Childhood sexual abuse is a violation of the
- body, mind, & spirit, OR
- whole person
What is child sexual abuse?
The exploitation of a child for the sexual gratification of an adult.
Types of behavior that constitute child sexual abuse (Sgroi):
- genital exposure
- observation of the child
- instrumental penetration
- digital penetration
- penile penetration
- child prostitution
- child pornography
- cyber predation
Phases of child sexual abuse:
- build relationship
How many girls are sexually abused before they turn 18?
1 in 3
How many boys are sexually abused before they turn 18?
1 in 7-11
What two things happen when a child is sexually abused?
- childhood ends
- survival begins
What is the most common type of child sexual abuse?
Father (or stepfather) - Daughter
At what age does the average incest offense start?
How long does the average incest offense last?
Which child sex offenders are the most amenable to treatment?
Fathers, because they have a genuine relationship with the victim, they have a lot to lose.
How many victims do female-preferential extra-familial child molesters have, on average?
How many victims do male-preferential extra-familial child molesters have, on average?
What are the chances of a child sex offender getting caught?
What percentage of incest offenders are fixated/sexually preoccupied?
What percentage of incest offenders are adolescent regressives?
What percentage of incest offenders are angry retaliators?
What percentage of child sexual offenders use alcohol?
What percentage of child sexual offenders were sexually abused as children?
What percentage of child sexual offenders were physically abused by their fathers?
What percentage of child sexual offenders were physically abused by their mothers?
What percentage of stepfather-stepdaughter incest offenders also offend outside the home?
What are the two basic types of child sexual offenders?
Qualities of fixated offenders:
- true pedophile - persistent, continual, compulsive attraction to pre-pubescent children
- if married, wife may be adult survivor & sexual dysfunction is likely
- attracted to children since adolescence
- usually extra-familial victims
- victims are adolescent boys or pre-pubescent girls
- psychological & emotional characteristics of children
- unable to attain any degree of psychsexual maturity
- no age-appropriate sexual relationships
- do not find agemates sexually attractive or desirable
- recruit, groom, & develop relationships with vulnerable children
- "relationships" continue for several years
- believe the sexual contact is caring and mutual
- believes the child receives pleasure and/or education from the abuse
- high risk to the community
- those who abuse boys commit more offenses - an average of 150 victims
- victims are less likely to report or more likely to delay reporting
Qualities of regressed offenders:
- primary sexual attraction is to agemates
- abuse is a temporary departure precipitated by external stressors - loneliness, isolation, depression...
- rarely attracted to a specific type of child
- abuse children to whom they have easy access
- gender of victims vary
- most are married/cohabitating
- poor self-confidence, low self-esteem, self-pity
- fewer victims; some commit extra-familial assaults
- commit deviant sexual acts less frequently
- not motivated by sexual motives alone (power, control, abuse)
- behavior emerges in adulthood
- capable of feeling remorse
- treatment -> lower risk of re-offending
What is the most striking characteristic of a sex offender?
What is the cycle of offending?
- deviant sexual fantasies
- steps toward overtly deviant behavior
- targets victim
- fantasy rehearsal
- plan the act
- groom the victim
- reinforcement of original fantasy
Explain aversiveness vs. abusiveness
Much of what adults teach/make kids do is aversive - things they don't want to do or that are unpleasant or uncomfortable - but not abusive. Because kids are accustomed to aversiveness, it makes abusing them easy.
What are the messages and rules child sexual abuse victims learn?
- don't feel
- always be in control
- don't trust
- keep the secret
- be ashamed of yourself
What are some aftereffects of child sexual abuse seen in adult survivors?
- fear of being alone in the dark/sleeping alone
- nightmares/night terrors
- swallowing/gagging sensitivity
- alienation from the body; not at home in the body
- gastrointestinal problems
- wearing a lot of clothing
- eating disorders
- self destruction
- phobias (irrational)
- need to be invisible
- need to be perfect
- anger issues
- rigid control of thoughts
- trust issues
- boundary issues
- guilt, shame, low self-esteem
- pattern of being a victim
- feeling a demand to produce to be loved
- abandonment issues
- inability to remember a certain period of life
- feeling crazy, different, unreal
- a range of sexual issues
- intimacy issues
- avoidance of mirrors
- limited tolerance for happiness
- aversion to making noise
- multiple personality issues
Nonsadistic offender victim echoes:
- "I am worthless"
- "I enjoyed it"
- "I caused the abuse"
- "I didn't say 'no' or protest"
- "I am evil"
Potholes for trauma:
- first consensual sexual step
- arousal reality
- sanctioned sex
- birth of first child
- child's age at her age of onset
- adult victimization
- death of offender
What senses can flashbacks involve?
Nonsadistic offender victim echoes - "I am worthless":
- Her needs, wishes, and desires do not matter
- Nothing she ever does is right
- She is unimportant, worthless, or even bad
- She deserved what she got
- She sees herself as "damaged goods"
Nonsadistic offender victim echoes - "I enjoyed it":
- Pairs emotionally adverse experience with sexual response
- Leads to adult sexual problems
- Bodily responses (prohibits reporting, prohibits concept of healthy sexuality, promotes alienation from their own bodies, dissociative responses)
Nonsadistic offender victim echoes - "I caused the abuse":
- I "wanted" the abuse to happen
- I'm so sexy, he couldn't resist me (offenders cite physical responsiveness, natural tendency to freeze initially, and accommodation to abuse over time)
- Porn as norm
- Aversion does not equal abusiveness to a child
- Child's difficulties in defining reality
Nonsadistic offender victim echoes - "I didn't say 'no' or protest":
- Offenders win their trust and they want to please him
- They are afraid of being punished or hurt
- They have dissociated, and may have no recall of the abuse, or parts of it
- "I didn't say 'no'" - How did you say yes?
Nonsadistic offender victim echoes - "I am evil":
- Projected by the offender
- Characterological self-blame
Intrapsychic issues for adult survivors of child sexual abuse:
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of motivation
- Control issues
- Dissociative phenomena
Self-destructive behavior issues for adult survivors:
- Suicide attempts
- Interactional problems
Physical problems for adult survivors:
- Skin problems
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Bladder infections
- Sore throats
- Oral hygeine issues
- Grinding teeth
Eating disorders in adult survivors:
Relationship issues for adult survivors:
- Length of relationship (short, or get stuck)
- Fear of commitment
- Poor choice of partners
- Violent relationships
Sexual issues for adult survivors:
- sexual preference
- sadomasochistic practice
- desire disorder
Resiliency factors for female survivors:
- Find supportive relationships outside the family
- Developed a sense of positive self-regard
- Used spiritual grounding
- Recognize their own personal power
- Attribute blame and responsibility on the abuser
- Adopted a philosophy of life that opens them to learning and growing
Steps to healing for adult survivors:
- allow and experience
- separate from the past
Role of the advocate with adult survivors:
- "Bear witness"
- Offer a safe space
- Remake meaning
- Provide safe resources
- Know your own filters (beliefs & biases)
- Don't let the need to maintain a "veil of safety" allow you to blame the victim
What percentage of child victims of natural parent incest report (immediate/later/never):
- Immediate - 17%
- Later - 30%
- Never - 55%
To whom do adolescent victims disclose?
- Mom - 21%
- Best friend - 23%
- Non-disclosure - 28%
What factors make recantation of child victims more likely?
- Lack of maternal support
- Abuse by male caretaker
What percentage of victims recanted in cases where the offender confessed?
Which offenders are the most dangerous to the community, and how many victims do they have?
- Men who sexually abuse extrafamilial male victims
- >100 victims
What are the hard signs of incest/child sexual abuse?
- Sexualized play/art
- Sexualized behavior
What percentage of child sexual assault disclosures are false?
What are the soft signs of incest/child sexual abuse?
- Lack of privacy in home
- Reports of nudity/partial nudity
- Unusual behavior around chores/watching & checking on children
- Child sleeping fully clothed
- Uses sexualized insults
- Sexualized dress
- Jealous fathers/not allowing dating
- Holocaust eyes
- Consistent visitation with batterer
- Bite marks on thighs/breasts of child
What percentage of child sexual abuse victims present with medical evidence?
What is dissociation?
A perceived separation of the mind from the emotional state, or even the body; detachment from reality; may range from mild to severe.
What are some types of dissociation?
- Psychological numbing