Therapy Focused On Children Affected By Sexual Abuse

1540 words - 7 pages

Sexual abuse is a complicated term due to the ambiguity and the lack of normativity; sometimes a definition would include specific conducts that not necessarily express the idea at its best. Different states in the United States have different normativity in regards to the topic as well. To Paris Goodyear-Brown sexual abuse in children “will be defined as any sexual activity involving a child in which the child is unable or unwilling to give consent” (2012 p. 4). This way the term is fixed in an abroad manner and can be easily accommodated to a situation in particular. The same author later enlarges the definition saying that sexual abuse could be either with contact or without it, as long ...view middle of the document...

The effects of sexual abuse in a child usually lead to anger problems and violence, when the child is male he would tend to be more aggressive towards his peers and other people. On the other hand, in the case that the child is a female she would have a tendency to be more sexually open with the other sex; besides, the child probably would tend to be more isolated (Crosson-Tower, 2002). Furthermore, Karakurt and Silver expose three main themes that sexual abuse victims are going to experience in their interpersonal life; these three are betrayal, powerlessness, and stigmatization (2014), Kingsley (2001) adds to the themes the traumatic sexualisation factor.
The first of these main consequences of sexual abuse is the feeling of Betrayal. Karakurt and Silver represent it as the recognition that someone has caused harm and disrupted the role of a person who they can trust (2014). The main point to consider is that this betrayal will have a negative impact in the child, as he would not be able to trust in his own circle of care. The second consequence exposed is Powerlessness, which is the feeling of being freeze of action. This means that the child and his family can find “themselves in uncharted territory, relatives can feel paralyzed and unable to help or support” (Kingsley, 2001 p. 50). Next, the theme of Stigmatization can be defined as the feeling of shame and guilt that the kid and the family would sense. It is the thought of responsibility that will govern their mind, as part of their internalization of the event (Karakurt & Silver, 2014). Finally, the last theme included by Kingsley is the idea of Traumatic Sexualisation, which will play a role of feeling that the rest of the family is part of the abuse; for example, the idea of fear to sex that a brother of the abused kid will experience (2001).
When the family faces the abuse, Crosson-Tower (2002) indicates that there can be three different phases that will govern the treatment in the family members. Disclosure-Panic is the first and the most critical period, because in this period of time the family is still shocked about the event and they will tend to overreact, in an aggressive way most of the times. The denial is part of this period, due to the attempt of dissipate the doubts and prejudices about the family, in most of the cases, the perpetrator will be the one who shows more tendency to lie and give the kid the responsibility of inventing stories. In this phase, the child would tend to be more fragile and overwhelmed by the shame and guilt. This period is critic for the counselor, because is where the most self-destruction appears. The second phase that the family will have to face is the Assessment-Awareness, in this period of time the family has to deal with the abuse. They are stop being in denial and start accepting whatever has happened. “Roles of parents and children must be redefined so that members recognize their appropriate roles in the future.” And “Fear fluctuates with...

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