BLUE KNOT FOUNDATION FACT SHEET FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED CHILDHOOD TRAUMA (INCLUDING ABUSE)
1 Childhood trauma stems from overwhelming negative experiences in early life. It can take many forms (eg. sexual,emotional,physicalabuseandneglect).Itcanalso occur without abuse if early caregivers were unable
to meet your emotional needs (e.g. because they had unresolved trauma histories themselves).
2 Unresolved childhood trauma negatively impacts 8 health and well-being in adulthood. It affects both emotional and physical health (the whole person’)
and the full impacts may not become apparent until
3 It is possible to heal from childhood trauma. Research shows that with the right support, even severe early life trauma can be resolved. It also shows that when an adult has resolved their childhood trauma, it benefits their children or the children they may later have.
Children develop coping mechanisms to deal with the effects of childhood trauma. It is normal to want to feel better, and if you were traumatised as a child the need to
escape’ feelings can be intense.
4 Effects of childhood trauma include anxiety, depression, health problems (emotional and physical), disconnection, isolation, confusion, being ‘spaced out’, and fear of intimacy and new experiences. There 10 is no
one size fits all’, but reduced quality of life is a constant.
5 Survivors are often on ‘high alert’. Even minor stress can trigger
‘out of proportion’ responses. Your body continues to react as if you are still in danger, and this can be explained in terms of unresolved prior experience.
6 Survivors often struggle with shame and self-blame. But childhood trauma and its established effects are NOT your fault, even though you may feel otherwise (often because this is what you were encouraged to believe as a child when you were vulnerable and still developing).
7 Self-blame can be especially strong if you experienced any positive physical sensations (which is not an uncommon body response) in relation to abuse you have undergone. Physical reaction to sexual abuse does NOT mean desire for, or agreement to, it. Children cannot consent to, much less
‘cause’, sexual or other forms of abuse.
8 Children develop coping mechanisms to deal with the effects of childhood trauma. It is normal to want to feel better, and if you were traumatised as a child the need to `escape’ feelings can be intense.
9 Coping mechanisms develop for a reason, serve a purpose, and can be highly effective in the short term. But some methods of coping (e.g. excessive alcohol use) can be risky in themselves. Addictions (to food, sex, drugs), avoidance of contact with others (which reinforces isolation) and compulsive behaviours of various kinds (in attempts to run from the underlying problem which, because it is unaddressed, doesn’t go away) are all ways people try to cope.
10 Coping mechanisms develop for a reason, serve a purpose, and can be highly effective in the short term. But some methods of coping (e.g. excessive alcohol use) can be risky in themselves. Addictions (to food, sex, drugs), avoidance of contact with others (which reinforces isolation) and compulsive behaviours of various kinds (in attempts to run from the underlying problem which, because it is unaddressed, doesn’t go away) are all ways people try to cope.
11 Coping mechanisms develop for a reason, serve a purpose, and can be highly effective in the short term. But some methods of coping (e.g. excessive alcohol use) can be risky in themselves. Addictions (to food, sex, drugs), avoidance of contact with others (which reinforces isolation) and compulsive behaviours of various kinds (in attempts to run from the underlying problem which, because it is unaddressed, doesn’t go away) are all ways people try to cope.
Does the mention of any of the terms of ‘corruption, abuse, deception, obstruction’ cause a creepy feeling, the hairs on the back of your neck stand, or a chill run down your spine? You may have been effected by any of inappropriate issues, that are still becoming prevalent today. Most of us are familiar with the saying of “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely”. (Lord Acton)
Translations of this are often made into areas of vulnerability: Teacher-Students (pedophilia), Church Leader-Youth (child sexual abuser), Sports Coach-Player (privatelessons), Disability Carer-disabled (manipulation), Government-Indigenous (stolen generations), Caretaker-Retiree (aged care abuse) and Banks-Customers (coercion). Thankfully, there’s been many Royal Commissions called, with more to come. Our ‘RoyalCommBBC’ is only a small example of what can be possible, when the Sharing of beneficial Information-News-Experiences-Solutions are made.
A great part of any Institution, is that like members typically stick together. It’s been found that when ‘reality hits home’, many of us acknowledge that they’re not alone AND there is a simple solution available. This is where RCbbc can help, in supporting past Students, Parents and Friends in contacting experts in their fields.
Of serious concern amongst most communities is the frequent questioning of “well, why didn’t you tell us closer to when it happened?” (delay) and/or “how do we know you’re not making it up?” (truth telling). As negatively-impacting as each of these statements may be one the victim-survivour of Child Sexual Abuse, the fact that they’ve reached the point they are willing to speak of these past events and it’s receiving a defensive reaction of disbelief, only adds to their sorrow.
Now would be ideal timing to instigate Counselling, if the abused-child/adult has not undertaken this momentous step. Knowing that to make this fundamental leap, is of importance on many levels. Parental or Carer disagreement with this fundamental step, can have just as devastating effects on the surviving-victim of these abuses. Research has shown that children show more honesty, whereas the perpetrating adults frequently are lying, to claim their lack of guilt.
Having heard other Survivours get this response from their families AND hearing near-identical comments from my own family, these may be included in the Institutional-training of ‘Defensive‘ attitudes. Ironic, that these same churches preach to “love thy neighbour, as if their your own family” (Matthew 12:31) – yet disbelief of (finally) being told the reasons for years of sorrow are disbelieved is similar to ‘shooting yourself in the other foot’…
Of great interest is the growth in visits of this ‘RoyalCommBBC.blog’! As more acceptance, coping & awareness of these HIDDEN patterns becomes available – there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. Many Survivours are delayed in speaking about their past, which Counsellors-Psychologists are available to help you out. From the ChildAbuseRoyalCommission & NationalRedressScheme sites, the following details are provided. If you feel like you’d like to talk with someone: BlueKnot (ASCA) have provided us extreme help on 1300 657 380. Finding someone you find comfortable, may take some time, yet these are a great place to start.
From the images shown in this post, the issue of ‘child sex tourism’, ‘child labor’ & ‘child health’ is as important as our discussions of CSA: Child Sexual Abuse. From this information, it can be seen how easily predators switch out of one niche, changing to a seperate-devious niche. All solved, or problem’s getting deeper?
Gender-based abuse: the global epidemic has been reviewed by Lori Heise (Pacific Institute for Women’s Health, 1994). In it they include rape, domestic violence, murder and sexual abuse-as a profund health problem for women across the globe. Although a significant cause of female morbidity and mortality, violence against women has only recently begun to be recognized as an issue for public health.
Taken from Psychology Today. (Ref follows) …
Four thinking patterns figure prominently in the commission of sexual offenses in the workplace.
The pursuit of power and control. A critical part of the perpetrator’s self-image is being able to dominate others. He proceeds to do this as he pursues whomever he finds attractive.
A sense of uniqueness. Everyone is unique – physically, psychologically, and experientially. But the person who engages in sexual harassment, assault, or rape considers himself one of a kind. Part of this self-perception is his certainty that he is irresistible to women, the answer to every woman’s desires. When it comes to right and wrong, he makes his own rules.
Deception. These individuals are often extremely intelligent, charismatic, and talented. Even people who know them well cannot conceive that they are even capable of exploiting others sexually. Such predators are masters of deceit.
An ability to compartmentalize and shut off fear of consequences. Perpetrators of sexual harassment, assault, and rape know right from wrong. They are fully aware of the potential consequences of being apprehended. They have an uncanny ability to ignore them long enough to do what they want, all the while maintaining a sense of invincibility. They eliminate considerations of conscience behaving as they please without regard to emotional, physical, or other damage they might inflict. When they are unmasked, their chief regret is getting caught with little or no remorse for the victim. Instead, they regard themselves as victims because of the unpalatable consequences they must face.
As the issue of sexual predation in the workplace has become increasingly prominent, there are calls to provide employees with special training to minimize this behavior in the future. Such training will not change the character (i.e., the thinking processes) of predators. What it may succeed in is establishing clear policies and deterrents so that potential predators may be deterred from engaging in this extremely destructive behavior at work.
Former PM Julia Gillard has received this year’s Blue Knot Award
NOTE: President Dr. Cathy Kezelman has been involved in the early stages of Tony Anstatt’s CSA Journey. From the Launch of ‘Talking about Trauma Services’ (Kezelman & Stavropolous, ASCA – Blue Knot, 2012), Blue Knot (then ASCA) provided numerous meetings, offering help, assistance & therapies. It was rewarding seeing this had made wider publication, through SBS.