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HowChildrenExperienceAbuseprintable.pdf

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HOW CHILDREN HOW CHILDREN HOW CHILDREN HOW CHILDREN EXPERIENCE ABUSEEXPERIENCE ABUSE

Dynamics of VictimizationDynamics of Victimization

DYNAMICS OFDYNAMICS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSECHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Help us understand the Help us understand the child’s perspective and child’s perspective and child s perspective and child s perspective and

coping strategiescoping strategies

Adapted from © CornerHouse 2002

Child Sexual Abuse Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation SyndromeAccommodation Syndrome

Roland Summit, MDRoland Summit, MD

S S -- SecrecySecrecy HH H lpl ssn ssH lpl ssn ssH H -- HelplessnessHelplessness

E E -- Entrapment and AccommodationEntrapment and Accommodation

D D -- Delayed or Unconvincing DisclosureDelayed or Unconvincing Disclosure

R R -- RetractionRetraction © Finding Words New Jersey

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SecrecySecrecy Summit, 1983Summit, 1983

Terrifying reality of child Terrifying reality of child sexual abuse: sexual abuse:

Child is alone with the offenderChild is alone with the offender Threats/promises to keep secretThreats/promises to keep secret Sh m nd iltSh m nd iltShame and guiltShame and guilt

Nondisclosure RatesNondisclosure Rates (Lyon, 2002)(Lyon, 2002) Women: 33Women: 33--92%92% Men: 42Men: 42--85% 85%

86% of sexual assaults to 86% of sexual assaults to adolescents unreportedadolescents unreported (NIJ, 2003)(NIJ, 2003) 70% of sample told to keep 70% of sample told to keep abuse secretabuse secret (Berliner & Conte, 1990)(Berliner & Conte, 1990) © Finding Words New Jersey

HelplessnessHelplessness Summit, 1983Summit, 1983

Children are subordinate to older Children are subordinate to older people, especially those in people, especially those in authority authority Perpetrators groom children in Perpetrators groom children in nonnon--sexual ways firstsexual ways firstyy Typical response of small Typical response of small creatures to terror is to freezecreatures to terror is to freeze Child’s guilt about not protesting Child’s guilt about not protesting leads to more silenceleads to more silence Victims report saying “no” would Victims report saying “no” would have only resulted in continued have only resulted in continued abuse and perhaps further harm abuse and perhaps further harm (Berliner & Conte, 1990)(Berliner & Conte, 1990)

© Finding Words New Jersey

Entrapment & AccommodationEntrapment & Accommodation Summit, 1983Summit, 1983

Typically occurs repeatedly; child Typically occurs repeatedly; child must survivemust survive Child must accommodate to Child must accommodate to increasing sexual demands increasing sexual demands increasing sexual demands increasing sexual demands Child must accommodate to Child must accommodate to increasing awareness of betrayal by increasing awareness of betrayal by caretakerscaretakers--problems in relationship problems in relationship with nonwith non--offending parentoffending parent Feel responsible for the wellFeel responsible for the well--being being of the entire familyof the entire family Special problems of male victimsSpecial problems of male victims

© Finding Words New Jersey

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Entrapment & AccommodationEntrapment & Accommodation (cont’d…)(cont’d…)

Summit, 1983Summit, 1983 Behavioral Strategies: sexualized Behavioral Strategies: sexualized behavior, lying, difficulty concentrating, behavior, lying, difficulty concentrating, substance abuse, running awaysubstance abuse, running away Psychological Strategies:Psychological Strategies:y g gy g g

FragmentingFragmenting DissociationDissociation Dissociative Identity DisorderDissociative Identity Disorder

Delayed or Unconvincing Delayed or Unconvincing DisclosureDisclosure

Summit, 1983Summit, 1983

“Most on“Most on--going sexual abuse is going sexual abuse is nevernever disclosed outside the family.”disclosed outside the family.” Disclosure in bits and piecesDisclosure in bits and piecespp Disclosed almost incidentally in state Disclosed almost incidentally in state of turmoilof turmoil Disclosed without evident feelingDisclosed without evident feeling In a sample of sexually abused In a sample of sexually abused children (N=248), 75% did not children (N=248), 75% did not disclose within a year of onset (Elliot disclose within a year of onset (Elliot & Briere, 1994).& Briere, 1994).

© Finding Words New Jersey

Delayed or Unconvincing Delayed or Unconvincing DisclosureDisclosure

Triggers for disclosure:Triggers for disclosure: Family conflictFamily conflict Incidental discovery by 3Incidental discovery by 3rdrd partypartyIncidental discovery by 3Incidental discovery by 3 partyparty Outreach educationOutreach education Protection of younger childrenProtection of younger children Medical problemsMedical problems Close friendshipClose friendship

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RetractionRetraction

Chaotic Aftermath of DisclosureChaotic Aftermath of Disclosure Family stress and disbeliefFamily stress and disbelief Potential family disintegration and guiltPotential family disintegration and guilt After disclosure child discovers the threats After disclosure child discovers the threats After disclosure, child discovers the threats After disclosure, child discovers the threats underlying the secrecy are trueunderlying the secrecy are true Unsupportive interactions with larger Unsupportive interactions with larger systems.systems.

RetractionRetraction Summit, 1983Summit, 1983

Recantation rates across studies range from Recantation rates across studies range from 44--50% 50% (Lyon, 2002)(Lyon, 2002) Recantation rates from 4Recantation rates from 4--27% 27% (London, Bruck, (London, Bruck, Ceci & Shuman, 2005)Ceci & Shuman, 2005)

Recantations most likely to occur in Recantations most likely to occur in intrafamilial abuse cases where significant intrafamilial abuse cases where significant family members are disbelieving, nonfamily members are disbelieving, non-- supportive, blaming, and stressed.supportive, blaming, and stressed.

© Finding Words New Jersey

The Traumagenic ModelThe Traumagenic Model Finkelhor & Browne, 1985Finkelhor & Browne, 1985

1.1. BetrayalBetrayal

2.2. Traumatic Traumatic SexualizationSexualization

3.3. PowerlessnessPowerlessness

4.4. StigmatizationStigmatization

Adapted from © CornerHouse 2002

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BetrayalBetrayal Finkelhor & Browne, 1985Finkelhor & Browne, 1985

Perpetrator in position of trust/authorityPerpetrator in position of trust/authority Child discovers that someone he/she Child discovers that someone he/she depended upon caused harmdepended upon caused harmp pp p Grief reactions and depression over the Grief reactions and depression over the loss of a trusted figureloss of a trusted figure Higher levels of posttraumatic and Higher levels of posttraumatic and dissociative symptoms dissociative symptoms (Leahy, Pretty, & (Leahy, Pretty, & Tenenbaum, 2004)Tenenbaum, 2004) Can lead to avoidance of close Can lead to avoidance of close relationships or to indiscriminate choicesrelationships or to indiscriminate choices

© Finding Words New Jersey

Traumatic SexualizationTraumatic Sexualization Finkelhor & Browne, 1985Finkelhor & Browne, 1985

Inappropriate conditioning of child’s Inappropriate conditioning of child’s sexual responsivenesssexual responsiveness Problematic beliefs and feelings Problematic beliefs and feelings associated with sexuality as well as associated with sexuality as well as dysfunctional arousal patterns can dysfunctional arousal patterns can developdevelop

© Finding Words New Jersey

Traumatic Sexualization (cont’d..)Traumatic Sexualization (cont’d..) Finkelhor & Browne, 1985Finkelhor & Browne, 1985

Examples:Examples: Sexual preoccupations and repetitive sexual behavior Sexual preoccupations and repetitive sexual behavior of young child victims, such as masturbation or of young child victims, such as masturbation or compulsive sex play.compulsive sex play. Display of sexual knowledge and interests that are Display of sexual knowledge and interests that are p y gp y g inappropriate to their age.inappropriate to their age. Confusion of sexuality with nurturance or power.Confusion of sexuality with nurturance or power. Promiscuity in adolescence, aversion to sex, Promiscuity in adolescence, aversion to sex, flashbacks to the molestation experience, difficulty flashbacks to the molestation experience, difficulty with arousal and orgasm, with arousal and orgasm, vaginismusvaginismus, negative , negative attitudes toward their sexuality and their bodies.attitudes toward their sexuality and their bodies.

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PowerlessnessPowerlessness Finkehlor & Browne, 1985Finkehlor & Browne, 1985

Child cannot control noxious eventsChild cannot control noxious events Child’s attempts to halt the abuse are Child’s attempts to halt the abuse are frustrated; e.g., when they unsuccessfully frustrated; e.g., when they unsuccessfully attempt to report abuseattempt to report abusep pp p Force & threat are not necessary to instill Force & threat are not necessary to instill powerlessnesspowerlessness Narratives of victims analyzed for themes of Narratives of victims analyzed for themes of perpetrator methods perpetrator methods (Leahy, Pretty, & Tenenbaum, 2004)(Leahy, Pretty, & Tenenbaum, 2004)

Created powerless victim (deception and force)Created powerless victim (deception and force) Created omnipotent perpetrator (reality Created omnipotent perpetrator (reality definition/control & manipulation)definition/control & manipulation)

© Finding Words New Jersey

Powerlessness Powerlessness (cont’d…)(cont’d…)

Finkelhor & Browne, 1985Finkelhor & Browne, 1985

Fear and anxiety symptoms: nightmares, Fear and anxiety symptoms: nightmares, phobias, hypervigilance, clinging behavior, and phobias, hypervigilance, clinging behavior, and

l l p yp g g gp yp g g g somatic complaintssomatic complaints Sense of impotence: despair, depression, Sense of impotence: despair, depression, suicidal behavior, learning problems, inability to suicidal behavior, learning problems, inability to cope with environments that continues on into cope with environments that continues on into adolescence and adulthood, revictimizationadolescence and adulthood, revictimization Compensating for powerlessness: needs to Compensating for powerlessness: needs to control and dominatecontrol and dominate

StigmatizationStigmatization Finkelhor & Browne, 1985Finkelhor & Browne, 1985

Child’s knows that the activity is deviant and taboo and Child’s knows that the activity is deviant and taboo and abuser may convey negative statementsabuser may convey negative statements Negative connotations (badness, shame, & guilt) are Negative connotations (badness, shame, & guilt) are communicated to the child, especially after disclosurecommunicated to the child, especially after disclosure-- b i t d i t th hild’ lfb i t d i t th hild’ lf i C lt l i C lt l become incorporated into the child’s selfbecome incorporated into the child’s self--image. Cultural image. Cultural meaning plays a big role.meaning plays a big role. Risk of revictimization Risk of revictimization (Classen, Palesh & Aggarwal, 2005)(Classen, Palesh & Aggarwal, 2005)

2/3 revictimization rate2/3 revictimization rate Predictors: childhood sexual abuse & severityPredictors: childhood sexual abuse & severity Associated with multiple difficulties including selfAssociated with multiple difficulties including self--blame and blame and shameshame

© Finding Words New Jersey

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How Children Experience How Children Experience AbuseAbuse

Interview ExamplesInterview ExamplesInterview ExamplesInterview Examples

Victim Responses to AbuseVictim Responses to Abuse Twaite & RodriguezTwaite & Rodriguez--Srednicki, 2004Srednicki, 2004

Whiffen & MacIntosh, 2005Whiffen & MacIntosh, 2005 KendallKendall--Tackett, Meyer & Finkelhor, 1993Tackett, Meyer & Finkelhor, 1993

Swanstone, Tebbutt, O’Toole & Oates, 1997Swanstone, Tebbutt, O’Toole & Oates, 1997

DepressionDepression Anxiety DisordersAnxiety Disorders Di i ti /di i ti di dDi i ti /di i ti di dDissociation/dissociative disordersDissociation/dissociative disorders Post traumatic stress symptomsPost traumatic stress symptoms Attachment issuesAttachment issues Fears and somatic complaintsFears and somatic complaints Sexual behavior problemsSexual behavior problems Generalized behavior problemsGeneralized behavior problems SelfSelf--esteem issuesesteem issues

Victim Responses to AbuseVictim Responses to Abuse KendallKendall--Tackett, Meyer & Finkelhor, 1993Tackett, Meyer & Finkelhor, 1993

Ketring & Feinauer, 1999Ketring & Feinauer, 1999

Victim Impact ContinuumVictim Impact Continuum

DurationDuration FrequencyFrequency ForceForce Invasiveness of abuseInvasiveness of abuse

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Victim Responses to AbuseVictim Responses to Abuse Jonzon & Lindblad, 2005 Jonzon & Lindblad, 2005

KendallKendall--Tackett, Meyer & Finkelhor, 1993Tackett, Meyer & Finkelhor, 1993

Victim Impact ContinuumVictim Impact Continuum

Other maltreatment (physical abuse)Other maltreatment (physical abuse)p yp y SupportSupport

Support from partners and friends in adulthoodSupport from partners and friends in adulthood Maternal support in childhoodMaternal support in childhood

Coping/outlookCoping/outlook

Victim Responses to AbuseVictim Responses to Abuse KKendallendall--Tackett, Meyer & Finkelhor, 1993Tackett, Meyer & Finkelhor, 1993

Victim Impact ContinuumVictim Impact Continuum

?? AgeAge •• Age at time of assessment Age at time of assessment appearsappears relatedrelatedAge at time of assessment Age at time of assessment appearsappears relatedrelated •• Difficult to assess due to intervening variablesDifficult to assess due to intervening variables

?? GenderGender •• Studies inconsistent; recommended for further Studies inconsistent; recommended for further

researchresearch

Victim Responses to AbuseVictim Responses to Abuse KendallKendall--Tackett, Meyer & Finkelhor, 1993Tackett, Meyer & Finkelhor, 1993

Ketring & Feinauer, 1999Ketring & Feinauer, 1999 Leahy, Pretty & Tenenbaum, 2004Leahy, Pretty & Tenenbaum, 2004

Victim Impact ContinuumVictim Impact Continuum

Vi timVi tim P p t t R l ti nship P p t t R l ti nship VictimVictim--Perpetrator Relationship Perpetrator Relationship Range: Father figure..other Range: Father figure..other family/acquaintance..strangerfamily/acquaintance..stranger “Closeness” of relationship“Closeness” of relationship High levels of authority/trust associated with High levels of authority/trust associated with emotional manipulation and increased symptomsemotional manipulation and increased symptoms

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Victim Responses to AbuseVictim Responses to Abuse

VictimVictim--Perpetrator Perpetrator RelationshipRelationship

TargetTarget Sees self as victimSees self as victim “Why me?”“Why me?” May be more frightened May be more frightened but less guilt riddentbut less guilt riddent

Victim Responses to AbuseVictim Responses to Abuse

VictimVictim--Perpetrator RelationshipPerpetrator Relationship

FriendFriend Begins as one of companionshipBegins as one of companionship May fill a parental gapMay fill a parental gap Possibility of protectiveness by victim Possibility of protectiveness by victim toward perpetratortoward perpetrator

Victim Responses to AbuseVictim Responses to Abuse

VictimVictim--Perpetrator Perpetrator RelationshipRelationship

SibliSibliSiblingSibling Enmeshed system in Enmeshed system in familyfamily Age or power difference Age or power difference may not be perceived by may not be perceived by victimvictim

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Victim Responses to AbuseVictim Responses to Abuse

VictimVictim--Perpetrator RelationshipPerpetrator Relationship

CaretakerCaretaker Vigilant of perpetrator’s needsVigilant of perpetrator’s needs Protective of perpetratorProtective of perpetrator May also be concerned about impact on May also be concerned about impact on rest of familyrest of family

Victim Responses to AbuseVictim Responses to Abuse VictimVictim--Perpetrator Perpetrator

RelationshipRelationship

LoverLover A d A d Age and power Age and power difference not difference not perceived by victimperceived by victim Feelings of specialnessFeelings of specialness Protective of Protective of perpetratorperpetrator

“What it was “What it was like to be an like to be an

incest incest victim”victim”

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Some day maybe there will exist a well informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that theconviction, that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit.

- Erik Erickson © CornerHouse 2002