Sex Abuse Research for Parents
It's no secret that child molestation has a lifelong lasting impact, manifesting itself in many ways and at different stages of life. We have developed this page as a resource center for you to visit and learn about the latest studies and research into childhood molestation. As attorneys representing parents of sexually abused children, we owe it to our clients to stay informed so that we can truly be effective advocates for you and your child.
Why childhood sex abuse may cause repressed memories in adulthood, and why victims may take years to come forward. The human brain is a complex organ. It has nearly full control over the functioning of both the body and the mind. However, a traumatic event can deeply change the way a victim’s brain processes and interprets information. Any profoundly horrifying or life-threatening occurrence – a natural disaster, a battle, or a physical or sexual assault – can scar the mind and alter the operation and structure of the victim’s brain. Research proves that victims of sexual abuse, particularly childhood molestation, may develop PTSD, guilt, anxiety, depression, and phobias. These can, in turn, lead to relationship and work problems, irrational fears of people, places, or things, or even thoughts…Read More
How does Childhood sex abuse lead to PTSD? Post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly known as PTSD, is a grave psychological condition triggered by a traumatic or horrifying event in a person’s life, such as childhood sexual abuse. The person’s life may have been placed in mortal danger, or they may have sustained grievous injury—or there may have been the imminent threat of grievous injury. PTSD is a consequence of the feelings of powerlessness, terror, or latent phobias which often plague survivors of traumatic experiences. While PTSD has traditionally been associated with war veterans, similar symptoms have been documented in victims of accidents, natural disasters, or physical or sexual assault. Moments of intense fear or horror create powerful echoes within a person’s psyche. It’s natural for that…Read More
A look at how child sex abuse effects change brain structure and function It’s an established fact in psychology and neuroscience that the earliest years of a child’s life are the most formative. The experiences a child has in the first years of life impacts the kind of adult you become. Optimally, an abundance of learning opportunities and thorough parental involvement become a recipe for a well-balanced and contented adulthood. In the worst-case scenario, however, an unhappy childhood—full of stress, traumatic experiences, parental neglect, and other unpleasantness—can have “lasting negative outcomes” on a person’s life. At the annual Society for Neuroscience Conference in 2012, Jamie Hanson, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin, presented some of his insights into the development of the brain and behavior…Read More
How it Helps Sexually Abused Kids A Children’s Advocacy Center, or CAC, is an organization that focuses on helping victimized children sensitively yet efficiently. They do so without forcing children to relive their horrible experience by repeating their stories numerous times. CACs bring together specialists from many different disciplines: law enforcement officials, child protective services, lawyers, psychiatrists, physicians, and child advocacy groups. These individuals jointly interview abused children and decide, as a single unit, the best course to take with the investigation of the crime, the treatment of the children’s psychological trauma, and the proper conduct of legal proceedings. The Model, Explained Customarily, there is little to no cooperation between law enforcement, advocacy groups, and the medical community. Traditionally, each of these groups would interview abused…Read More
A new approach to helping sexually abused children The National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint, or NCTIC defines trauma-informed healthcare as “an approach to engaging people with histories of trauma (such as childhood sexual abuse) that recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives.” What exactly is “trauma”? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, holds that “individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.” Trauma caused by Childhood sexual abuse Childhood…Read More
Helping Child Sex Abuse Victims & their Parents Move Forward Much attention is being paid to victims of child sex abuse before and during the criminal trial of their abuser. Victims receive the customary outpouring of public sympathy and righteous indignation on their behalf. But what happens after the abuser is convicted and imprisoned? The psychological and physical problems resulting from the sexual abuse don’t just fade away with the public furor. Childhood sexual abuse often causes a lifetime of mental health issues. Victims battle with feelings of guilt, shame, fear, and anxiety for years afterward. They often have difficulty forming meaningful relationships as adults. In extreme cases, sex abuse victims turn to self-harm or suicide to escape their mental strife. “Letting the Future In” But there…Read More
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