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Child Abuse

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Abusers disempower their victims in any way they possibly can in order to gain the upper hand. This can result in what is known as Learned Helplessness, a theory Martin Seligman introduced based on research he conducted at Cornell University in 1967. From Wikipedia: “Learned Helplessness is a psychological condition in which a human being or animal has learned to believe that it is helpless in a particular situation. It has come to believe that it has no control over its situation and that whatever it does is futile. As a result, the human being or animal will stay passive in the face of an unpleasant, harmful or damaging situation, even when it does actually have the power to change its circumstances. Learned helplessness theory is the view that depression results from a perceived lack of control over the events in one’s life, which may result from prior exposure to…

For the trusted adult: when a child discloses their sexual abuse to you, it means that they trust you. It’s important to react in a responsible way that’s reassuring to the child. Disclosure of sexual abuse means a child has chosen you as the person he or she trusts enough to tell. It is the moment when children learn whether others can be trusted to stand up for them. Below are some guidelines for how to handle a disclosure. Talking to children about signs you see or something they’ve told you: Find a quiet, non-isolated place to talk. Drop to the child’s eye level, or sit next to the child. Remain calm, be patient, and try not to rush the child. Ask the child about the sign in a simple, open-ended style. “I’m worried about you. You seem really afraid and sad.” Or, “Is anything bothering you?” Listen to the response. Repeat what…

Education is a major component with regards to internet safety. The internet provides an opportunity for children to learn, explore their world, and socialize with friends. By understanding the potential dangers your children face, you can more easily communicate with them about having safer digital experiences. There are so many positive things that children can encounter online, including new ways to learn and connect with the world around them. However, being online and vulnerable can also put children at risk for “grooming”, the solicitation of children for the purposes of sexual abuse and exploitation. Grooming involves getting close to them and gaining their trust, which is easy to do online. It is easy for offenders to hide who they are and to find children, for example via chat forums focused on things young people like or games that provide chat functions. Perpetrators form relationships with children, often times pretending to be children themselves and seeking to…

Grooming can be defined as the process of desensitization of a victim by a perpetrator in order to make them less likely to reject or report sexual abusive behaviour. Grooming can happen when there is a power differential within a relationship, which the abuser exploits for their own gratification. This is most commonly recognized as a tactic used by paedophiles, both on children and parents. However, adults can also be groomed. Grooming may also include threats or bribes, which persuade the child or young person that it would be impossible to ask for help. Child grooming Age difference is one example of a power differential. Children are taught to respect older children and adults – many abusers take advantage of this. Someone who was groomed as a child might find it hard to accept that what happened to them was ‘abuse’. The abuser may have taken an interest in them…

There has been extensive studies on the adverse effects of childhood sexual trauma which shows that exposure to initial traumatic experiences—and the resulting emotional dysregulation and loss of safety, direction, and the ability to detect or respond to danger cues—often sets off a chain of events leading to subsequent or repeated trauma exposure in adolescence and adulthood.. It is highly important for everyone to take major precautions towards protecting their children from childhood sexual abuse and/or other forms of complex trauma, such as  child maltreatment—including psychological maltreatment, neglect, physical abuse, and domestic violence; it is equally important to seek immediate intervention on discovering that a child has been victimized in order to prevent long term effects, the sooner the better. The whole purpose of these materials is to wake people up to the reality of sexual violence and motivate everyone to become part of the solution. In this talk, Dr Nadine…