Penny Leader

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Penny Leader
Posted over 1 year ago
How can we as individuals, or as a society make changes prevent to the incidence of childhood sexual abuse from occurring?
Dear Jan, I worked in this area for a considerable amount of time and conduct workshops for workers in the area. Working in the human services domains childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is common throughout sectors, especially for females and unfortunately has not diminished over the years. This indicates to me that we need to change how we approach work in the area. My research shows that it is not an area people want to acknowledge. I gave a lecture to a state mental health organisation and the professionals came up to me ands said they wouldn't touch CSA clients with a ten foot pole. This sums up the attitude as workers do not have the training to address this area. As people with this background can enter the systems they are often treated for the impact of the abuse rather than for the abuse itself e.g.-depression- anger -suicide ideation etc…Due to having perceptions of interpersonal domains distorted, survivor behaviours can result in being overtly sexual and/or closed. People fail to understand that if you have been sexually objectified as a child (often the only time you have felt loved) then this can be your model for future relationships. The distorted perception also interferes with the ability to grasp the social cues that may inform you that a person is not safe-consequently survivors are easily manipulated by exploitive controlling men and thus revictimised. Various reasons why professionals fail to address this can be due to not knowing how to address the victim's needs- especially as many have been through the systems without resolution and can show aggressive behaviours and/or the worker may have had similar background experiences. There is research that indicates the emotional withdrawal of the mother may factor into creating pedophile behaviours, especially if it is used as a form of control over the child, of course there will be mediating factors to stop this outcome. Generally, it is all about power-check out -