Improving health and wellbeing with adult survivors of child sexual abuse.
Yes, our RCbbc Blog has signed their Policy Statement & as such, we’ll be Sharing much of our parallel beliefs. Starting with the logo + goal.
Our goal is simple: we want to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for adult survivors of child sexual abuse.
At Visible, we are a catalyst for health and social care services system change across Leeds and beyond. We encourage, shape and instigate this change, using the experience of survivors to influence every aspect of the way we work.
Throughout the counselling I am regularly receiving, something which often gets raised is that although there’s quite a list of TYPES of child sexual abuse:
emotional or mental abuse, and
sexual abuse and includes signs, symptoms, and behavioral indicators of abuse.
There may be other TYPES, yet this is just a small example of where ‘traditional’ understanding clashes with the actual impact, victims try to live with, 247, also coping with COVID-19, trying to deal with Climate Change …
For many survivors, counselling may be the first time they have ever disclosed the abuse. They may have been locked into silence for years or even decades. Telling the counsellor can bring tremendous relief. On the other hand, some survivors may have revealed the abuse previously, only to be met with disbelief or rejection. Being heard and believed for the first time is an immensely important experience.
Trust is a difficult issue for most survivors of abuse. They may find it impossible to trust anyone: anyone could be a potential abuser. Others, though, have a problem with trusting too easily. As children, they weren’t able to learn who to trust and who not to, so in adult life, they are not able to use their gut instinct to recognise situations that would make other people feel uncomfortable. This means they can find themselves getting into abusive relationships and dangerous situations.
Counsellors are trained to be trustworthy with respect to confidentiality, reliability and other boundary issues. Experiencing a trusting relationship with the counsellor allows the client to re-set their capacity to trust other human beings.
Childhood sexual abuse is traumatic in many different ways, and children often learn to protect themselves by splitting off their awareness of the abuse. This process is called dissociation, and it is almost like self-hypnosis.
A consequence of dissociation can be that adult survivors experience terrifying flashbacks of the abuse, which don’t feel like real memories. A trained counsellor can help the client to understand the process of dissociation, so that they are less frightened, and can begin to re-integrate their memories.
Many survivors have feelings of intense shame, which they carry with them all the time. Telling their story to a counsellor, who is always non-judgmental, allows them to see things from a different perspective. They may realise for the first time just how young and vulnerable they were when the abuse took place.
The counsellor will emphasise that a child is never to blame, no matter how persuasively the abuser tells them that they are. Hearing from an expert that their experience was typical can bring huge release from shame. Instead, feelings of anger and grief may surface, which the counsellor can help to deal with safely.
Counselling for sexual abuse
Counsellors who are trained and experienced in working with sexual abuse are used to hearing very shocking and upsetting accounts. For the client, being able to share details which once seemed unbearable for another person to hear can bring great comfort, and again can help to dissolve feelings of shame. Current issues, no matter how painful, can be brought up in a supportive, non-judgmental environment.
For the counsellor and client to work through the many issues arising from childhood sexual abuse can take a while, but eventually, the aim is that the client feels ready to move on, leaving counselling feeling more empowered and more free to live their life.
Children who suffer trauma from abuse or violence early in life show biological signs of aging faster than children who have never experienced adversity, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. The study examined three different signs of biological aging—early puberty, cellular aging and changes in brain structure—and found that trauma exposure was associated with all three.
“Exposure to adversity in childhood is a powerful predictor of health outcomes later in life—not only mental health outcomes like depression and anxiety, but also physical health outcomes like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer,” said Katie McLaughlin, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at Harvard University and senior author of the study published in the journal Psychological Bulletin. “Our study suggests that experiencing violence can make the body age more quickly at a biological level, which may help to explain that connection.”
Previous research found mixed evidence on whether childhood adversity is always linked to accelerated aging. However, those studies looked at many different types of adversity—abuse, neglect, poverty and more—and at several different measures of biological aging. To disentangle the results, McLaughlin and her colleagues decided to look separately at two categories of adversity: threat-related adversity, such as abuse and violence, and deprivation-related adversity, such as physical or emotional neglect or poverty.
The researchers performed a meta-analysis of almost 80 studies, with more than 116,000 total participants. They found that children who suffered threat-related trauma such as violence or abuse were more likely to enter puberty early and also showed signs of accelerated aging on a cellular level-including shortened telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of our strands of DNA that wear down as we age. However, children who experienced poverty or neglect did not show either of those signs of early aging.
In a second analysis, McLaughlin and her colleagues systematically reviewed 25 studies with more than 3,253 participants that examined how early-life adversity affects brain development. They found that adversity was associated with reduced cortical thickness—a sign of aging because the cortex thins as people age. However, different types of adversity were associated with cortical thinning in different parts of the brain. Trauma and violence were associated with thinning in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which is involved in social and emotional processing, while deprivation was more often associated with thinning in the frontoparietal, default mode and visual networks, which are involved in sensory and cognitive processing.
These types of accelerated aging might originally have descended from useful evolutionary adaptations, according to McLaughlin. In a violent and threat-filled environment, for example, reaching puberty earlier could make people more likely to be able to reproduce before they die. And faster development of brain regions that play a role in emotion processing could help children identify and respond to threats, keeping them safer in dangerous environments. But these once-useful adaptations may have grave health and mental health consequences in adulthood.
The new research underscores the need for early interventions to help avoid those consequences. All of the studies looked at accelerated aging in children and adolescents under age 18. “The fact that we see such consistent evidence for faster aging at such a young age suggests that the biological mechanisms that contribute to health disparities are set in motion very early in life. This means that efforts to prevent these health disparities must also begin during childhood,” McLaughlin said.
There are numerous evidence-based treatments that can improve mental health in children who have experienced trauma, McLaughlin said. “A critical next step is determining whether these psychosocial interventions might also be able to slow down this pattern of accelerated biological aging. If this is possible, we may be able to prevent many of the long-term health consequences of early-life adversity,” she says.
More information: “Biological Aging in Childhood and Adolescence Following Experiences of Threat and Deprivation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Psychological Bulletin (2020). DOI: 10.1037/bul0000270
Another of the deceptive layers of upper class over lower classes, continues in the multiple levels/layers involved. Although there is now greater ‘openness and transparency’, our highest levels abruptly exit. Even though OCA Scholarship’s/Bursary’s are no longer offered to those from low-SES (socio economic status) backgrounds, ongoing impacts of past CSA effects lives.
Hopes continue, that these effects can eventually be resolved.
To each of our RCbbc Blog Readers who have-are-will submit an NRS Submission, it pleases me that I’m reaching a point in my Submission Drafting that my Counsellor & I will soon send it off to another agency. This may sound complex, yet it’s what a fair amount of the CSA Surviving-Victims require.
Although I had earlier been in contact with some of these same offices previously, I was approaching things in the wrong order. I now understand why some avenues suggest a ‘top down’ mentality, yet for the rest of us we’re happier with a ‘grassroots’ approach.
‘With greater awareness, comes preparedness’. Just as more attention is being shown to the long-hidden patterns of Child-Sexual-Abuse (CSA) in various Institutions, the deeper + wider impacts of ‘Multi-layered Corruption’ throughout wider social layers are beginning to be revealed…
As Qld’s Private Schooling (e.g. GPS) are awaiting for collective, group actions similar to individual churches/schools/teachers – evidence is only mounting. Hopes are to strive for some of the Research, collected with Public Statements, Journalism (draft + published) and other related Info. I am aware of other ‘Group Actions’, yet am unsure of the feasibility of ‘collective (?)’ action. Similar actions have been successful, in communities (I.E. ‘Residents VS Council’) which various CSA Victims and Surviving Family-Friends believe they are. While some institution communities, now distance themselves from past occasions – the damages of previous CSA Impacts does not have the same ‘Use By Date’. Indeed, as per the following ‘can of worms’ image, and as proven by the growing audience of this ‘RoyalCommBBC.blog’ – many others are in need of Support, Direction and Comforting.
As focussed in the following image, are seven (7) of the GPS Qld Schools and Colleges. Alike the classic story of ‘Sisyphus pushing a stone up a hill’, the multiple examples of lifelong impacts of CSA need to be dealt with: IGS, BGS, SJGT, SJNC, TSS, BBC & ACGS. Please add your thoughts…
At least 20 former MPs, government ministers, judges and other prominent figures abused children for decades, claims a former child protection manager.
At least 20 former MPs, government ministers, judges and other prominent figures abused children for decades, claims a former child protection manager.
Whistleblower Peter McKelvie, whose allegations led initially to a 2012 police inquiry, told BBC Newsnight a “powerful elite” of pedophiles carried out “the worst form” of abuse.
He told the programme there was evidence that victims of abuse were treated like “lumps of meat,” taken from place to place to be molested.
McKelvie, formerly a child protection manager in Hereford and Worcester, took his concerns to Labour MP Tom Watson in 2012, who then raised the matter in parliament, prompting a preliminary police inquiry that became a formal inquiry in 2013.
“For the last 30 years and longer than that, there have been a number of allegations made by survivors that people at the very top of powerful institutions in this country … have been involved in the abuse of children,”McKelvie told Newsnight.
Asked if claims had been made against people still in positions of power today, he said, “Very much so … what are allegations may or may not be true, but the allegations are there and they are against very specific named individuals.”
Announcing two reviews into the claims in the House of Commons on Monday, Home Secretary Theresa May said the first would be led by an independent panel of experts headed by Lady Butler Slosson law and child protection, while the second would cover how police and prosecutors handled information given to them.
She said further inquiries would focus on the Home Office’s alleged failure to act on allegations of child sex abuse contained in a dossier handed to them by Home Secretary Leon Britton in the 1980s by former Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens.
May claimed that files in the missing dossier were not deleted or destroyed intentionally, but pledged the inquiries would determine whether state bodies and “other non-state institutions”fulfilled their“duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse”.
“It will, like the inquiries into Hillsborough and the murder of Daniel Morgan, be a non-statutory panel inquiry. This means that it can begin its work sooner,” she told MPs.
Until 2001/2 there appears to have been no Government controls over most Private Schools. Known as “Accreditation of Non-State Schools”, until the introduction of the 2006 Act, all that appears to be available was the ‘Education (General Provisions) Act 1989 (Qld)’. Memories of Buchanan and Bradley seemingly rubbing the noses of their victims, in BBC’s non-inclusions of the 1989 Act were experienced by many. Each of these Victims do have NRS Compensation-Support-Apologies available to them (minimum).
Of particular note in Qld Gov’s Objectives of the 2017 version: “to maintain public confidence in the operation of non-State Schools”. How much does this seem defensive, of the decades + decades of abhorrent ‘kiddie-fiddling’ which ran riot in our ‘Elite Schools of Excellence’?
The following processes, must now be provided to all students:
a. the reporting, by a student to a stated staff member, of behaviour of another staff member that the student considered inappropriate
how the information reported must be dealt with
the reporting, by a staff member to the School’s Principal, of harm of which the staff member is aware, or the staff member reasonably suspects to have been caused to a student under 18 years
the reporting of harm or suspected harm by the Principal to a relevant State Authority.
BGS, GT, BBC, ACGS, NC, IGS & TSS, … BSHS & TGS seem to be ‘saved’?! Each of the other Private Schools/Colleges within Queensland’s GPS competitions have been dealing with higher amounts of CSA, than comparative (coed) Brisbane State High & TGS. Perhaps changes in some of the previously same-gender schools/colleges have allowed for coed into early years, avoiding how male/female only has involved increases in CSA occurrence(?).
Similar to allowance of low-SES culture into Private Schools/Colleges, disbanding these permissions has been introduced at some of these locations. There may have been rises in some International Students. Has this solved the situation, or ‘moved the target’? Again, time will tell – yet any responses from our readers is WELCOME! What’s more precious, reputation of the school, or safety of our children?