Unsurprisingly (or suprisingly), depending from which POV it is viewed. These leaps in reviews may often indicate that there is greater interest in the topics covered. This melds well, with compared with 2020’s yearly stats (as follow). Notable leaps in ‘Statements’ (comments from other ‘Old Boys’/past BBC students) have a majority of comments, from either past students-family-relations. Through these, a consistent pattern of implicit learning to inherently have the occurrence of ongoing CSA remaining ‘hidden’ in targeted victims often remaining silent. As those who dared raise any objection were indirectly un-enrolled/removed-from-the-system, the multi-layered, hegemonic CSA structure continued. Ironically (?) it was our first female PM Julia Gillard (as pictured), who was able to call the essential Royal Commission (CARC 2013-17), from which we’re now in a ten year NRS.
Taking an ongoing interest in AK Buchanan, out of the moment, 2020’s current stats already show that there is a core interest in:
Taking an ongoing interest in AK Buchanan, out of the moment, 2020’s current stats already show that there is a core interest in:
We are pleased to add in ‘Darkness to Light’s “Child Sexual Abuse Statistics”, to our Library. Following is also a link to their website, celebrating 20 Years (2 decades) of preventing child sexual abuse. Please enjoy your viewing + post any of your comments/suggestions here …
The statistics and facts below can help you understand what child sexual abuse is, the risk factors and consequences for survivors, and how to identify and report suspected abuse. For all statistics and references, download the full statistics PDF.
The Magnitude of the Problem
Child sexual abuse is far more prevalent than people realize. Find out how big the problem really is. Magnitude Statistics
Those who molest children look and act just like everyone else. Abusers can be neighbors, friends, and family members. Offender Statistics
This newsletter covers an update on the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme). It provides information on the National Memorial for Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, an update on institutions and recent Scheme data.
The update contains material that could be confronting or distressing. Sometimes words or images can cause sadness or distress or trigger traumatic memories, particularly for people who have experienced past abuse or childhood trauma.
National Memorial for Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse
As the Scheme goes into its third year of operation, the Australian Government has committed to investing $6.7 million from the 2020-21 Budget to establish a National Memorial for Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (the National Memorial) in Canberra, with completion expected in 2022.
The Government will commission the National Memorial and consult with Victims and Survivors on the memorial design, scope, and purpose of an educative component.
An online survey to give all Australians a chance to have input is now open, visit www.engage.dss.gov.au.
Everyone is encouraged to take part, particularly those with lived experience of institutional child sexual abuse. Your views will play an important role in acknowledging the impact of institutional child sexual abuse and contribute to healing and educating future generations. The survey is anonymous and is open until Sunday 22 November 2020.
The Scheme is continuously working with institutions that have been named in applications or identified by other means to encourage them to join and participate in the Scheme. To date the Commonwealth, all state and territory governments and 303 non-government institutions covering around 53,300 sites such as churches, schools, homes, charities and community groups across Australia are participating.
A total of 158 non-government institutions have committed to join and finalise on-boarding by no later than 31 December 2020.
Having completed my initial NRS Experiences and Impact Statements (NRS Fact Sheet, 2019), it initially felt ironic that the most nerves I had felt was actually at the final stage: Apologies. Advice that has given earlier indicates that description of each individual instance, together with personal impacts from each of their ongoing effects supports the evidence throughout the Instances and Impact Statements. While I had previously had the wrong POV, that completing Instances and Impact Statements, my work would be over – taking a wider POV, it’s now clearer that each section confirms and complements related matters throughout the NRS Submission.
As exciting as all this may sound, the journey of its lodgement isn’t over. knowmore (Community Legal Service) is another body involved in the National Redress Scheme. There are also Senior Staff within Blue Knot, who are able to offer their advice into the fine-tuning/tweaking of the order, expressions, focus and editing of Preliminary NRS Submissions.
In working my way through some of the updated NRS data, I came across the following list of possible example list of impacts of CSA experiences (Describing Impact of your Application, 2019). In closer focus, it began to both horrify my and reminded me in the instance(s) that I’m drafting up a list of requested apologies. I also realise that I am ‘but one fish in the sea’ of previous CSA Assaults. Although I feel fortunate for the beneficial discussions I’ve had, my deepest request/suggestion goes out to any other Surviving-Victim of CSA: Seeking Help can be done anonymously! When you’re ready to take things further, Expert Guidance is available.
Twenty years ago when I first disclosed to my family that I had been sexually abused by my brother as a child, I never would have guessed it would mark the beginning of a long, confusing struggle that would leave me feeling misunderstood, dismissed and even punished for choosing to address my abuse and its effects.
The response from my family did not start out this way. Initially, my mother said the words I needed to hear: she believed me, she was pained for both her children, and she was sorry. My brother acknowledged the truth and even apologized. But as I continued to heal and explore the abuse further, my family members began to push back in ways that hurt me deeply, and only became worse as the years went on.
Disclosure of sexual abuse can be the beginning of a whole second set of problems for survivors, when family members respond in ways that add new pain to old wounds. Healing from past abuse is made more difficult when one is emotionally injured again in the present, repeatedly, and with no guarantee that things will improve. Adding to this pain, family members’ responses often mirror aspects of the abuse itself, leading survivors to feel overpowered, silenced, blamed and shamed. And they may carry this pain alone, unaware that their situation is tragically common.
Here are seven ways that family members revictimize survivors:
1. Denying or minimizing the abuse
Many survivors never receive acknowledgement of their abuse. Family members may accuse them of lying, exaggerating or having false memories. This negation of a survivor’s reality adds insult to emotional injury as it reaffirms past experiences of feeling unheard, unprotected and overpowered.
One might assume, therefore that recognition of their abuse would go a long way toward helping survivors move forward with their families. That is one potential outcome. However, acknowledgement does not necessarily mean that families understand or are willing to recognize the impact of sexual abuse. Even when perpetrators apologize, survivors may be pressured not to talk about their abuse. In my case, I was chastised and directed to stop telling my brother that I needed him to understand and take responsibility for the lasting damage his actions caused me. While I appreciated the acknowledgement that I was telling the truth, my brother’s apology felt meaningless, and was negated by his actions afterward.
2. Blaming and shaming the victim
Placing blame on the survivor, whether overt or subtle, is a regrettably common response. Examples include questioning why victims did not speak up sooner, why they “let it happen,” or even outright accusations of seduction. This shifts the family’s focus onto the survivor’s behavior instead of where it belongs — on the perpetrator’s crimes. I experienced this when my brother lashed out at me, after I expressed anger toward him over the abuse, and told me that I was choosing to “be miserable.”
Embedded in societal attitudes, victim-blaming can be used as a tool to keep survivors quiet. Because sexual abuse victims often blame themselves and internalize shame, they are easily be devastated by these criticisms. It is vital, for survivors to understand that there is nothing anyone can do that makes them deserve to be abused.
3. Telling survivors to move on and stop focusing on the past
These messages are destructive and backwards. In order to heal, survivors need to be supported as they explore their trauma, examine its effects, and work through their feelings. Only by dealing with the abuse does the past begin to lose its power, allowing survivors to move forward. Pressuring survivors to “move on” is another way that family members avoid addressing the abuse.
4. Shutting down their voices
Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I had a recurring dream that I tried to make a phone call but couldn’t get a dial tone, connect the call, or find my voice. These dreams stopped once I began to consistently speak up for myself and I found people who wanted to hear me.
But as most of the behaviors on this list show, families often reject or ignore survivors’ stories of abuse as well as their feelings, needs, thoughts and opinions. Survivors may be accused of treating family members poorly because they call attention to the abuse, express their hurt and anger, or assert boundaries in ways they never could as children. They are often told to stop making trouble, when they are in fact pointing out trouble that has already been made.
5. Ostracizing survivors
Some families leave survivors out of family events and social gatherings, even while their abusers are included. This act has the effect (intended or not) to punish survivors for making others in the family uncomfortable, and is another example of the kind of upside-down thinking that unhealthy families engage in. As I know from several experiences in which I was not invited to my own mother’s birthday parties, the injustice of being excluded is extremely hurtful.
6. Refusing to “take sides”
Family members may claim they don’t want to take sides between survivor and perpetrator. However, staying neutral when one person has inflicted damage on another is choosing to be passive in the face of wrongdoing. Survivors, who were left unprotected in the past, need and deserve to be supported as they hold abusers accountable, and shield themselves and others from further harm. Family members may need to be reminded that the abuser committed hurtful acts against the survivor, and therefore neutrality is not appropriate.
7. Pressuring survivors to make nice with their abusers
I have no doubt that I would have been welcome at my mother’s birthday parties if I had been friendly to my brother and acted as if the abuse was merely water under the bridge. But of course, I was not willing to accept his refusal to respect my feelings or grasp the weight of what he had done to me.
Survivors should never be asked to face their perpetrators, especially for the sake of others’ feelings or in the interest of brushing abuse under the rug. Pressuring them to do so is an obvious repeat of the abuse of power that was exerted upon them at the time they were violated, and is therefore destructive and inexcusable.
There are many reasons family members respond in harmful ways, which may not be ill-intentioned or even conscious. Foremost is the need to maintain their denial about the sexual abuse. Other reasons include: concern about family appearance, awe or fear of the perpetrator, and complications posed by other problems within the family, such as domestic violence or substance abuse. Guilt for not recognizing the abuse at the time or for failing to stop it may also contribute to family members’ denial. Some may have a history of victimization in their own past which they are not able, or ready to address. And some family members may even be perpetrators themselves.
Faced with these types of behaviors, survivors may sometimes be tempted to give in simply to end the repercussions and avoid losing their families altogether. But whether or not survivors struggle against unhealthy dynamics and hurtful family reactions, they will continue to be affected by them. The pain of backlash from family is rarely as high a cost as the sacrifice of a survivor’s truth.
I know firsthand how painful this “second wound” can be. Had I been better prepared for what lay ahead after my disclosure, I might have been spared years of sadness, frustration and struggle against unchanging family dynamics. Fortunately, I have learned never to compromise what I know to be true, or what I deserve.
To viewers of this Blog, this is just letting you know that throughout our times with BBC – more, specialised help is becoming available! We’re not here, pretending to be anything official – yet this is the setting where we can be of most help. Recently, there’s been some extremely accurate articles. We apologise, if parts of these have caused distress to some – yet, now’s the time + place these (hidden) realities should be default with. Just as they should, with the remainder of our families. Not instantly (for some), yet gradually each of us should have an opportunity to discuss them with our families-companions-counsellors.
Recognizing common symptoms of childhood sexual abuse can help parents, caregivers, teachers, social workers, counselors and childcare staff alert the appropriate authorities and take proper steps to protect the welfare and safety of our children. It is far too often that I hear stories of adults, who fail to recognize that something is wrong with their child and attribute concerning changes in their kids’ behavior to temperament, age or other misguided explanations.
Because of this, I want to take a quick look at 11 common psychiatric symptoms experienced by victims of childhood sexual abuse but please keep in mind that this is not a diagnostic guide or a substitute for professional consultation. I have tried to clump together common symptoms that bring people (both children and adults) to the therapy office due to past history of childhood sexual abuse but this is by no means a comprehensive list and any of those symptoms taken separately may have other etiologies.
Depending on the age, specific nature of the sexual trauma and the temperament and coping skills of each person, the clinical presentation may look differently. If you have experienced any form of childhood trauma, abuse or neglect, you may identity with some of the behaviors and patterns discussed below. In that case, I would highly suggest seeking out some help.
1.Dissociation. Dissociation is probably the most common defense mechanism the mind employs to protect itself from the trauma of sexual assault. It is the escape of the mind from the body in times of extreme stress, sense of powerlessness, pain and suffering.
2. Self-Injurious Behavior (cutting, self-mutilation). Self-mutilation is another way survivors of trauma employ in an effort to cope with the experience of severe emotional and psychological pain. Some research shows that during cutting or self-mutilation, the brain releases natural opioids that provide a temporary experience or sense of calm and peace that many, who cut, find soothing.
3. Fear and anxiety. An overactive stress response system* is among the most common psychiatric symptoms in survivors of sexual trauma. This is manifested in extreme fear, social anxiety, panic attacks, phobias and hyper vigilance. It is as if the body is in a state of constant alert and cannot relax.
4. Nightmares. Just like the intrusive terrorizing memories of war veterans, survivors of sexual abuse often experience nightmares, intrusive thoughts and disrupted sleep.
5. Substance Abuse. Abusing substances is a common coping mechanism for people, who have experienced trauma. Even the “normal” experimentation with drugs of adolescence is not so “normal,” especially if you raised your kid to know the impact of drugs on the central nervous system, the consequences of addiction and the long-term effects of habitual drug use.
6. Hypersexualized behavior. This is a commonreaction to pre-mature sexual exposure or a traumatic sexual experience. If a child is too young to be excessively masturbating or is engaging in pre-mature sexual play or behavior, this is typically a sign that the child has witnessed, been a participant in or has been exposed to adult sexuality. In adolescence and adulthood, this can take the form of promiscuity, illegal sexual activity such as prostitution or participation in pornography, escort services, etc.
7. Psychotic-like symptoms. Paranoia, hallucinations or brief psychotic episodes are not uncommon for survivors of child sexual abuse.
8. Mood fluctuations, anger and irritability. Children are often unable to verbalize their feelings so instead, they act out on them. Sometimes, the same is true for adults. Mood fluctuations, irritability and disrupted neurotransmitter systems in the brain that present as depression, mania, anger and anxiety are common among trauma survivors.
9. Disrupted relationships and difficulties maintaining long-term friendships or romantic partners. Following the aftermath of sexual abuse, people are not experienced as safe, trustworthy and available so maintaining long-term relationships based on honestly is difficult and often tumultuous.
10. Regressive behaviors (mostly in children). Enuresis (bed wetting) and encopresis (involuntary soiling ones’ underwear with feces) in a previously potty-trained child, unexplained and sudden temper tantrums or violent outbursts, as well as clingy, uncontrollable or impulsive behaviors that were previously missing from a child’s way of being with others is another common indicator of something gone terribly wrong.
11. Physical complaints, psychosomatic symptoms or autoimmune responses of the body. Many clinicians from different schools of thought have written on the subject of the way the body stores and remembers trauma in response to the mind rejecting, forgetting or dissociating from the experience. Psychoanalysis terms these reactions “unconscious” as they express an experience out of language, out of words and often out of what is perceiveable by an individual.
When the unthinkable happens such as in several of the clinical cases described by Dr. Bruce Perry in his book “The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog and Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us about Loss, Love and Healing,” the mind copes by mobilizing the body to express something that is otherwise inexpressible with words. We see in Dr. Perry’s neuroscientific approach to the understanding and treatment of traumatized children how the physical brain responds to the experience of trauma and how the mind communicates and eventually heals from this experience in the safety of the therapeutic relationship.
*I am borrowing the term “overactive stress response system” from Dr. Bruce Perry’s book “The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog and Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us about Loss, Love and Healing.” Many of the symptoms I have listed in this post are also discussed in his book, including dissociation, self-mutilation and hyper sexualized behavior.
From the above chart’s simple 8 points, how many viewers know of these ordeals? Whether sexual or physical violence, they each are an act of VIOLENCE. Anyone’s childhood is meant to be appreciated, while we are raised to become ‘young adults’ at 18. The following image, may also remind some of the hardships as victims of their CSA teachers.
Coercion and threats
Minimising, denying and blaming
“Ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised, dangerous situations, exposing them to sexual situations, or making them feel worthless or stupid are also forms of child abuse and neglect – and they can leave deep, lasting scars on kids.” (Harrison, The Minds Journal, 2020). The following are major forms of CSA:
Survival of any of the above listed actions, are strongly suggested to talk to someone else about it. It’s preferable that it be someone outside your immediate family, as there are many Counsellors available. NRS is also being updated, allowing for it to be easier for CSA victims to have their matters sorted – not impacting others (“minimising”).
INSTITUTIONS are identified, with description of many of scenarios dealt with in Australia’s Royal Commission (CARC) and the current National Redress Scheme. For the benefit of those Victims-Survivors that have come forth, we ask for you to consider coming forward. Counselling can be confidential, lodging an Application is when details begin to be made public.
Since 26th Oct 20, there has been a jump in visitors to our RCbbc Blog. Most of these were concerning ‘known CSA predators’, ‘elite’/‘private schools’ and ‘previous charges’/‘current trials’. The inclusion of another ‘Brand™’ of GPS Schools (Catholic) had also been a major trigger to these jumps. While following a similar pattern of how Journalistic-identified programs had unveiled CSA instances, upwards from southern states; RCbbc has ‘back-traced’ these same trails in reverse (BBC-GPS-NSW).
Although identification of these trails were discussed during our early days (2013-15), it is still breathtaking when truths are realised. Unfortunately, those who experienced any of Butch’s (AK Buchanan, BBC, St Paul’s & IGS) classes may remember some of AAGPS Schools being mentioned, in his previous exploits (SHORE, Scots College et al). Much more is awaiting to become evident, so stay tuned.
BBC’s inclusion in the Royal Commission’s eventual National Redress Scheme, is administered via the PMSA (Presbyterian Methodist Schools Association). Each of the other stated Private Schools should be administered by their similar authorities. Relevant details of each of these institutions is contained in the following References, which should provide relevant authorities detail upon request.