Advertisements

Coronavirus COVID-19: Why some people panic-buy and self-isolate while others aren’t worried

ABC Life / By Kellie Scott
We’re being told not to touch our face, but many of you might feel like hiding from the coronavirus.(Pexels: Anna Shvets/ABC Life: Luke Tribe)

Natalie has decided not to see her partner while the spread of the coronavirus in Australia continues.

The Mackay local in her 30s is symptom-free and has not had any known contact with an infected person, but is keeping her daughter home from school. She’s also stocked up on food and other supplies.

“My partner and I have different views … he isn’t taking the coronavirus seriously,” she says.

“We are not leaving the house, and because he is out there exposing himself in many ways, like going to the gym, I have had to make the choice not to have contact with the person I love.”

Natalie works from home, which it makes it easier for her to self-isolate. She’s asked her daughter’s school to provide homework, and plans to reassess the situation in a few weeks’ time.

“It’s putting a little strain on our relationship, but we’re trying to respect each other’s decisions and wait it out.”

As humans we all react to crisis differently, so it’s unlikely we’ll ever be in complete agreeance about an appropriate emotional response to the coronavirus pandemic.

What we can do is be more compassionate about where other people are coming from.

We asked the experts why are some of us stocking up on toilet paper and hand sanitiser, while others scroll social media wondering what the all the fuss is about.

How is coronavirus impacting your relationships with family and friends? Email life@abc.net.au

It begins with how risk-averse you are

People in Australia are generally in a strong position to fight coronavirus due to our population size, health outcomes and good diet.

If you are at greater risk, such as you are over 65 or have pre-existing conditions like heart disease, it’s reasonable to take extra precautions.

Toilet paper panic – On my regular trip to the supermarket yesterday, there was not a single roll of toilet paper to be found.

For most of us, our emotional response will largely come down to how risk-averse we are, explains David Savage, associate professor of behavioural economics at the University of Newcastle.

“On one end you have the people who are absolutely risk-averse; will go out of their way to avoid risk. These people will always have insurance even for the most bizarre things,” he says.

“They are the people panic-buying.

“At the other end you have what I would classify as risk-seeking people, otherwise known as teenage boys.”

What Dr Savage suggests we should all be aiming for is to be risk-neutral. Good at weighing up odds and responding accordingly.

But he acknowledges that can be difficult given how hard-wired risk aversion is for many of us.

“This aversion is not something we switch on and off, it’s part of our innate nature.”

He says telling people to be less risk-averse is like telling someone to stop being anxious.

Avoidance versus chaos

Your personality type will dictate what level of response you have to something like the spread of coronavirus, explains Dr Annie Cantwell-Bart, a psychologist specialising in grief and trauma.

“If, for example, you come from a family where avoidance style is what you’ve been taught, that’s what you will repeat,” she says.

“Or if you come from a fairly chaotic background where your dad has been in jail and mum is an alcoholic, you will hold a high level of anxiety in living anyway.”

She gives the example of her local barista, who is casually employed.

“When I asked how he was feeling, he said he doesn’t think about it, he just gets on with life.”

She says that avoidance style has its advantages and disadvantages.

“They risk not being prepared or cautious enough. He might feel some trauma if the boss of the cafe says we’re closing down for a fortnight, because he hasn’t prepared.”

On the other end of the scale, people might respond chaotically. 

“Like the punch-up in the supermarket. Some people will … get agitated and it’s probably a fear the world will somehow not support them in any way,” Dr Cantwell-Bart says.

We should be more sensitive towards people with this level of anxiety, she says.

“It’s really important not to judge people … they are in a highly aroused anxious state.”

What we’ve been through shapes our response

Coronavirus symptoms explained — what happens when you get COVID-19 and how likely is a full recovery?

Upbringing, cultural background and previous experiences all shape how we respond to difficult situations.

But it doesn’t always play out in ways you’d expect. For example, someone who has survived a similar incident previously may feel a false sense of security, rather than the need to be cautious or prepared.

Your beliefs may also cause you to underprepare.

“If you believe that everything is pre-ordained, and a higher power is directing your life, you may not bother with certain precautions,” Dr Savage says.

Having compassion and understanding

Dr Savage says Australians are living in a society that is becoming more individualist than collectivist.

“Half of us are going ‘that is very anti-social’, while the other half is saying ‘good on you’,” he says in regards to people stocking up on supplies.

Dr Cantwell-Bart says in a time of crisis, it’s important to be respectful and tolerant.

“It’s about being more compassionate. Understanding that people who might be behaving in ways we might not, are doing it for good reason.”

Dr Savage recommends taking a step back to remember we’re all different, and there isn’t always right and wrong.

“Take a little bit more time to say ‘I don’t understand what that person is doing, but is that a problem?'”

RETRIEVED https://www.abc.net.au/life/why-coronavirus-covid19-causes-people-to-react-in-differently/12046602

Advertisements

Target of International Students? (part 1)

Although a focus of lowSES Students, has been identified amongst some of those spoken with – there is still an extremely ‘bottomless pit’, when International Students are concerned. As much an advantageous asset is any academic institution to have a high reputation, many overlapping issues brings this to our latest topic. Even an earlier (supposedly convicted) past BBC teacher, Overlack was recognised employed at QUT Kelvin Grove. Also being recognised in Boarding Schools in Great Britain was another past BBC teacher. Similar to the frequency of ‘Church-Hopping’ throughout Religious sectors, ‘School-Hopping’ carries some anonymity, which allows such CSA Predators a chance to ‘change their mask’: (Anthony) Kim Buchanan – ‘Butch’ opted to change name use to Anthony (Kim) Buchanan AND role (Secondary Teacher to Counsellor).

Visual idiom

“A leopard 🐆 can’t change their spots”


it’s impossible for one to change their character, even if they will try very hard. The expression, sometimes also used as “a leopard can‘t change its spots”, is used to explain the idea that no one can change their innate nature.

Predators apparently continue their loss of personal attachment, in their ongoing quest to remain immersed with their prey. Most Victims, however are so traumatised that immediate resources must be made available. Following are details from CARC:

Finding help and support

The work of this Commission, and particularly the stories of survivors, may bring up many strong feelings and questions. Be assured you are not alone, and that there are many services and support groups available to assist in dealing with these. Some options for advice and support are listed below:

1800 Respect – 24/7 telephone and online crisis support, information and immediate referral to specialist counselling for anyone in Australia who has experienced or been impacted by sexual assault, or domestic or family violence.

Lifeline – Call 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au

24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention

National and State Support Services

National

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Outside Australia, an internet search can also help you link with services most appropriate to your needs and location, or you can contact any of the other organisations on this page

RETRIEVED https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/contact

Dealing with suicidal thoughts

From LivingWell Services > Dealing with suicidal thoughts

Sometimes people come to our website because they are looking for personal help.

If someone asked you right now if you are having thoughts of suicide, what would your honest answer be?

If your answer is ‘yes’, this is undoubtedly a very difficult time for you. You don’t need to go through this alone. Help is available.

suicidal thoughts

It is not uncommon for men who have experienced child sexual abuse or sexual assault to have to deal with suicidal thoughts. An experience of child sexual abuse or sexual assault can have men feeling distressed and overwhelmed both at the time and at stressful times in the future. If suicidal thoughts are unchallenged they can convince a man that because he is doing it tough now it will always be like this. If there is time to talk about suicidal thoughts they can provide a clue to what a man holds dear, about certain connections he values and the dreams and aspirations he has for life. In order for such conversation to occur it is first important to make sure you are safe now.

Get Help

If you think you might harm yourself call for help immediately

  • Reach out to someone you trust and ask for help. Tell them honestly how you feel, including your thoughts of suicide.
  • Call 000 (police, ambulance, fire) or
  • Call Lifeline 13 11 14 or
  • Go, or have someone take you to your local hospital emergency department.
Thoughts of suicide? Call for help

It is important to understand suicidal thoughts

I felt like shit, like there was no way out. It wasn’t like my first thought but it was there in the background.

Remember that thoughts about suicide are just that – thoughts. You don’t need to act on them. They won’t last for ever, and often they pass very quickly. Many people who have had serious thoughts of suicide have said that they felt completely different only hours later. It is common to feel overwhelmed and distressed during difficult times or when it seems that things will never improve.

Things you can do to keep yourself safe

  • Seek help early. Talk to a family member or friend, see your local doctor, or ring a telephone counselling service.
  • Postpone any decision to end your life. Many people find that if they postpone big decisions for just 24 hours, things improve, they feel better able to cope and they find the support they need.
  • Talk to someone. Find someone you can trust to talk to: family, friends, a colleague, teacher or minister. 24-hour telephone counselling lines allow you to talk anonymously to a trained counsellor any time of the day or night.
  • Avoid being alone (especially at night). Stay with a family member or friend or have someone stay with you until your thoughts of suicide decrease.
  • Develop a safety plan. Come up with a plan that you can put into action at any time, for example have a friend or family member agree that you will call them when you are feeling overwhelmed or upset.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol when you are feeling down. Many drugs are depressants and can make you feel worse, they don’t help to solve problems and can make you do things you wouldn’t normally do.
  • Set yourself small goals to help you move forward and feel in control. Set goals even on an hour-by-hour or day-by-day basis – write them down and cross them off as you achieve them.
  • Write down your feelings. You might keep a journal, write poetry or simply jot down your feelings. This can help you to understand yourself better and help you to think about alternative solutions to problems.
  • Stay healthy. try to get enough exercise and eat well – Exercising can help you to feel better by releasing hormones (endorphins) into your brain. Eating well will help you to feel energetic and better able to manage difficult life events.
  • See your local doctor or a specialist to discuss support or treatment. Discuss your suicidal thoughts and feelings with your doctor, talk about ways to keep yourself safe, and make sure you receive the best treatment and care.
  • See a mental health professional. Psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors and other health professionals are trained to deal with issues relating to suicide, mental illness and well being. You can find them in the Yellow Pages or visit your GP or contact a crisis line for information.

Thoughts of suicide occur to many people and for a range of reasons. The most important thing to remember is that help is available. Talking to someone is a good place to start, even though it may seem difficult. Tell someone today!

Find help in your local area

If you’re feeling suicidal, getting help early can help you cope with the situation and avoid things getting worse. After you get over a crisis, you need to do all you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. There are a number of sources of support in your local area. If the first place or person you contact can’t help, or doesn’t meet your needs, try another.

Where to get help

Lifeline Centres

Lifeline has centres all around Australia. Check their website for the centre closest to you, and for resources and information related to suicide prevention: www.lifeline.org.au or www.justlook.org.au.

General practitioner A GP can refer you for a Mental Health Care Plan. Look for one in the Yellow Pages, or contact your local community health centre.

Community Health CentresThese are listed in the White Pages.

PsychiatristLook in the Yellow Pages, or ask a referring organisation such as Lifeline’s Just Ask. To claim the Medicare rebate, you need a letter of referral from a GP.

PsychologistYou can find these through your GP, community health centre, the Yellow Pages or the Australian Psychological Society (APS). The APS provides a referral service on 1800 333 497 or visit their website at www.psychology.org.au.

Counsellors and psychotherapistsYou can find these through your GP, community health centre, or the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia Inc (PACFA). PACFA have a national register of individual counsellors and psychotherapists available to the public at www.pacfa.org.au.

MenslineA 24-hour counselling service for men. Phone them on 1300 78 99 78, or visit www.mensline.org.au

Veterans Counselling Service

Support for all veterans and their families. Telephone: 1800 011 046, or visit www.vvaa.org.au

Headspace

A mental health website for young people up to age 25: www.headspace.org.au

Crisis Care

Gay and Lesbian Counselling and Community Services of Australia provides information and links to counselling services for gay and lesbian people. Telephone: 1800 18 45 27 or see the website for numbers in your state/territory, www.glccs.org.au

Who to call

For immediate support, when your life may be in danger, ring 000 or go to your local hospital emergency department.

ServiceNumber

National 24 Hour crisis telephone counselling services

Lifeline 13 11 14

Salvo Care Line1300 36 36 22

Kids Help Line1800 55 1800

Queensland

Crisis Counselling Service1300 363 622

ACT

Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team1800 629 354

New South Wales

Suicide Prevention and Crisis Intervention1300 363 622

Salvo Care Line02 9331 6000

Northern Territory

Crisis Line Northern Territory1800 019 116

South Australia

Mental Health Assessment and Crisis Intervention Service13 14 65

Tasmania

Samaritans Lifelink – country1300 364 566

Samaritans Lifelink – metro03 6331 3355

Victoria

Suicide Help Line Victoria1300 651 251

Western Australia

Samaritans Suicide Emergency Service – country1800 198 313Emergency Service – metro08 9381 5555

Note: Many of these services also offer interpreter services for those people who speak English as a second language (ESL).

Acknowledgement: This page was created with reference to the “Living is for everyone” publication Promoting good practice in suicide prevention: Activities targeting men produced by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing: 2008.

RETRIEVED https://livingwell.org.au/managing-difficulties/dealing-with-suicidal-thoughts/

Anna Waldherr | avoicereclaimed.com

I think it was George Santayana who said, “”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

avoicereclaimed

Vigilance Part 2 – Emotional Abuse


Frightened child, Author Jean-Francois Gornet, Paris, Source Selfie Velib, Originally Posted to Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

Emotional abuse is an underrated form of abuse, but no less damaging for that.

The warning signs of emotional abuse include the following [1]:

  • A child who exhibits a lack of attachment to the parent.
  • A child who is delayed in physical or emotional development, unrelated to an identifiable medical or psychological condition.
  • A child who is either inappropriately adult (parenting other children) or inappropriately infantile (constantly rocking or head-banging, for example).
  • A child who exhibits behavioral extremes (acute passivity or serious aggression; demanding behavior or abject compliance).
  • A child who attempts suicide.

The parent who rejects his/her child will constantly blame, belittle, or berate that child.  The parent unconcerned about his/her child’s well-being may refuse offers of help for that child’s school problems.

On the other hand, a parent can be so self-involved that his/her child becomes little more than a pawn for manipulation.

REPORT THIS AD

[1]  Prevent Child Abuse America, “Recognizing Child Abuse:  What Parents Should Know”,   https://preventchildabuse.org/resource/recognizing-child-abuse-what-parents-should-know/.

This series will continue next week with Part 3 – Physical Abuse

RETRIEVED https://avoicereclaimed.com/2020/01/12/vigilance-part-2-emotional-abuse/

‘Corruption, abuse, deception AND obstruction …’

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.

Let’s talk

https://joy.org.au/letstalk/

Sexual Assault / Abuse

Sexual abuse is any form of sexual violence, including rape, child molestation, incest, and similar forms of non-consensual sexual contact. Most sexual abuse experts agree sexual abuse is never only about sex. Instead, it is often an attempt to gain power over others.

Immediate crisis assistance after sexual assault can prove invaluable and even save lives. A person can report sexual assault by calling local police. Survivors may also wish to get a physical exam at a hospital. 

Therapy can also be helpful for those who experienced sexual abuse in the past. Some therapists specialize in addressing the trauma of sexual assault. Long-term assistance may be beneficial to some survivors of sexual abuse.

TYPES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE

Sexual abuse is common, particularly for womenand girls. Ninety percent of all rapes are committed against women. One in six women in America have experienced rape. One in five girls and one in 20 boys experience childhood sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse and sexual assault are umbrella terms used to refer to multiple crimes. These crimes include:

  • Rape: Forced sexual contact with someone who does not or cannot consent. Forcing sex upon someone who does not want it, who is intoxicated, or who is not legally old enough to give consent all count as rape. Date rape is sexual assualt that occurs between people with an established relationship. A handful of states limit their definition of rape to forcible sexual intercourse. Yet any form of forcible sexual contact can have long-lasting effects on a person. Most states now recognize forced oral sex and similar forms of assault as rape.
  • Child molestation: Child molestation is any sexual contact with a child. Many children who are molested are too young to know what is happening and may not fight back. Some abusers use the child’s cooperation in these cases as “evidence” that no one was harmed. Examples of child molestation might include fondling or demanding sexual favors from a child.
  • Incest: Incest describes sexual contact between family members who are too closely related to marry. While incestuous sexual activity may occur between consenting adults, this is not common. Most reported incest occurs as child abuse. Over a third of American sexual assault survivors under the age of 18 are abused by a family member, according to latest statistics. However, incest is an underreported crime, so the actual number of incest survivors may be higher.
  • Non-consensual sexual contact: This category includes any unwanted sexual touching, such as groping or pinching. Attempted rape can also fall into this category.
  • Non-contact sexual abuse: Not all sexual abuse fits neatly into common legal or psychological definitions. For instance, parents who have sex in front of their children or who make sexually inappropriate comments to their children are engaging in sexual abuse. So-called revenge pornography sites, which publish nude photos of people without their consent, are another form of sexual abuse.

The laws governing sexual abuse are constantly changing. For this reason, most professionals who work with sexual abuse survivors rely on the person’s feelings, not the law, when determining whether a sexual assault has occurred. For example, marital rape can be deeply traumatic, especially in an otherwise abusive relationship. Yet marital rape did not become a crime anywhere until the 1970s. It is still a challenging crime to prosecute.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN THE MILITARY

Sexual violence occurs in the U.S. military in high numbers. According to a 2014 report:

  • Nearly 5% of all women and 1% of all men on active duty reported experiencing unwanted sexual contact. 
  • Nearly half of reports from women involved penetrative sexual assault (rape or penetration with an object). This rate was 35% for men. 

Due to the gender ratios in the military, more men experience sexual violence than women. A man in the military is 10 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than a civilian man.

Most perpetrators commit these crimes out of a desire for domination. Offenders often wish to establish control over their “inferiors.” Sexual attraction is rarely the motivating factor.

A man in uniform wrings his hands as he speaks to an unseen person.Sexual violence among service members is an under-reported crime. Studies suggest only one in four survivors of military sexual assault report their attacks. Among male survivors, an estimated 81% never report their attacks.

People who report their assaults often face retaliation. In 2014, 62% of female reporters said they faced retaliation. Many were shunned by colleagues or blamed for the assault. Survivors of both genders may face consequences in their professional lives. Some are even discharged from the military.

Reporters may also face barriers to mental health treatment. Research suggests the military has falsely diagnosed many sexual assault reporters with personality disruptions as an excuse to discharge them. The Department of Veterans Affairs classifies personality disruptions as a pre-existing condition. Thus, it rarely covers the expense of survivors’ mental health treatment.

MALE VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE

Men who experience sexual assault can face severe stigma. U.S. culture promotes a stereotype that men always want sex. Many people believe men cannot possibly be victims of rape.

When men report sexual assault, they often face doubt and ridicule. Others may blame the abuse on the man’s “weakness” or alleged homosexuality. Victim-blaming is especially likely when a man accuses a woman of sexual abuse.

Due to stigma, male survivors can be reluctant to label their experiences as rape or abuse. Some may not mention the event at all. However, a reluctance to disclose can prevent men from getting treatment. Without professional help, some men resort to substance abuse or self-harm to cope with trauma. 

SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE IN THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY

The rates of sexual assault for homosexual and bisexual individuals are comparable or higher than the rates for heterosexual people. Hate crimes account for many sexual assaults against LGBTQ+people.

Among cisgender women, the lifetime prevalence rates for rape are:

  • 46% for bisexual women.
  • 13% for lesbian women.
  • 17% for heterosexual women.  

Rape statistics among cisgender men are limited. The lifetime prevalence rates for sexual assaults other than rape are:

  • 47% for bisexual men.
  • 40% for gay men.
  • 21% of heterosexual men.

Around 64% of transgender people will experience sexual assault in their lifetimes. This statistic includes transgender people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Transgender youth are particularly vulnerable to sexual assault. In a 2011 survey, 12% of trans youth said peers or educational staff had sexually assaulted them in a school setting.

Sexual crimes in the LGBTQ+ community are often not reported. Survivors may fear revealing their gender identity or sexual orientation to others. They may not trust the legal system to protect them. Survivors could also fear inciting further violence.

Like other survivors, LGBTQ+ people often encounter stigma after they report sexual violence. Discrimination in the health care system may prevent survivors from getting care. Friends and family may believe stereotypes about LGBTQ+ people and blame the victim. In cases of domestic violence, members of the local LGBTQ+ community may refuse to believe the survivor or hold the offender accountable.

LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual assault can get help from a therapist. Mental health professionals cannot disclose one’s personal information to others. Therapy is a confidential place where one can find support without judgment. 

RACE/ETHNICITY AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

In the U.S., certain races and ethnicities are more likely to experience sexual assault. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), the lifetime prevalence rates for rape are:

  • 9.5% of Asian or Pacific Islander women
  • 15.0% of Hispanic women
  • 19.9% of white women
  • 20.7% of black women
  • 28.9% of American Indian or Alaskan Native women
  • 31.8% for multiracial women
  • The report in question did not include data on male survivors. 

Racism can place racial/ethnic minorities at higher risk of sexual assault. Many people of color are fetishized as “exotic,” hypersexual beings. As such, survivors are more likely to be labeled “willing” participants. Sexual assaults on white people are often punished more harshly than assaults on people of color.

As such, people of color are much less likely to report their sexual assaults. Some people may not trust the legal system to treat them fairly. Others may fear “betraying” their community by disclosing personal information. In some cases, cultural values create extra stigma for people who report. These factors can also prevent survivors from seeking mental health treatment.

CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE

The sexual abuse of children can take many forms. It may involve a stranger or someone as close as a parent. A child doesn’t need to be touched to be sexually abused. Voyeuristic actions, such as watching a child undress or shower, count as sexual abuse. Adults who expose their genitalia to children are also committing abuse.

An adult who sexually abuses children may, in some cases, have a sexual attraction to children. Yet sexual attraction is not necessary to commit abuse. Often, a perpetrator abuses a child to gain power over them. 

Childhood sexual abuse is common. In the United States:

  • 44% of sexual assault victims are under the age of 18. 
  • Children are most vulnerable to childhood sexual assault between 7 and 13 years old.
  • 10% of American children are abused before the age of 18. 
  • Among children who are sexually abused, 20% experience sexual abuse before age 8.

Despite being common, children who experience abuse do not always report it right away. This may be partly due to power the offender has over the child.

  • Up to 93% of children who have been sexually abused know their attackers well. An offender will often threaten or manipulate the child to prevent them from disclosing the abuse.
  • Over a third of abusers are part of the child’s family. 
  • 73% of child targets do not disclose the abuse for a year or more. 
  • 45% of child targets do not disclose abuse until at least five years have passed. 

Although sexual abuse in children can be difficult to recognize, detection is possible. If a child shows the following warning signs, there may be cause for concern:  

  • Torn or stained underwear
  • Frequent urinary or yeast infections
  • Nightmares and anxiety around bedtime
  • Bedwetting past the appropriate age
  • Preoccupation with one’s body
  • Anger and tantrums
  • Depressed and withdrawn mood
  • Sexual behaviors or knowledge that are not age-appropriate

The above signs are not necessarily proof a child is being sexually abused. Children may show these behaviors due to another issue. However, one does not need proof to report child abuse. Finding proof is the job of Child Protective Services. To report abuse, one only needs “reasonable suspicion” that abuse is taking place. 

Reporting sexual abuse may prevent a child from having mental health concerns in adulthood. People who experienced sexual abuse as children are at greater risk of substance abuse or eating and food issues. They are also more likely to be sexually abused as adults.

If you think a child is being abused, you can call your state’s Child Protective Services to investigate. You can also call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).

WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

Sexual harassment often falls under the umbrella of sexual assault. While the definitions of both sexual assault and sexual harassment include non-consensual sexual contact, there are some distinct differences. 

The term “sexual harassment” is often used in a legal context. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment includes:

  • Unwanted sexual advances or contact 
  • Harassing a person on the basis of their sex
  • Making offensive comments or jokes about a particular sex
  • Pressure to go on a date or perform sexual favors

Sexual harassment can occur anywhere, but many of the laws that protect people who may experience sexual harassment refer to harassment in the workplace. The broader definition of sexual harassment can include cat-calling, making sexual gestures or comments toward a person, staring, referring to someone using demeaning language such as “babe” or “hunk,” and giving unwanted or personal gifts.

MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES RESULTING FROM SEXUAL ASSAULT

After sexual assault, survivors may feel their bodies are not really their own. Survivors often report feelings such as shame, terror, and guilt. Many blame themselves for the assault. 

Due to the trauma and negative emotions linked to sexual abuse, survivors may be at risk for mental health conditions. Survivors of sexual abuse may develop:

  • Depression: The loss of bodily autonomy is often difficult to cope with. It can create feelings of hopelessness or despair. It may also reduce one’s sense of self-worth. Depressive feelings may be mild and fleeting, or they can be intense and long-lasting.
  • Anxiety: The loss of bodily autonomy can also cause severe anxiety. Survivors may fear the attack could happen again. Some may experience panic attacks. Others may develop agoraphobia and become afraid to leave their homes. In some cases, a survivor may develop a chronic fear of the type of person who harmed them. Someone who was raped by a tall, fair-haired man with blue eyes may instinctively dislike, mistrust, or fear all men who match that description.
  • Posttraumatic stress (PTSD): Someone who survived sexual assault may experience intense memories of the abuse. In some cases, flashbacks may be so disruptive they cause a survivor to lose track of surroundings. A person may also develop a related condition called complex posttraumatic stress (C-PTSD). C-PTSD yields a chronic fear of abandonment in addition to symptoms of traditional PTSD. Some people with C-PTSD also experience personality disruptions.
  • Personality disruptions: Sexual abuse can sometimes result in personality disruptions such as borderline personality. The behavior linked with personality disruptions could actually be an adaption to abuse. For instance, a characteristic of borderline personality is a fear of abandonment. That fear might not be adaptive in adulthood. Yet avoiding abandonment might have protected someone from sexual abuse as a child.
  • Attachment issues: Survivors may find it challenging to form healthy attachments with others. This is especially true among children who have been abused. Adults who were abused as children may have insecure attachment patterns. They could struggle with intimacy or be too eager to form close attachments.
  • Addiction: Research suggests abuse survivors are 26 times more likely to use drugs. Drugs and alcohol can help numb the pain of abuse. Yet substance abuse often leads to the development of different concerns.

Sexual abuse does not only leave psychological scars. It can also have long-lasting health consequences. 

A person who is assaulted may sustain bruises and cuts. They could also have more severe injuries such as knife wounds, broken bones, and damaged genitals. Others may develop chronic pain without an obvious physical cause. 

Some survivors experience sexual dysfunction and fertility issues. Others may develop sexually transmitted infections. Contrary to myth, it is possible for a sexual assault to result in pregnancy. In cases where a child becomes pregnant, giving birth may be physically dangerous.

COUNSELING AFTER SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE

Many survivors develop mental health conditions after sexual assault. Having a mental health concern does not make you “weak” or “broken.” People cope with trauma in different ways. 

People who have survived sexual assault can get help from a mental health professional. Therapy offers a safe, private place to get help without judgment. You do not have to handle your problems alone.

References:

  1. Child sexual abuse statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.d2l.org/site/c.4dICIJOkGcISE/b.6143427/k.38C5/Child_Sexual_Abuse_Statistics.htm
  1. Child sexual abuse statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/child-sexual-abuse-statistics
  2. Incidents of rape in military much higher than previously reported. (2014, December 5). Military Times. Retrieved from http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/pentagon/2014/12/04/pentagon-rand-sexual-assault-reports/19883155
  3. Marital rape. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.rainn.org/public-policy/sexual-assault-issues/marital-rape
  4. NISVCS: An overview of 2010 findings on victimization by sexual orientation. (n.d.) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/cdc_nisvs_victimization_final-a.pdf
  5. Paulk, L. (2014, April 30). Sexual Assault in the LGBT Community. Retrieved from http://www.nclrights.org/sexual-assault-in-the-lgbt-community
  6. Rape and sexual assault. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=317
  7. Recognizing child abuse. (n.d.). Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance. Retrieved from http://www.pa-fsa.org/Mandated-Reporters/Recognizing-Child-Abuse-Neglect/Recognizing-Child-Abuse
  8. Reporting rates. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://rainn.org/get-information/statistics/reporting-rates
  9. Sexual Assault & LGBT Survivors. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://sapac.umich.edu/article/58
  10. Sexual Assault: The Numbers | Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault. (2014, June 1). Retrieved from http://www.ovc.gov/pubs/forge/sexual_numbers.html
  11. Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics. (2000). Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/saycrle.pdf
  12. Sexual harassment. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sexual_harassment.cfm 
  13. “Son, Men Don’t Get Raped.” (2014). GQ.Retrieved from http://www.gq.com/long-form/male-military-rape
  14. Van der Kolk, B. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma (1st ed.). New York, NY: Viking.
  15. What is sexual harassment? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/pdf/whatissh.pdf 
  16. Who are the victims? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims
  17. Women of color and sexual assault. (n.d.) Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence. Retrieved from https://endsexualviolencect.org/resources/get-the-facts/woc-stats
Last Update: 09-06-2018

Copyright © 2007 – 2019 GoodTherapy, LLC. All rights reserved.

RETRIEVED: https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/sexual-abuse

Red Flags – (running together with Child Sexual Abuse)

Red Flags

http://avoicereclaimed.com/2019/01/13/red-flags/
— Read on avoicereclaimed.com/2019/01/13/red-flags/

It can be difficult, at the outset of a relationship, to predict whether a prospective partner will become abusive.  However, there are certain danger signals which, in combination, should not be ignored.  These involve embarrassment/criticism, control/manipulation, isolation, blame, threats, and violence.

Here is a list of “red flags” [1][2]:

Embarrassment/Criticism

• A partner who regularly disparages your friends, family, ideas, and goals.

• A partner who deliberately embarrasses and insults you.  Such a partner may humiliate you in public, or criticize you viciously in private.  He or she may attack your looks or your parenting skills, as a means of undermining your confidence.

Control/Manipulation

• A partner who prevents you from making decisions. This interference may, at first, be as simple as telling you what you can and cannot wear to work.

• A partner who is extremely jealous and possessive.  Such a partner continually tracks where you go, whom you meet, and what you do.  He or she may expect to you check in, throughout the day, and spend every moment of your free time with him/her.

• A partner with a hair-trigger temper. You walk on eggshells to keep the peace.

• A partner who takes your money or refuses to provide you necessary income for expenses.

• A partner who plays “mind games” to make you feel guilty.  Such a partner may, for instance, threaten to commit suicide if you leave him or her.

• A partner who pressures you to have sex, or to engage in a type of sexual activity with which you are not comfortable.

• A partner who prevents you from using birth control.

• A partner who pressures you to use drugs or alcohol.

Isolation

• A partner who discourages or prevents you from seeing friends and family.  Such a partner may begin by fielding the phone calls intended for you, then distort or fail to relay the messages left for you.

• A partner who prevents you from going to work or school.

Blame

• A partner who refuses to take responsibility for his/her own actions and failures.

• A partner who blames you for his/her drug or alcohol abuse (and even his/her boss’ behavior).

• A partner who pretends the abuse is not taking place or blames you for it.

Threats

• A partner who glares at you in a threatening manner, or acts in a way that frightens you.  Such a partner may, for instance, brandish a gun or knife in your presence.  He or she may drive at a dangerously high speed with you in the vehicle, despite your pleas to stop.

• A partner who threatens to hurt or kill your pets.

• A partner who threatens to hurt or kill your children, or take custody of them away from you.

• A partner who threatens to hurt or kill you.

Violence

• A partner who destroys your property.  This may take the form of slashing your clothes or harming a pet.

• A partner who shoves, slaps, chokes, punches, or hits you or your children with an object.

• A partner who attempts to prevent you from pressing criminal charges for abuse.

The tragic fact is that domestic abuse ends in death, in all too many cases.  Forewarned is forearmed.

[1]  National Domestic Violence Hotline, “Know the Red Flags of Abuse”,  https://www.thehotline.org/2012/09/11/red-flags-of-abuse/.

[2]  New Hope for Women, “Red Flags for Domestic Abuse”, http://www.newhopeforwomen.org/red-flags-for-domestic-abuse.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

The plot thickens …

Having re-watched a favourite TV Series (Da Vinci Demons), attention was drawn to something that’s now screaming out louder and loader. Despite the appalling deception, tomfoolery & murders committed in the times of Leonardo Da Vinci (15th Cen.) in this staged re-enactment, the common powers possessed by the Catholic Church was always taken for granted. Social dynamics included a default framework of the church’s primary inclusion in the basic ecosystem. Australia’s recent mis-focus on Captain Cook, ahead of Captain Flinders & Bungaree. Each summarises how History has been remembered, not genuinely proven.

Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse had been the Initial national confrontation, followed by numerous other global countries addressing this common issue. Catholic Vatican’s Pope (Francis) has at least begun publicly addressing this issue, after Millenia of denials-hiding evidence-moving wrongdoers & almost a century of rewritten Papal Orders advocating sins being hidden. As mammoth an issue this is, what’s becoming apparent is the immensity of addressing it. The lives of these children is paramount, as is the resulting residual impacts these Sexual Abuses has had. Postings such as these help share some of these factual truths.

As numerous bodies of Surviving Victims, Medical, Commercial & Community bodies provide help, News reports in the Journalism of individual to broad scale cases & each country offering their own nuances of interpreting & reacting to these ordeals – the immensity of this understanding also risks being ‘swept under the carpet‘ as CSA had been, to grow to what it had. Together, we need to openly address this publicly, openly, transparently & suitably as possible. Groups such as this RoyalCommBBC are only getting started on our mission & via your simply sharing these posts about your contacts – another Survivour may remember things & get suitable help, pictures may remind a family of an unsolved mystery or News of someone being caught out for inappropriate behaviour triggers off flashbacks leading to arrest. We hope this helps out open up our lives.

%d bloggers like this: