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CHILD  ABUSE

APPROXIMATELY 5 CHILDREN A DAY DIE FROM ABUSE- CAN YOU IGNORE IT?

Three-quarters (72%) of sexually abused children did not tell anyone about the abuse at the time. 27% told someone later. Around a third (31%) still had not told anyone about their experienc

 

 

 


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There are many types of sexual abuse, including:

  • Non-consensual, forced physical sexual behavior (rape and sexual assault).
  • Unwanted touching, either of a child or an adult.
  • Sexual kissing, fondling, exposure of genitalia, and voyeurism, exhibitionism and up to sexual assault.
  • Exposing a child to pornography.
  • Saying sexually suggestive statements towards a child (child molestation).
  • Also applies unconsential verbal sexual demands towards an adult.
  • The use of a position of trust to compel otherwise unwanted sexual activity without physical force (or can lead to attempted rape or sexual assault).
  • Incest (see also sexual deviancy).
  • Certain forms of sexual harassment.
  • http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-child-abuse#

 

  1. Approximately 5 children die every day because of child abuse. 
  2. 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys will be sexually abused before they reach age 18.
  3. 90 percent of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way. 68 percent are abused by a family member.
  4. Most children become victims of abuse and neglect at 18 months or younger.
  5. In 2010, 1,537 children died of abuse or neglect.
    • 79.4 percent were under the age of 4.
    • 47.7 percent were under the age of 1.
  6. Boys (48.5 percent) and girls (51.2 percent) become victims at nearly the same rate.
  7. 3.6 million cases of child abuse are reported every year in the U.S. And the number of children involved in these reports is 6 million.
  8. Abused and neglected children are 11 times more likely to engage in criminal behavior as an adult.
  9. About 80 percent of 21-year-olds who were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
  10. 14 percent of all men and 36 percent of all women in prison were abused as children.
  11. Abused children are less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs. They’re also 25 percent more likely to experience teen pregnancy.



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What Are the Effects of Child Sexual Abuse?

The effects of sexual abuse extend far beyond childhood. Sexual abuse robs children of their childhood and creates a loss of trust, feelings of guilt and self-abusive behavior. It can lead to antisocial behavior, depression, identity confusion, loss of selfesteem and other serious emotional problems. It can also lead to difficulty with intimate relationships later in life. The sexual victimization of children is ethically and morally wrong.

Proving Sexual Abuse

When sexual abuse occurs the child victim may be the only witness and the child’s statements may be the only evidence. In such cases, the central issue sometimes becomes whether the child’s statements can be trusted. Some child welfare experts feel that children never lie about sexual abuse and that their statements must always be believed. According to Douglas Besharov in The Future of Children (1994), “Potential reporters are not expected to determine the truth of a child’s statements. As a general rule, therefore, all doubts should be resolved in favor of making a report.” He continues, “A child who describes being sexually abused should be reported unless there is clear reason to disbelieve the statement.”

Child sexual abuse cases can be very difficult to prove largely because cases where definitive, objective evidence exists are the exception rather than the rule. The first indicators of sexual abuse may not be physical, but rather behavioral changes or abnormalities. Unfortunately, because it can be so difficult to accept that sexual abuse may be occurring,the adult may misinterpret the signals and feel that the child is merely being disobedient or insolent.

The reaction to the disclosure of abuse then becomes disbelief and rejection of the child’s statements.

Sexual abuse is usually discovered in one of two ways:

  • Direct disclosure (e.g., the victim, victim’s family member or parent seeking help makes a statement)
  • Indirect methods (e.g., someone witnesses the abuse to the child, the child contracts a sexually transmitted disease or the child becomes pregnant)

Sometimes the child may be so traumatized by sexual abuse that years pass before he or she is able to understand or talk about what happened. In these cases, adult survivors of sexual abuse may come forward for the first time in their 40s or 50s and divulge the horror of their experiences.

What Should You Look for If You Suspect Sexual Abuse?

Children who are sexually abused may exhibit behavioral changes, based on their age.

Children up to age 3 may exhibit:

  • Fear or excessive crying
  • Vomiting
  • Feeding problems
  • Bowel problems
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Failure to thrive

Children ages 2 to 9 may exhibit:

  • Fear of particular people, places or activities
  • Regression to earlier behaviors such as bed wetting or stranger anxiety
  • Victimization of others
  • Excessive masturbation
  • Feelings of shame or guilt
  • Nightmares or sleep disturbances
  • Withdrawal from family or friends
  • Fear of attack recurring
  • Eating disturbances

Symptoms of sexual abuse in older children and adolescents include:

  • Depression
  • Nightmares or sleep disturbances
  • Poor school performance
  • Promiscuity
  • Substance abuse
  • Aggression
  • Running away from home
  • Fear of attack recurring
  • Eating disturbances
  • Early pregnancy or marriage
  • Suicidal gestures
  • Anger about being forced into situation beyond one’s control
  • Pseudo-mature behaviors

What Can You Do?

Protect your children. Teach your children what appropriate sexual behavior is and when to say “no” if someone tries to touch sexual parts of their bodies or touch them in any way that makes them feel uncomfortable. Also, observe your children when they interact with others to see if they are hesitant or particularly uncomfortable around certain adults. It is critical to provide adequate supervision for your children and only leave them in the care of individuals whom you deem safe.

Support child abuse victims. Children need to know that they can speak openly to a trusted adult and that they will be believed. Children who are victims of sexual abuse should always be reassured that they are not responsible for what has happened to them. Offer encouragement for victims by supporting organizations that help victims of incest or by simply reassuring victims of sexual abuse that they should not feel shame or guilt. It is important to understand that troubled families can be helped and that everyone can play a part in the process.

Teach others about child abuse. Help make others aware of sexual abuse by arranging for knowledgeable guest speakers to present to your organizations or groups. Encourage your local school board to establish programs to educate both teachers and students about the problem.

Report, report, report. If you suspect sexual abuse and believe a child to be in imminent danger, report it to the local child protective services agency (often called “social services” or “human services”) in your county or state. Professionals who work with children are required by law to report reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect. Furthermore, in 20 states, citizens who suspect abuse or neglect are required to report it. “Reasonable suspicion” based on objective evidence, which could be firsthand observation or statements made by a parent or child, is all that is needed to report. Remember that you may be the only person in a position to help a child who is being sexually abused.

http://www.americanhumane.org/children/stop-child-abuse/fact-sheets/child-sexual-abuse.html

MORE LINKS=http://www.mercyhome.org/child-abuse-and-neglect-facts

http://www.childrensrights.org/issues-resources/child-abuse-and-neglect/facts-about-abuse-and-neglect/

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  • An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide every year.
  • An estimated 300 million children worldwide are subjected to violence, exploitation and abuse, including the worst forms of child labor in communities, schools and institutions.
  • Children living in areas of extreme economic hardship and social disruption are at increased risk for abuse, violence, and exploitation.
  • About 1.5 billion children live in the 42 countries affected by violent conflict between 2002 and 2006. Of 14.2 million refuges worldwide, 41 percent may be children under the age of 18.
  • Worldwide, an estimated 40 million children under the age of 15 suffer from violence, abuse and neglect.
  • An estimated 1.2 million children - both boys and girls - are trafficked each year into exploitative work, including mining, factories, armed conflict or commercial sex work.

Child Sexual Abuse ~ Disclosures

  Among victims of sexual abuse, the inability to trust is pronounced, which also contributes to secrecy and non-disclosure.
Source: Courtois & Watts, 1982.

  Children often fail to report because of the fear that disclosure will bring consequences even worse than being victimized again. The victim may fear consequences from the family, feel guilty for consequences to the perpetrator, and may fear subsequent retaliatory actions from the perpetrator.
Sources: Berlinger & Barbieri, 1984; Groth, 1979; Swanson & Biaggio, 1985.

  Victims may be embarrassed or reluctant to answer questions about the sexual activity.
Source: Berlinger & Barbieri, 1984.

  Victims may also have a feeling that "something is wrong with me," and that the abuse is their fault.
Sources: Johnson, 1987; Tsai & Wagner, l978.

  In addition to "sexual guilt," there are several other types of guilt associated with the abuse, which include feeling different from peers, harboring vengeful and angry feelings toward both parents, feeling responsible for the abuse, feeling guilty about reporting the abuse, and bringing disloyalty and disruption to the family . Any of these feelings of guilt could outweigh the decision of the victim to report, the result of which is the secret may remain intact and undisclosed.
Source: Courtois & Watts, 1982; Tsai & Wagner, l978.

  A child's initial denial of sexual abuse should not be the sole basis of reassurance that abuse did not occur. Virtually all investigative protocols are designed to respond to only those children who have disclosed. Policies and procedures that are geared only to those children who have disclosed fail to recognize the needs of the majority of victims.
Source: Sorensen & Snow, 1991.

  Study of 630 cases of alleged sexual abuse of children from 1985 through 1989: Using a subset of 116 confirmed cases, findings indicated that 79 percent of the children of the study initially denied abuse or were tentative in disclosing. Of those who did disclose, approximately three-quarters disclosed accidentally. Additionally, of those who did disclose, 22 percent eventually recanted their statements.
Source: Sorensen & Snow, 1991.

  Young victims may not recognize their victimization as sexual abuse.
Source: Gilbert, l988.

  • An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide every year.
  • An estimated 300 million children worldwide are subjected to violence, exploitation and abuse, including the worst forms of child labor in communities, schools and institutions.
  • Children living in areas of extreme economic hardship and social disruption are at increased risk for abuse, violence, and exploitation.
  • About 1.5 billion children live in the 42 countries affected by violent conflict between 2002 and 2006. Of 14.2 million refuges worldwide, 41 percent may be children under the age of 18.
  • Worldwide, an estimated 40 million children under the age of 15 suffer from violence, abuse and neglect.
  • An estimated 1.2 million children - both boys and girls - are trafficked each year into exploitative work, including mining, factories, armed conflict or commercial sex work.


Time to Act: How to Talk about Drug Use With Your Teen
http://timetoact.drugfree.org/think-first-step-ask.html

Teen Drug Evolution: A Parent's Resource Guide
http://www.lakeviewhealth.com/teen-drug-evolution-a-parents-resource-guide.php

Top Family Safety Blogs and Websites
http://safesoundfamily.com/blog/best-family-safety-websites-and-blogs/

Child-Only Health Plans in the US
http://blog.ehealthmedicare.com/media-center/infographics/?pid=1



  There is the clinical assumption that children who feel compelled to keep sexual abuse a secret suffer greater psychic distress than victims who disclose the secret and receive assistance and support.
Source: Finkelhor & Browne, 1986.

  Early identification of sexual abuse victims appears to be crucial to the reduction of suffering of abused youth and to the establishment of support systems for assistance in pursuing appropriate psychological development and healthier adult functioning . As long as disclosure continues to be a problem for young victims, then fear, suffering, and psychological distress will, like the secret, remain with the victim.
Sources: Bagley, 1992; Bagley, 1991; Finkelhor et al. 1990; Whitlock & Gillman, 1989.>





 

 

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Child Sexual Abuse ~ Allegations

  In a twelve state study of approximately 9000 divorces cases, child sexual abuse allegations were made in less than 2% of contested divorces involving child custody.
Source: Association of Family Conciliation Courts, 1990.

  Reported cases of child sexual abuse reached epidemic proportions, with a reported 322 percent increase from 1980 to 1990.
Source: Sorensen & Snow, 1991.

  Bruises, burns, and broken bones are more easily identified as child abuse than is sexual assault.
Source: Farrell, 1988.

  This crime must usually be proven without corroboration or physical evidence.
Source: Janssen, 1984.

   A study conducted at Children's Hospital Medical Center of Cincinnati (Amy Arszman Daso and Robert Shapiro, M.D) indicates that child sexual abuse allegations should be taken seriously and found children's testimony more reliable than physical exams in cases of sexual abuse. The researchers reviewed the records of 31 pedophiles who confessed between 1994 and 1999. The 31 perpetrators confessed to a total of 101 acts of sexual abuse, some of which they committed multiple times. The perpetrators abused 47 children. The 45 old enough to provide a history described 111 acts of sexual abuse. "Physical exams are an unreliable indicator of sexual abuse," says Dr. Shapiro. "We're not saying that children never make things up, but the responsible reaction is to listen carefully to allegations of abuse so that abused children will be identified and false allegations recognized." (May 2000)
Contact: Jim Feuer (EMail: jfeuer@chmcc.org), Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, 513-636-4420





 

 

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Child Abuse & Child Sexual Abuse ~ Substantiated

Composition of substantiated child abuse in 2000:
  879,000 children were victims of child maltreatment.
  Neglect ~ 63%
  Physical ~ 19%
  Sexual ~ 10%
  Psychological ~ 8%

Victimization rates declined as age increased.
Rate of victimization per 1,000 children of the same age group:
  Birth to 3 years old = 15.7 victims per 1,000.
  Ages 16 and 17 = 5.7 victims per 1,000.

Except for victims of sexual abuse, rates
were similar for male and female victimization:
  11.2 and 12.8 per 1,000 children respectively.
Rate of sexual abuse by gender:
  1.7 victims per 1,000 female children
  0.4 victims per 1,000 male children.

Rate of child abuse by race:
  White = 51%
  African American = 25%
  Hispanic = 15%
  American Indian/Alaska Natives = 2%
  Asian/Pacific Islanders = 1%

The comparative annual rate of child victims:
  decreased steadily from 15.3 victims per 1,000 children in 1993
  to 11.8 victims per 1,000 children in 1999;
  then increased to 12.2 per 1,000 children in 2000.
Whether this is a trend cannot be determined until additional data are collected.

Source: US Dept of Health and Human Services,
Administration for Children & Families,
Child Welfare Information Gateway (formerly Nat'l Clearinghouse on Child Abuse & Neglect), 2000.






 
Child Victims

  An average of 5.5 children per 10,000 enrolled in day care are sexually abused, an average of 8.9 children out of every 10,000 are abused in the home
Source: Finkelhor & Williams, 1988.

  In the adult retrosptective study, victimization was reported by 27 percent of the women and 16 percent of the men. The median age for the occurrence of reported abuse was 9.9 for boys and 9.6 for girls. Victimization occurred before age eight for 22 percent of boys and for 23 percent of girls. Most of the abuse of both boys and girls was by offenders 10 or more years older than their victims. Girls were more likely than boys to disclose the abuse. Forty-two percent of the women and thirty-three percent of the men reported never having disclosed the experience to anyone.
Source: Finkelhor et al., 1990.

  "WHEN SEXUALLY abused boys are not treated, society must later deal with the resulting problems, including crime, suicide, drug use and more sexual abuse, said the study’s author, Dr. William C. Holmes of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine."  [snip]  "The earlier studies found that one-third of juvenile delinquents, 40 percent of sexual offenders and 76 percent of serial rapists report they were sexually abused as youngsters."  [snip]  "The suicide rate among sexually abused boys was 1½ to 14 times higher, and reports of multiple substance abuse among sixth-grade boys who were molested was 12 to 40 times greater."  [snip]  "Holmes said a review of the studies leads him to believe 10 percent to 20 percent of all boys are sexually abused in some way. But widely varying definitions of sexual abuse in the studies and differences in who was being studied make it difficult to accurately gauge the prevalence of sexual abuse, he said."
Full Story at MSNBC News, Dec 1998 (Note: may be archived).

  Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS):
1.  Sexual assault of young children as reported to law enforcement:
Victim, incident, and offender characteristics (Acrobat PDF or ASCII text).
2.  National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), ~ regarding sexual assault, especially of young children; based on reports from law enforcement agencies of 21 States and covering the years 1991 through 2002 (or, use the BJS search to find these documents).
The July 2000 NIBRS report presents sexual assault in 4 categories:
  Forcible rape,
  Forcible sodomy,
  Sexual assault with an object, and
  Forcible fondling.
Findings include statistics on the incidence of sexual assault, the victims, their offenders, gender, response to these crimes, locality, time of incident, the levels of victim injury, victims' perceptions of offenders' ages, and victim-offender relationships, and other detailed characteristics.
Highlights from 2000 include the following as reported to law enforcement:
  67% of victims of sexual assault were juveniles (under age 18);
  34% of sexual assault victims were under age 12;
  1 of every 7 victims of sexual assault were under age 6;
  40% of offenders who victimized children under age 6 were juveniles (under age 18).
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)



  NOTE: For information on the investigation and forensic psychology aspects of child sexual victimization, Dr. Suzanne Sgroi is an excellent resource (Law Enforcement And Child Abuse, by Sgroi and co-authored by law enforcement officer, Patricia Graves).

Excerpt from Sgroi's book review: "Helping sexually abused children depends on the combined efforts of law enforcement, medical, social service, and prosecution personnel. It is essential for those in each field to recognize and understand the others' responsibilities in dealing with child sexual abuse. Only then can we learn how best to help each other to help the victims and their families. As experience, research, and learning advance. It becomes increasingly clear that the police officer -- and indeed the entire criminal justice system -- are an integral part of identifying the problem, protecting the victim, and remedying the situation."




 
Impact of Child Sexual Abuse

  It is estimated that there are 60 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today.
Source: Forward, 1993.

  Approximately 31% of women in prison state that they had been abused as children.
Source: United States Department of Justice, 1991.

  Approximately 95% of teenage prostitutes have been sexually abused.
Source: CCPCA, 1992.

  It is estimated that children with disabilities are 4 to 10 times more vulnerable to sexual abuse than their non-disabled peers.
Source: National Resource Center on Child Sexual Abuse, 1992.

  Long term effects of child abuse include fear, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor self esteem, tendency toward substance abuse and difficulty with close relationships.
Source: Browne & Finkelhor, 1986.

  Clinical findings of adult victims of sexual abuse include problems in interpersonal relationships associated with an underlying mistrust. Generally, adult victims of incest have a severely strained relationship with their parents that is marked by feelings of mistrust, fear, ambivalence, hatred, and betrayal. These feelings may extend to all family members.
Source: Tsai and Wagner, 1978.

  Guilt is universally experienced by almost all victims. Courtois and Watts described the "sexual guilt" as "guilt derived from sexual pleasure"
Source: Tsai and Wagner, l978.

  Sexuality is regarded not simply as a part of the self limited to genitals, discrete behaviors, or biological aspects of reproduction, but is more properly understood as one component of the total personality that affects one's concept of personal identity and self-esteem.
Source: Whitlock & Gillman, 1989.

  Sexual victimization may profoundly interfere with and alter the development of attitudes toward self, sexuality, and trusting relationships during the critical early years of development.
Source: Tsai & Wagner, 1984.

  If the child victim does not resolve the trauma, sexuality may become an area of adult conflict.
Source: Courtois & Watts, 1982; Tsai & Wagner, 1984.

  There is the clinical assumption that children who feel compelled to keep sexual abuse a secret suffer greater psychic distress than victims who disclose the secret and receive assistance and support.
Source: Finkelhor & Browne, 1986.

  Early identification of sexual abuse victims appears to be crucial to the reduction of suffering of abused youth and to the establishment of support systems for assistance in pursuing appropriate psychological development and healthier adult functioning . As long as disclosure continues to be a problem for young victims, then fear, suffering, and psychological distress will, like the secret, remain with the victim.
Sources: Bagley, 1992; Bagley, 1991; Finkelhor et al. 1990; Whitlock & Gillman, 1989.

  Adolescents with a history of sexual abuse are significantly more likely than their counterparts to engage in sexual behavior that puts them at risk for HIV infection, according to Dr. Larry K. Brown and associates, from Rhode Island Hospital, in Providence.
See Medscape

  Adolescents with a history of sexual abuse are significantly more likely than their counterparts to engage in sexual behavior that puts them at risk for HIV infection, according to Dr. Larry K. Brown and associates, from Rhode Island Hospital, in Providence. Inconsistent condom use was three times more likely among youths who had been sexually abused than among the 55 who had not. A history of sexual abuse was also significantly associated with less impulse control and higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases. According to Dr. Brown, "These results suggest two things. Abused kids need adequate counseling around abuse issues. A lot of these kids keep re-experiencing the anxiety and trauma for years." The second issue, he said, is that "most therapy does not address current sexual behavior" and the anxieties that sexually abused adolescents experience.
Source: Larry K. Brown, M.D., et al, American Journal of Psychiatry 2000;157:1413-1415.

  Young girls who are forced to have sex are three times more likely to develop psychiatric disorders or abuse alcohol and drugs in adulthood, than girls who are not sexually abused. Sexual abuse was also more strongly linked with substance abuse than with psychiatric disorders. It was also suggested that sexual abuse may lead some girls to become sexually active at an earlier age and seek out older boyfriends who might, in turn, introduce them to drugs. Psychiatric disorders were from 2.6 to 3.3 times more common among women whose CSA included intercourse, and the risk of substance abuse was increased more than fourfold, according to the results. Family factors -- parental education, parenting behavior, family financial status, church attendance -- had little impact on the prevalence of psychiatric or substance abuse disorders among these women, the investigators observe. Similarly, parental psychopathology did not predict the association between CSA and later psychopathology.
Source: Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D., et al, Medical College of Virginia Commonwealth University, Archives of General Psychiatry 2000;57:953-959.
Also see review at Medscape

  Among both adolescent girls and boys, a history of sexual or physical abuse appears to increase the risk of disordered eating behaviors, such as self-induced vomiting or use of laxatives to avoid gaining weight. Among those at increased risk for disordered eating were respondents who had experienced sexual or physical abuse and those who gave low ratings to family communication, parental caring and parental expectations. In light of these findings, the researchers conclude that "strong familial relationships may decrease the risk for disordered eating among youth reporting abuse experiences."
Source: Dr. Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, et al, University of Minneapolis, International Journal of Eating Disorders 2000;28:249-258.

  Young girls who are sexually abused are more likely to develop eating disorders as adolescents. The findings also add to a growing body of research suggesting that trauma in childhood increases the risk of developing an eating disorder. Abused girls were more dissatisfied with their weight and more likely to diet and purge their food by vomiting or using laxatives and diuretics. Abused girls were also more likely to restrict their eating when they were bored or emotionally upset. Wonderlich suggests that abused girls might experience higher levels of emotional distress, possibly linked to their abuse, and have trouble coping. Food restriction and perhaps other eating disorder behaviors may (reflect) efforts to cope with such experiences. The report also indicates that while girls who were abused were less likely to exhibit perfectionist tendencies (such as making extreme efforts to avoid disappointing others and a need to be 'the best'), they tended to want thinner bodies than girls who had not been abused.
Source: Stephen A. Wonderlich, M.D., et al, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Fargo, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2000;391277-1283.

  US Healthcare system missing most mentally ill children and adolescents. More than 7 out of 10 American adolescents with mental health problems are getting no care, according to data released today at the Surgeon General's Conference on Children's Mental Health. See Medscape
 
 





Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Later Criminal Consequences

by Cathy Spatz Widom
Source: NIJ Research in Brief
March 1995

Discussed in the Brief: Previous research established evidence for a cycle of violence: people who were abused and neglected in childhood are more likely than those who were not to become involved in criminal behavior, including violent crime, later in life. This Research in Brief, the second in a series on the cycle of violence, examines the criminal consequences in adulthood of a particular type of childhood victimization: sexual abuse. It traces the same individuals studied initially, using official records of arrest and juvenile detention.



Sexual and Other Abuse
May Alter a Brain Region

"Many women and men who have been subjected to severe physical or sexual abuse during childhood suffer from long-term disturbances of the psyche. They may be invaded by nightmares and flashbacks -- much like survivors of war -- or, conversely, may freeze into benumbed calm in situations of extreme stress. Two recent studies find that survivors of child abuse may also have a smaller hippocampus relative to control subjects. If substantiated, the discovery could fill out the profile of an abuse survivor and help define what constitutes abuse."

"Changes in the hippocampus--the part of the brain that deals with short-term memory and possibly the encoding and retrieval of long-term memory--could, researchers suggest, be wrought by hormones flooding the brain during and after a stressful episode."

"Dissociation and PTSD are not sharply separated and often alternate in the same individual. Dissociation, often employed by children who cannot escape from the threat of abuse, is a means of mentally withdrawing from a horrific situation by separating it from conscious awareness. The skill allows the victim to feel detached from the body or self, as if what is happening is not happening to her or him."

"David W. Foy of Pepperdine University notes that within days or weeks of a traumatic experience, therapy seems beneficial in dispelling PTSD. This period, Bremner speculates, could reflect the timescale over which the hippocampus organizes experiences into a person's worldview. Although some functions of the hippocampus are known, its mechanics are poorly understood."

"Psychiatrists contend that if repeatedly invoked in childhood, dissociation prevents memories from being integrated into consciousness and can lead to an altered sense of self. Many normal children play with imaginary companions; abused children can use such creative resources to a pathological extent, in extreme cases falling prey to multiple personality disorder (MPD). Adults may continue to use dissociation as a coping mechanism. Once dissociation or PTSD develops, the majority of psychological symptoms and the hormonal profile are very resistant to treatment."

Reference: Scientific American, N.Y., (273: 4) 10/95, page 14.





 
Sex Offenders

  The typical child sex offender molests an average of 117 children, most of who do not report the offence.
Source: National Institute of Mental Health, 1988.

  About 60% of the male survivors sampled report at least one of their perpetrators to be female.
Source: Mendel, 1993.

  About 95% of victims know their perpetrators.
Source: CCPCA, 1992.

  It is estimated that approximately 71% of child sex offenders are under 35 and knew the victim at least casually. About 80% of these individuals fall within normal intelligence ranges; 59% gain sexual access to their victims through, seduction or enticement.
Source: Burgess & Groth, 1984.


 


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U.S. Dpt of Health & Human Services,

Administration for Children and Families

Survey Shows Dramatic Increase
in Child Abuse and Neglect, 1986-1993


Excerpts from HHS Release, September 18, 1996
Link to Full HHS Release

The Department of Health and Human Services released a survey estimating that child abuse and neglect in the United States nearly doubled during the seven years between 1986 and 1993.

According to the HHS study, the number of total child maltreatment instances that were investigated by state agencies remained constant from 1986 to 1993; however, the percentage of cases investigated declined dramatically.


"It is shameful and startling to see that so many more children are in danger and that proportionately fewer incidents are investigated," HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala said. "Now states, schools, health care professionals -- all of us -- must commit ourselves to investigating and preventing child abuse with far greater effectiveness than we have seen in the past."


The report estimated the number of abused and neglected children increased from 1.4 million in 1986, to over 2.8 million in 1993. The number of children who were seriously injured quadrupled from about 143,000 to nearly 570,000.


Schools identified the largest number of children at risk, yet state services investigated only 16 percent of these children. For the cases identified in the study, less than 50 percent of children identified as maltreated by any source (except law enforcement) were investigated by child protective services.


Shalala said, "We are giving states more flexibility, demanding more accountability and focusing on the only bottom line that matters: results."


In regard to sexual victimization, the NIS survey concluded:

  Girls are sexually abused three times more often than boys;
  Boys have greater risk of emotional neglect & serious injury than girls.

The NIS is funded by HHS National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect and mandated by Congress. Previous NIS studies were released in 1981 and 1988.



http://www.prevent-abuse-now.com/stats.htm


FAQ

What is the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline?
The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline is a free, confidential, secure service that provides live help over the RAINN website.

Who should use the Online Hotline?

  • Victims of sexual assault (whether their attack took place today or decades ago)
  • Spouses, family members, and partners of victims
  • Friends of victims

What services does the Online Hotline provide?

  • Crisis intervention and support
  • Answers to your questions about recovering from sexual assault
  • Information about medical issues
  • Explanations of the criminal justice system, and what to expect when you report the crime to the police
  • Referrals to resources in your area
  • Information for family and friends of victims

How does it work?
It works just like instant messaging. You'll go into a private session with a trained volunteer and communicate, live, by typing messages back and forth. The service is completely anonymous, and you do not have to give your name or any personal information.

Who provides the help?
Online Hotline services are provided by RAINN and local rape crisis centers across the US, with the help of hundreds of trained volunteers. All trained volunteers have successfully completed state-mandated training and receive ongoing supervision from their local center. Online Hotline supervisors monitor sessions for quality control.

Does the Online Hotline provide ongoing help?
The Online Hotline provides immediate crisis help and information about recovery and prosecution. If you need ongoing help, your trained volunteer will connect you to your local rape crisis center, which provides free individual and group support sessions and other services. You can always reach your local rape crisis center directly by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE.

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