological, interpersonal and social issues. People with eating disorders often use food and the control of food as an attempt to deal with or compensate for feelings and emotions that may otherwise seem overwhelming.1 Sexual assault or abuse can have an effect on […]

BODY MEMORIES

These maladies are often called “psychosomatic symptoms” which does not, as many people think, mean that it is “in your head.” Rather, it means that the symptoms are due to the connection between the mind and the body. Physical problems that can come of these somatic memories include headaches, migraines, stomach difficulties, light headedness/dizziness, hot/cold […]

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER

Borderline Personality Disorder, known as BPD, is one of many possible long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse. Research by the Psychiatric Clinics of North America indicates that 40-71% of BPD victims reported having been sexually abused when younger. i Adults with BPD are also considerably more likely to be the victim of violence, including rape […]

FLASHBACKS

A flashback is when memories of past traumas feel as if they are taking place in the current moment. Many survivors of sexual violence experience these emotional returns to the trauma, believing themselves to be back at the scene of the attack or abuse. Flashbacks are also a symptom of PTSD. According to the National […]

DEPRESSION

There are many emotional and psychological reactions that victims of rape and sexual assault can experience. One of the most common of these is depression. The term “depression” can be confusing since many of the symptoms are experienced by people as normal reactions to events in their life. At some point or another during one’s […]

SELF-HARM / SELF-INJURY

Deliberate self-harm, or self-injury, is when a person inflicts physical harm on himself or herself, usually in secret. Some victims of sexual assault may use self-harm to cope with the difficult or painful feelings, but it is only a temporary relief, not a healthy way to deal with the trauma of sexual assault. Self-harm can […]

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

Described as a victim’s emotional “bonding” with their abuser, Stockholm Syndrome was given its name following a hostage situation in Stockholm, Sweden when, following the end of a bank robbery, the hostages identified with and supported their captor. Dr. Joseph Carver, a clinical psychologist, describes emotionally bonding with an abuser as a survival strategy for victims of […]

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

After a traumatic event, it is typical to have feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, making it difficult to adjust or cope for some time afterwards. In particular, survivors of sexual violence may experience severe feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While it is natural to have some of […]

SLEEP DISORDERS

Many survivors of sexual assault suffer from depression and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As a result, they may also experience sleep disturbances and disorders. Inability to sleep can result of trauma victims being unable to feel secure and unthreatened. Nightmares can result when an assault is replayed mentally and when there is a fear that it will reoccur. Nightmares typically […]

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Victims of rape or sexual assault may turn to alcohol or other substances in an attempt to relieve their emotional suffering. In the U.S., victims of sexual assault report higher levels of psychological distress and the consumption of alcohol than non-victims, in part, to self-medicate. Some victims use substances to cope with the reality of what happened […]

EXPERIENCES OF SURVIVORS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Understanding the Impact  Survivors of childhood sexual abuse experience an array of overwhelming and intense feelings. These may include feelings of fear, guilt, and shame. Abusers have been known to tell children that it is their fault that they are abused, shifting the blame away from themselves, where it belongs, and placing it on the […]

ADULT SURVIVORS OF CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ASSAULT

Caveat: The following descriptions are meant to serve as a general guideline for how a victim of sexual assault might react in a time of pain or crisis. It is important to recognize, however, that each victim of sexual assault will have his or her own life experiences and personality that will influence how he […]

SEX TRAFFICKING IS A REAL THREAT

Runaways and at-risk youth are targeted by pimps and traffickers for exploitation in the commercial sex industry or different labor or services industries. Pimps and sex traffickers are skilled at manipulating child victims and maintaining control through a combination of deception, lies, feigned affection, threats, and violence. The average age of entry into prostitution for […]

ENTERING THE WORKFORCE

Whether it’s babysitting, scooping ice cream, or doing some office work for a business owner (even if the employer is family or a family friend), it is important to talk with your children and the business owner/manager about child safety. A teen may automatically assume that the people they are working with are respectable and that […]

SEXUAL RESPONSE AND RESPONSIBILITY

“It is important that your child know that as thinking, conscious human beings we have the opportunity to think about how to deal with our own arousal before we do anything with it.” -Dr Janet Rosenzweig, The Sex-Wise Parent Children need to understand that sexual arousal, even if intentional and certainly if not, does not […]

PORNOGRAPHY – YES, WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT IT

From The Sex-Wise Parent author, Janet Rosenzweig: “A major study found that almost all boys and two-thirds of girls over age 13 have been exposed to online porn. Most exposure happens between the ages of 14 and 17, but thousands of children 13 and younger are exposed to sexually explicit images daily. Boys are more likely to report […]

THE INTERNET

Computers belong in common areas, not bedrooms. Educate yourself on setting appropriate filters for explicit images/language for your computer. Explain the dangers of sharing personal information – full name, email, phone, and address. “Checking in” at specific locations on social media, tells people exactly where they are at that moment. You may want to consider […]

UNDERSTANDING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BRAIN

Research has shown that the human brain does not complete developing until our 20s and 30s. The frontal lobe, the part of the brain that manages impulse control, judgment, insight, and emotional control, is still working to make the connections that help us understand consequences of our actions for others and ourselves. Teenagers are not fully capable of […]