Liz Briggs thinks the way we approach child sexual abuse is broken. I tend to agree, to a degree. Yes, it’s important that we have children who understand who they can turn to and get support if they find themselves in a situation where someone has tried to touch them. Yes it’s important that we…
Imagine, if you will, the awkward social learning that goes on at a middle-school dance, for example. Now imagine a handful of 40 year old men were in the middle of that awkwardness, disguised as teens? You’d have some serious chats with your daughter before sending her off to the dance, wouldn’t you?
What do you think the internet is for 11-13 year-olds?
Have that talk, keep open lines of communication, understand the tools they are using, and how they are using them. If anything, please do not think they are too young to have to worry about this. Clearly, they do.
In addition to the original betrayal, many survivors are then betrayed a second time when they are not believed or the abuse is minimized. When the people who should be protecting them refuse to see what is happening or refuse to believe that person that they trust would do such a thing, the child is betrayed by a second person, or a third, fourth, etc. Add in the fact that while these extra betrayals are happening it is also unlikely that the child is getting any assistance that could help alleviate PTSD with early interventions.
In short, the more betrayal, the more suffering. We all have a responsibility to, at the very least, not add to the betrayal.
“The vast majority of young women in contact with the criminal justice system have experienced significant trauma and disadvantage. This can be a key driver for their offending, whether that is being coerced into crime by a partner, sexually exploited or using drugs or alcohol to cope with what they have experienced.
In spite of that, when they then come into contact with the criminal justice system, too often the response does more harm than good or is retraumatising, such as the use of force, restraint or isolation.”
I’m not in the UK, but I know many of my readers are, and they are familiar with this story line on Coronation Street. Even if you aren’t though, this is universally true: “The first time the story was mentioned I didn’t understand how Bethany could get into that situation,” Lucy said. “But the more…