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The Path to Healing: Treating the Victims of Child Sexual Abuse. Liz Evans Poli-303- Topics in Political Theory, Death in America Prof. Basu Spring 2005. Child Sexual Abuse Key Terms and Basic Facts.

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the path to healing treating the victims of child sexual abuse

The Path to Healing:Treating the Victims of Child Sexual Abuse

Liz Evans

Poli-303- Topics in Political Theory, Death in America

Prof. Basu

Spring 2005

child sexual abuse key terms and basic facts
Child Sexual AbuseKey Terms and Basic Facts
  • In Oregon, there are more than 10,000confirmed child abuse and neglect reports each year.
  • Nationwide, at least three children die each day as a result of abuse and neglect.

In Oregon in 2003

There were 9,500 child abuse/neglect victims, 13% of them lived in Marion County

There were 1,111 confirmed reports of child sexual abuse

14 children died of abuse or neglect

child sexual abuse key terms and basic facts1
Child Sexual AbuseKey Terms and Basic Facts
  • Under Oregon law there are five defined types of abuse. These include:
    • Physical abuse Emotional maltreatment
    • Sexual abuse
    • Neglect Threat of Harm
    • I have focused on sexual abuse because it is the most prevalent type reported to the Liberty House.
  • Sexual Abuse: Includes, but is not limited to:
      • Rape, sodomy, incest, or sexual penetration with a foreign object.
      • Exposing oneself before a child, or exposing the genitals of a child.
      • Fondling.
      • Sexual harassment.
      • Forcing, permitting or encouraging a child to watch pornography or sexual activities.
liberty house child abuse assessment center
Liberty House:Child Abuse Assessment Center
  • Victims:
    • Quick Stats:
      • Liberty House sees an average of 25 - 30 children every month, both boys and girls, ages 0 - 17.
      • Preschool aged children (5 and under) account for 45% of Liberty House patients
      • Nearly 3 out of every 4 are female
      • Children know the offender87% of the time.
      • Most children are referred by law enforcement, Child Welfare or medical providers.
      • Children are primarily referred due to concerns of sexual abuse.

liberty house child abuse assessment center1
Liberty House:Child Abuse Assessment Center
  • Funding:
    • Liberty House is a private, nonprofit organization providing services at no cost to families
      • Donations, private grants, and other fundraising
      • State grants such as
        • CAMI (Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Intervention), funded by criminal and traffic fines assessed in Marion County
        • VOCA (Victims Of Crime Act), funded by federal fines
      • Liberty House also receives medical insurance payments, including Crime Victims Compensation if the family does not have medical coverage for an assessment.
liberty house child abuse assessment center2
Liberty House:Child Abuse Assessment Center
  • Services:
    • A family’s visit to the Liberty House can be nerve-wracking and care-givers are often in states of grief for the victim and/or abuser. The child is often wary of a medical environment and of talking to strangers. The LH staff are experienced and do everything they can to make the situation as comfortable as possible for all parties.
      • Child Interview:
        • Child friendly environment
        • Videotaped for evidence
      • Medical Exam:
        • Over-all health and well-being
        • Check for signs of abuse
        • Routine and non-threatening
      • Family support:
        • Crisis counseling
        • Education and support to help kids heal
        • Referrals for further support

liberty house child abuse assessment center3
Liberty House:Child Abuse Assessment Center
  • Service Learning:
    • Family Support Specialist, Laurie Lorenz-Glantz
    • As an intern at the Liberty House I spent my time in both a service-learning and job shadowing capacity. Throughout my 25 hours there, I had the chance to listen to and observe all parts of the process from family support to the child’s medical check-up and interview. In addition, Laurie provided me with educational materials and videos from which I could learn. The remaining half of my time was spent updating care provider lists, organized by types of insurance accepted, to be handed out to care-givers to ensure they find continued support for their child.
    • My experiences at the Liberty House introduced me to the issues surrounding child sexual abuse:
      • The effects this abuse has on quality of life
      • Helping children heal
      • Preventing the abused from becoming abusers
    • And it made me think about the abusers themselves, their stories and whether the system is taking care of the abused and failing the abusers.
monst er or human offenders of child sexual abuse why do offenders offend
Sexual abuse in childhood

Veneziano, Veneziano and LeGrand (2000) found support for the victim to victimizer hypothesis of sexual aggression with 74 sexually abusive youth. Burton, (2000), Burton, Miller, & Shill, (2002) built on their ideas with data from 179 adolescent sexual abusers.

In an examination of relationships, gender, modus operandi, and acts, the sexually abused youth were likely to repeat what was done to them.

Touching problems

Liberty House: Child A, 4 year old female “touched” by Child B, 5 year old male


Ensure proper support for Child A

Parents of Child B concerned with punishment

What’s normal exploration between children of similar ages?

Child B’s touching problem - How likely is he to offend as an adult?

Wilcox, Richards, and O’Keefe (2004) note that significant proportion of sexual offending is perpetrated by children and teenagers, many of whom continue to offend into adulthood.

They point out the importance of identifying and treating these children in a way sensitive to their rights and welfare, to ensure safer communities.

How many children could have been saved had their abusers been saved themselves in childhood?

Monster Or Human? Offenders of Child Sexual AbuseWhy do offenders offend?
monster or human offenders of child sexual abuse
Monster or Human?Offenders of Child Sexual Abuse
  • Jake Goldenflame
    • Interviewed on the Oprah show, convicted sex offender
    • Out on parole for 12 years, Jake now advocates that convicted sex offenders comply with Megan's Law.
    • Re-offense prevention through counseling- not provided in prison or by the system
    • Power of disclosure
  • Registration Laws
    • Megan’s Law requires convicted sex offenders to register with the state in which they live for the purpose of informing their potential neighbors.
    • There are currently more than 400,000 registered sex-offenders in the United States
    • Marion County Sex Offenders
    • Public Opinion- Registration Laws
      • What kind of neighbor makes you nervous?
      • Should there be a national sex offender registry?
      • Do registration laws make people feel safer?
monster or human offenders of child sexual abuse1
Monster or Human?Offenders of Child Sexual Abuse
  • Protest of offenders moving into neighborhoods
    • "They move him here and there and every time they move him they put the kids in danger. They should find one place; everybody in one place."
      • -Jose Robledo, Redwood City
  • Homeless offenders
      • Considered “high risk”
      • Concern with whether or not they register properly not their homelessness
  • Public Opinion- Denying basic rights to sex offenders
      • Sex offenders should remain in prison until they are “cured”?
      • Attorney client privilege for child molesters?
      • Should we punish crimes against sex offenders?
      • Do sex offenders have the right to privacy?
monsters offenders of child sexual abuse
MonstersOffenders of Child Sexual Abuse
  • “Killing Child Molesters Should Be As Socially Acceptable As Killing Nazis”-Dave Gibson, former Virginia Beach Deputy Sheriff
    • According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 20 percent of all U.S. girls and 10 percent of all U.S. boys suffer some form of sexual assault before reaching adulthood.
    • California Department of Corrections reports thatover halfof convicted sex-offendersreturn to prison, within a yearof their release and up tothree-fourths after a year.
    • 20 percentof all U.S. prison inmatesreport having molested a child.
    • State prisons isolate convicted molesters from the general prison population, to prevent them from being beaten or killed by other prisoners.
    • “However, incarceration does nothing to end their desire to abuse children.You simply cannot punish the evil 'out of someone'--you can only extinguish that evil.”
human offenders of child sexual abuse
HumanOffenders of Child Sexual Abuse
  • Mr. Gibson is absolutely right,You simply can’t punish the evil out of someone
  • The US justice system has an unfortunate focus on punishment instead of rehabilitation or counseling
    • New Hampshire Prison:
      • The capacity of the sexual offender counseling programs has not kept pace with the prison expansion. There are24 openingsavailable for a 1-year plus program
      • More than40 percent, or 650 inmates, incarcerated in the New Hampshire Prison are classified as sexual offenders
  • Whether caused by lack of funding or lack of ideological support, if society continues merely incarcerating sex offenders and then releasing them back into society without treatment, we are asking for repeat offenders and putting our own children in danger.
treatment not punishment
Treatment, not punishment
  • When taking into account the reasons offenders offend, including their early victimization or lack of treatment for touching problems in youth it is clear that sexual deviance is a disease and should be treated.
  • Offenders must face consequences
  • Should re-offense rates be reasons to write sex offenders off as inhuman monsters or can we find it within ourselves to see their humanity?
    • Treating them like human beings can teach them to treat others in the same way.
    • If we lock them up like animals we cannot expect them to change their ways and miraculously find enlightenment.
  • Education
    • Regarding the causes of offense
    • The proper way to deal with children
      • If they have been abused
      • And if they are abusers
  • Child sexual abuse is a societal problem that needs to be addressed
    • Victim treatment
    • Offense prevention
  • Society must continue to support and counsel the victim, but we must also alter society’s priorities in dealing with offenders. People have to be educated to see the reasons offenders offend, to see it as a disease and prioritize treatment over punishment.
  • Burton, David L. " Male Adolescents: Sexual Victimization andSubsequent Sexual Abuse." Child & Adolescent Social WorkJournal 20 (2003).
  • Liberty
  • Marion County Sheriff’s Department
  • New Hampshire Prison
  • Sex Offenders a Danger Forever? (2005)
  • Snohomish County, WA. Sex offender information
  • The Status of Children in Oregon’s Child Protection System, 2003
  • Wilcox, Daniel T., Fiona Richards, and Zerine C.O'Keeffe. "Resilienceand risk factors associated with experiencing childhood sexual abuse.“ Child Abuse Review 13 (2004).