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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72464 Find in a Library
Title: Sexual Abuse of Children - Child and Offender as Victims (From Toward Human Dignity - Social Work in Practice, P 210-216, 1978, John W. Hanks, ed.)
Author(s): J Ensminger; S A Ferguson
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: National Assoc of School Workers
Washington, DC 20005
Sale Source: National Assoc of School Workers
1425 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on the experiences of Philadelphia's Center for Rape Concern (CRC), the article examines sexual abuse of children with regard to psychological effects of the victim, the abuser's personality, and treatment plans for both.
Abstract: For more than 20 years, (since the late 1950's), the CRC has worked with child victims and perpetrators of sexual assault. Male as well as female victims have been served, but the majority of cases treated have been female. Violence is seldom used in sexual abuse of children because the offender is usually someone the child knows and trusts. However, the child is often told that she will be punished or a member of her family will be hurt if she tells anyone about the sexual relationship. Families often blame themselves or the child, and the resultant guilt can negatively affect the victim's adjustment. CRC's social worrkers operate on a home visit format and visit the home within 2 days after an assault is reported to obtain more information and determine if the child is protected adequately from future assaults. The social worker must establish a relationship with the child to assess her emotional status and need for treatment, while enouraging parents to support the child without inducing guilt and fear. Experiences with adults who were sexually assaulted as children indicates that supportive intervention shortly after the incident can often prevent long-term effects. If the victim exhibits marked changes in behavior or cannot verbalize feelings, a child psychiatrist will be involved. According to CRC professionals, the pedophile is usually an insecure man with a passive-aggressive personality who has been unable to maintain a satisfactory heterosexual relationship. The assault is often committed on impulse, possibly triggered by drinking, and many times the offender believes that the child was a willing participant. These offenders are treated at CRC through outpatient group therapy conducted by a psychiatrist/social worker team containing both a male and a female. Participants are helped to understand internal conflicts, control impulsive behavior, and develop adult relationships. Five reference notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Child abuse situation remedies; Child molesters; Family counseling; Pennsylvania; Sexual assault victims; Social work; Victim-offender relationships
Note: Paper presented at Ffth NASW (National Association of Social Workers) Professional Symposium on Social Work, November 19-22, 1977, San Diego, California.
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