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Facts and Figures For Parents

ParentsWhat is classified as general trauma?

Traumatic life experiences challenge a person's normal coping efforts. For children and adolescents, traumatic experiences include such things as sexual and other physical abuse and neglect, peer or family suicide, dog bites, severe burns, natural disasters (e.g. floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.), fires, and medical procedures. It can be traumatic for children to witness or experience violent crimes (e.g., kidnapping, sniper fire, and school shootings) or vehicle accidents such as automobile and plane crashes. Witnessing assault, rape, or murder of a parent can also be traumatic for children.

What are signs of traumatic grief?

Grief is defined as a deep, painful psychological wound caused by loss, misfortune, or disaster. Traumatic grief is a condition that can effect children's achievement, relationships, development, and later effectiveness in life if not treated or otherwise resolved

How do you define child sexual abuse?

Child sexual abuse is forced, tricked, or coerced sexual behavior between a young person and an older person. Sexual abuse may consist of any one of the following acts: nudity, disrobing, genital exposure, observation of the child, kissing, fondling, masturbation, oral-genital contact, child pornography, digital penetration, and vaginal or anal intercourse.

Is the perpetrator always older than the victim?

There is no rule governing the age range between a victim and a perpetrator. However, when the perpetrator is under 18 years of age, often an age discrepancy of five years has been required to verify cases of sexual abuse where no force was involved.

Is it true that one in four girls and one in ten boys are abused prior to age 18?

While many estimates have been made, the national incidence rate of sexual abuse remains unknown. The estimate that one in four girls and one in ten boys are abused prior to age 18 became widely known simply from being repeated.

Who are the perpetrators of sexual abuse?

Generally, children are sexually abused by adults who are related to them or known by them or their families. Looking at a number of retrospective surveys, results have indicated that no more than 10% to 30% of the offenders were strangers. In sexual abuse cases committed against females, approximately one third to one-half of all perpetrators were related to the victim. Only about one-tenth of the abusers were related to their male victims. Acquaintance perpetrators are the most common abusers, constituting approximately 70-90% of all reported perpetrators. In addition, males are reported to be the abusers in 80% to 95% of cases. Perpetrators of sexual abuse are not only adults. Many clinical settings currently are witnessing a dramatic increase in the number of adolescent offenders who have committed sexually aggressive acts against other children.

What is the average age at the onset of sexual abuse?

The most vulnerable age for sexual abuse is between 7 and 13 years.18 Reported victims of sexual abuse are most often children of school age, although cases have been documented from infancy to adulthood.

What types of children are more likely to experience sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse occurs among all groups of the population. It happens to children in both rural and urban areas and in all socioeconomic and educational levels, and across all racial and cultural groups. Statistics indicate that girls are more frequently the victims of sexual abuse, but the number of boy victims is significant. Estimates suggest that males account for 25% to 35% of child sexual abuse victims. Research has found that the absence of a parent from the home increases the child's risk. In addition, interviews with perpetrators suggest that they look for vulnerable children. Such children are young and appear to be isolated, depressed, or lonely.

Is there help for abused kids?

SPARCS (Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress) is an evidence-informed group program for adolescents who have a history of chronic exposure to trauma and who may be currently living in a stressful environment. Age ranges for this program are from 13-17 years of age. It is helpful for adolescents who struggle with physical, emotional or behavioral difficulties that disrupt their day-to-day functioning and overall well-being, including difficulties with social interactions and academic performance. SPARCS is designed to help build awareness of the physical, emotional and behavioral effects of and responses to stress. It aids adolescents in developing personal tools to more effectively cope with current and future stressors. This is accomplished by learning how to manage emotions and behavior, improving problem-solving abilities and enhancing communication skills. Finally, SPARCS also focuses on learning how to build supportive relationships with family and peers and on developing a positive self-concept and a sense of purpose in life.

ITCT (Integrative Therapy for Complex Trauma) is a skill-based, structured intensive treatment protocol for children and adolescents who have a history of exposure to chronic trauma, which has resulted in serious emotional and behavioral difficulties. ITCT is a very flexible intervention designed to address specific needs through assessment and intervention in multi-modal formats (individual, group, family) and by promoting support and resiliency through the child's existing social networks. ITCT is an evidence-based practice that addresses both attachment and trauma related symptoms by improving skills in distress tolerance, emotion regulation, impulse control, stress management, self-esteem and social skills. Exploration of the child's trauma history is conducted in a developmentally appropriate manner, only proceeding at a pace that is comfortable and safe for the child. Age ranges are from 6-18 years old.

CSBP (Children with Sexual and Behavior Problems) is a program for children between the ages of 3 and 12 years old. CSBP is for children who are exhibiting sexualized behaviors such as; excessive masturbation, touching other kid's private parts, engaging in any type of sex acts with other kids, "peeping," exposing themselves in public, etc. This program also provides the caregiver with a counseling group that will provide support, and techniques for how to handle situations that may occur with their child. This program is effective only if the caregiver agrees to participate in the group meetings.

FLARES (Families Learning About REcovery Strategies) is an evidence-based practice that helps youth and their families cope with the effects of trauma through psychoeducation about trauma and its effects, skill development for adolescents and caregivers and support from peers who have had similar trauma.

To schedule an appointment please call: (314) 516-6798

Source: Prevent Child Abuse America