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.
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.
Bridget Sipera, a teacher at Camden Catholic High School in New Jersey, has been charged with sexually assaulting a male student less than half her age . The two repeatedly had sex over an 18 month period.
Western society tends to view sexual activity among teens as part of the natural process of development. We bombard teens with sexual images. Discouraging sex seems repressive to us.
While we may be protective toward our daughters, some of us actually cheer our sons on. Sex with a teacher is seen as the ultimate fantasy.
But there are serious dangers associated with early sexual activity. And sex between an adult and child is as damaging to boys as it is to girls.
Teens who engage in sex are likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors in adulthood .
They are more likely to have multiple sexual partners, and less likely to use condoms. This increases their chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or HIV, and having an unwanted pregnancy.
Ten million of the sexually transmitted diseases newly reported each year are acquired by young people between the ages of 15 and 24 . It bears mention that the brain is not fully developed till age 25.
Early exposure to sexual content can, also, give rise to sexual addiction [4A].
Best estimates are that 3% – 6% of American men suffer from sexual addiction . However, women can fall prey to sexual addiction, too.
Sexual addiction can destroy relationships, compromise finances, and contribute to criminality.
Typically, sexual addiction is characterized by one or more of the following [4B]:
reliance on pornography and/or prostitutes;
an endless succession of meaningless sexual encounters;
use of fetishes in place of human interaction;
sexual sadism or masochism.
Addicts persist in these behaviors despite the negative consequences.
In an attempt to better understand the underlying causes, some psychologists classify sexual addiction into categories . These categories help explain why certain individuals are more susceptible to sexual addiction than others. The categories can overlap.
Biological – Most sexual addiction has a biological component. Where the biological component is predominant, fantasy can supersede or replace relationships altogether. Triggers must be identified and carefully regulated, so that the brain can be retrained to new neural pathways. A sponsor who will hold the addict accountable for lapses can be beneficial.
Psychological – This form of sexual addiction is a reaction to childhood abuse or neglect. As many as 80% of sex addicts may fall into this category. For them, sex has become a maladaptive means of self-soothing. Their underlying psychological pain must be addressed before a healthy self-image can be re-established, more appropriate means of coping substituted, and the addiction overcome.
Trauma-Based – This form of sexual addiction is the direct result of sexual trauma in childhood or adolescence. Trauma drives the repetitive behavior. To heal, the addict must first make the connection between such trauma and his/her acting out. Suppressed feelings surrounding the trauma must be explored and resolved.
Mood Disorder – Sexual addiction can co-exist with anxiety and depression (as well as lead to those). Teens and young adults may use sex as a way of “managing” their mood disorder, and find themselves addicted to the sexual response.
Spiritual – This form of sexual addiction is an attempt to fill an emptiness inside only God can fill. As the philosopher/mathematician/scientist/theologian Blaise Pascal put it, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”
That sexual addiction is a challenging and tenacious disorder does not absolve sex addicts of the harm they inflict on others.
 National Center for Biotechnology Information, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, PubMed Central, “Understanding and Managing Compulsive Sexual Behaviors” by Timothy Fong MD, November 2006, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2945841/.
Although this title may be recognised by some, as a recent inclusion in EC Curriculum in Qld (2008-12) – it intentionally parallels the controlling, executive set of rules of the church – while those following, ‘beneath’ practice these same “commandments” bound by emotions of ‘sin’ , ‘praise’ ‘righteousness’ and ‘faith’ (Old Testament, Knowing Jesus 2020), moving onto focus on motivation to “draw in the fishes, to feed 4,000 (then 5,000) men” (‘miracle’ story-analogy in the Bible’s Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, and Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-15; practiced by Fundamentalist Churches, as “instruction from god”) (Knowing Jesus 2020). Differing denominations-sects of the Christian church interpret this common story extensively: from life-critical wars (modern tribal differences), global offences (WWII & Jewish Genocide), Court Offences (e.g. Buchanan Sentences and Lloyd Trials) and peaceful debates (politics, national-state & Vatican).
4,444 victims was the extent of abuse by Catholic priests in the 2017 CARC (The Guardian, C. Kraus): Marist and Christian Brothers forming highest (20% & 22%). Through analytical review of ABC News’ 2019 article on the Catholic Church, it became evident that beyond the traits of “Celibacy, order and obedience” were reinterpreted by later religions. As many held to a goal of ‘being different & not copying’ the traditions of Catholicism, their reuse of “the religious order’s secretive, cloistered world” was commonly identified. Other examples include:
Although other churches have mostly broken away from Celibacy, each have created their own Order, with the element of Obedience practiced at varying levels;
Catholics continue to practice use of Roman terminology, yet few recognise the deceptions underlying this mistranslation;
Freemasonry in the Vatican – does the following sound familiar: “Masonry is not for everyone, just for the select few.” At the same time Masonry teaches it is the only true religion and that all other religions are but corrupted and perverted forms of Masonry. (2020).
As complex as these examples may be, they were given to provide a small example of some popular influences practiced regularly. What began as just a ‘social influence’ 2,000 yrs ago, has grown into such impact that lives are lost, innocents are killed, with many other ‘breakaways’ following the original recipe. Unfortunately, Child-Sexual-Abuse remains a constant that’s still being addressed – despite the Royal Commissions, Inquiries, Summons and (empty) ‘Promises’ – CSA continues. Perhaps the means by which power is brought over vulnerable youth-disabled-elderly-indigenous-women-class-LGBITQ? One answer we all need is equality. Yes, Equality.
Some Private Schools in NSW are supported outright by Religious bodies, also sharing traits with many of Brisbane’s CSA experiences (GPS). Coupled with the ‘Teacher-swapping’ habitus of GM Cujes and his involvement in the CARC, there’s been withdrawal of School Seniority from Catholic Schools and Change-of-Names. The ‘Christian Brothers’ (seriously, not satire) had withdrawn their church leadership (ABCNews 2019), appointing laymen to these Headmaster roles. As there had already been suspicious reputations of secrecy and cloister (ABCnews 2019 & BRA 2020). Thankfully the separations into ‘good’ Patients and ‘bad’ Patients extended to occasional medical checks at local hospitals. In keeping with canon law to remain completely anonymous to outside authorities (King 2019). Ironically the Patients who made the majority of the ‘bad’ group, were Catholic Christian Brothers. Seemingly, like persona forced themselves to flock together leading to give a negative impression on nurses who were used to serving a wider public audience.
Unsurprisingly, George Pell had perjured himself in his Defense of Gerald Ridsdale. As immortalised by the following photo, Pell would later be acquitted by an overruling Australian High Court (2020). Potentially on legal-technicalities, the multiple Judges overruled a previous Guilty Verdict of Pell. Now in the Catholic’s Vatican, Pell may be enjoying his escape from judicial trials yet as any CSA Victim-Survivour knows, their actions will leave their mark until the end.
Ironically, GM Cujes (although denouncing CARC allegations, 2016) achieved Headmaster of Trinity College. Previously St Patrick’s College, later renamed Trinity Catholic College by the Catholic Church. Changing names (persons, businesses & institutions) is frequently associated with desires to create distance from historic events of the previous namesake. Psychology, Justice and other fields acknowledge these facts. Unsurprisingly, GM Cujes had preferred to be referred to by his middle name whilst Headmaster of BBC (1990-1996). Under Trinity appointment, Graham appears missing as their preference. AK Buchanan (‘Butch’) used similar choices between his hunting-playgrounds (BBC & IGS): (A) Kim at BBC and Anthony K at Ipswich Grammar School.
Brought closer to the fore, by the ongoing matters of: Jimmy Saville, Jeffrey Epstein, Rolf Harris, Harvey Weinstein, Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey … Each of these supposedly ‘esteemed gentlemen’ did share a common thread: suspected of child sexual abuse (or variants).
Seemingly naturally continuing on past behavoiours, various elite levels within our modern society practice behaviours-actions, they actually speak against:
This does appear to emulate the Church-based practice of “don’t practice, what I preach”, in the form of increased amounts of legal convictions against church officials. With numerous GPS Private Schools interlinked, with an associated Religious Institution this ‘elite’ context gains another level.
For many conversations with non-GPS attendees, mention of “pinky”(elite) GPS schools continues top receive an unspoken (secretive?) response. Throughout the timeline of this RCbbc Blog, CARC, NRS and Counselling there has always been an element of:
Vast political conspiracies(?)
Mind control (?)
While each of these came from another article, they caught my attention and can be remembered in passing conversations of other schoolmates. This led onto a search amongst available media of: ‘hidden secrets of elite culture’s lifelong impact’.
Psychologists at California State University, Northridge, studied 234 professional performers, looking for a reason why mental health disorders are so common in the performing arts.
“The notion that artists and performing artists suffered more pathology, including bipolar disorder, troubled us,” dance coordinator and psychologist Paula Thomson, a co-author on the new study, told Psypost.
“No one seemed willing to also include the effects of early childhood adversity and adult trauma and its influence on creativity and psychopathology.”
The study examined 83 actors, directors, and designers; 129 dancers; and 20 musicians and opera singers. These study participants filled out self-report surveys pertaining to childhood adversity, sense of shame, creative experiences, proneness to fantasies, anxiety, and level of engagement in an activity.
The participants were able to be categorised into three groups: those who reported a high level of childhood adversity; those who had experienced a lower or medium level; and those who had experienced little to none.null
It’s the high-level group that demonstrated the greater extremes. These performing artists had much higher anxiety, much more internalised shame, and reported more cumulative past traumatic events. They were also more prone to fantasies.
But they also seemed more connected with the creative process, the researchers said. They were more aware of it, and reported feeling more absorbed in it. They reported heightened awareness of a state of inspiration and a sense of discovery during the process.
They were also able to move more easily between the state of absorption and a more distant state for critical awareness, and were more receptive to art.
“Lastly,” the researchers wrote, “[this] group identified greater appreciation for the transformational quality of creativity, in particular, how the creative process enabled a deeper engagement with the self and world. They recognised that it operated as a powerful force in their life.”
Obviously the study has caveats, as self-reported studies can be prone to personal bias. Also, since it was limited to performing artists, comparisons couldn’t easily be made with other subsets of the population.
Nevertheless, the finding, the researchers said, may indicate that adult performers who have experienced childhood adversity are better able to recognise and value the creative process; and the ability of that group to enjoy the creative process could indicate resilience.
“We are saddened by the number of participants in our study who have suffered multiple forms of childhood adversity as well as adult assaults (both sexual and non-sexual),” Thomson told Psypost.
“So many participants in our sample have experienced poly-traumatization and yet they also embrace their passion for performance and creativity. They are embracing ways to express all that is human.”
Long suspected throughout many CSA Victims’ childhoods, in 2018 Scientific Alert published the following article on the proven-identified link: “Scientists Have Found a Strong Link Between a Terrible Childhood And Being Intensely Creative”. Opening with ‘exposure to abuse, neglect or a dysfunctional family’ throughout a victim’s childhood, expands to join together how these impacts have a clear linkage. Complemented through Counselling and verifying some Victims’ long-held suspicions, this Article gives another (Scientific/Journalistic) POV – which may also satisfy those of us who often felt disbelieved, palmed-away or ignored. We knew what we were/had survived; we just didn’t know how to word, or should I say ‘Scientifically categorise’ what we ‘endured’! … WTF ?!!!… we were only young, innocent kids at their time: the perfect hunting ground, for these Criminal-Pedophilic-Dirty-(typically)-Senior/Old-(WO)-Men.
I apologise for going off on an emotional-outburst, yet this is a toned-down form of many of the conversations had with Victims, Parents and Relations; Thankfully, their mutual aim is to protect this triggering news from younger Siblings; As horrifying as this possibility is to consider, perhaps this is (another) layer of defence which the Criminal-Pedophilic-Dirty-(typically)-Senior/Old-(WO)-Men know of + exploit. Having (naturally?) always having entered the Arts, this Article gives many reasons and answers questions, yet more interests may be shown. Perhaps this is an underlying advantage of Creativity, yet CSA Survivours I’ve spent any time with each have their own ‘checklists’ to work through. At this point, I’ll aim to re-publish the complete Article ASAP, in addition to again providing the Private + Confidential Counsellors. Of great interest, is the amount of focus I am working through with my Counsellor on the “minor and inconsiderate” events, which are actually mounting up to explain the devastating impact which may result.
Hopes are that each of you, your loved ones and each of our ecosystems copes alright throughout this COVID19 Pandemic.
Hope Bastine was brought up in a “free love” community where sexual abuse of children was rife. As her abuser Derek Lincoln is finally brought to justice, she speaks to Sharon Hendry
Sharon HendrySunday August 09 2020, 12.01am BST, The Sunday Times
For years I have suffered from raging insomnia, and as usual I was pacing the streets of my local town centre fuelled with adrenaline after a poor night’s sleep. I found myself in front of a drab police station and suddenly there was a eureka moment.
I was ready to break the codes of the deeply secretive religious organisation I had been born into and tell the story of horrific, repeated abuse that has haunted me for more than 40 years. So, just like that, in 2004 I walked into Watford police station and reported to the desk: “I want to talk to somebody about some abuse please.”