“It takes a village to intervene – Failure to do so is abhorrent.”
Sexual Abuse Prevalence
The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, report that 9.2% of all victimized children are sexually assaulted (2010). Furthermore, Dr. David Finkelhor, director of Crimes against Children Research Center, reports that up to 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys become victims of sexual abuse. And, within any given year, 16% of youth ages 14-17 will be victimized.
The long-term affects of sexual trauma as a child are profound. Depression is the most commonly reported problem, emerging in adolescence, and carried into adulthood. Individuals also report problems with sexual intimacy, social anxiety, and a deep sense that any amount of happiness they experience is only fleeting in nature.
Sexual Abuse in Small Communities
Sexual abuse of children occurs in every community around the world. Religion, race, ethnicity, or group affiliation is not a buffer to this reality. There are no exceptions. Perpetrators are adept at grooming children over the long course of time to meet their gratification needs. However, small communities, or close communities within large urban areas, are known to turn a blind eye in order to avoid shame. Community perception often becomes priority over protecting children.
In today’s episode on the Finding My Psych Podcast, we discuss the effects of childhood sexual trauma, with a special focus on the extended trauma caused when communities fail to intervene. We also review clinical observations of adulthood maladaptive coping, styles that worked well in childhood, but leave us marginalized as we get older.
Be sure to listen to our episode, “Working with Sexual Trauma – Concepts in Psychotherapy,” for an in-depth review of the counselling process and sexual trauma.
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