Child Sexual Abuse
Information compiled by; Jackie Mall Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
Sexual abuse is generally associated with physical, emotional and psychological trauma. Sexual abuse cuts across all demographics (rich, poor, heedless of race).
Sexual abuse runs in families.
Eighty percent of offenders are known to the children
Girls and boys are at risk, but in different settings: girls more likely in the family, boys more likely outside the family.
Why abuse of boys not reported: No one asks. Seduction of boys by adult women is condoned in our society. Boys fear of being labeled homosexual if abuse is by a man.
Boys are more likely than girls to become sexual perpetrators later in life because males are culturally more aggressive. But, most boys who are abused do NOT become sexual offenders.
Girls are more likely to gravitate to future abusive relationships.
Statistics consistently demonstrate that children rarely lie about sexual abuse. False reports (by both adults and children) only 7%.
Definition of child sexual abuse for the State of Alaska:
Any genital or other contact which elicits sexual pleasure in the offender.
Any minor under sixteen years regardless of consent if offender is three years or more older.
If the victim is sixteen or older, and the offender is an authority figure (teacher, coach, minister, therapist)
Any contact under force or threat of force.
Fondling, oral sex, intercourse, exhibitionism, forced or instructed touching of others or perpetrator.
Includes anger, depression, anxiety, guilt, fear, ptsd (post traumatic stress disorder).
The victim may end up missing trust and security necessary to tolerate stresses and frustrations of adolescent and adult life.
Symptoms often masked by pseudo mature, emotionally constricted interpersonal style.
The symptoms include; nightmares, flashbacks, emotional blunting, aggression, alienation, distrust, self-destructive, physical problems. The child may feel different, ugly , and or sinful.
Six major areas of Damage to Victims
Lack of control/over controlled.
Impaired interpersonal relationships.
Conflicts with sexuality.
Problems with aggression.
Dysphoric mood states (depressive).
Indicators of Sexual Abuse in Adolescents
These indicators often occur in response to various types of stress in adolescents. Look for excessive, and or dramatic changes in behaviors, especially sexual behaviors.
Disturbed sleep patterns;
Sleeping excessively or inability to sleep.
Sleeping with a previously discarded toy, stuffed animal, blanket etc.
Poor School performance
Choosing friends who are often in trouble.
Sneaky behavior or lying.
Inability to concentrate.
Withdrawal from peers: Difficulty making friends and maintaining friendships.
Discomfort in taking Gym.
Adult-like or parentified behavior.
Age inappropriate behavior (acting younger or older).
Difficulty in trusting others.
Lack of emotional responses (or much anger).
Suicidal threats, gestures or attempts.
Self destructive behaviors.
Alcohol or drug abuse.
Poor body image.
Wearing layered clothing, hoping it will provide protection and make body unappealing.
Eating disorders (anorexia, and/or bulimia).
No dating or poor choice of dating partners.
Multiple sexual contacts.
Desire for pregnancy (love object).
Confusion over sexual identity.
These are some of the things that may occur.
Often a nightmare.
Investigation a mess:
Especially with very young children.
Especially with more than one abuser (present or past)
Family denial and disbelief.
Family often band together to support the perpetrator. Also true of the workplace, friends and co-workers. This may include disbelief, and or minimizing.
Family breaks apart (child or perpetrator leaves, usually the child).
Possible jail time for perpetrator (child feels responsible).
Mother sometimes feels it's a statement about her sexuality.
"Why didn't you tell us?" After the first incident, child is trapped which often begins with benign, then ambiguous, then overt acts and threats from the perpetrator.
Most children don't tell (only about one third).
Many recant after disclosure (leads to false belief that it was untrue).
Abuse often continues after disclosure or discovery (about one out of 3).
Many abusers take outrageous risks (child unwilling participant),
BOOKS THAT HAVE HELP ON DEALING WITH DISCLOSURE/DISCOVERY
AND THE FAMILY AFTERWARD....
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