When sexual abuse occurs children often act or behave in ways that are counterintuitive to what society believes they should behave. In 1983, Dr. Roland Summit developed the Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome model to help others understand the many ways in which children react to sexual abuse. The model is broken down into 5 stages, the first two Secrecy and Helplessness are the preconditions to the occurrence of sexual abuse and the remaining three Entrapment and Accommodation, Delayed, Conflicted, and Unconvincing Disclosure, and the finally Retraction, are sequential contingencies which take on increasing variability and complexity (Summit, 1983). Children are more than often sexually abused by someone they know and trust.
As the circumstances of child abuse testimonies have only started being taken seriously in the past thirty or so years, there has not been much research on the short term and long term effects of children testifying in criminal court. All child abuse cases are individually significant to their circumstances and they are almost always complicated when it comes to children having to testify in court. The effect of abuse on the child, be it short term or long term appear to be worse if the abuse came from a family member, especially a parental figure and if the child had to testify multiple times. It is also very difficult to discern whether if the child displays signs of trauma if it was a result of the abuse, the harshness of testifying in court; in many cases in front of the abuser, or if it was a combination of the whole ordeal. There are also certain conditions, a child has that can make them more predisposed to experiencing the ordeal as extremely
Psychological writers have argued that “children are the most dangerous of all witnesses” (Brigham, Van Verst and Bothwell, 1986, p. 296). The dependability of a witness’s recall of events should be of great importance to everyone;a person will never know when guilt or innocence may be dependant on how well a child can recall an event they have witnessed. A field
In the book No Crueler Tyrannies, Dorothy Rabinowitz builds the nature of her criticism upon false confessions extracted by leading questions and groundless ideas implanted into the minds of children to get a testimony by psychologists who are acting prejudiced under the influence of social hysteria, which was raised majorly by media in response to the Child Abuse Reporting Act that terrorized United States starting in mid 70’s. With Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, which was enacted in 1974, people started to wake up to possible abuses happening around them and began to report any kind of suspicious demeanor. Every report regardless of its reliability was drummed up by the media and contributed to a moral panic situation in 80’s.
Though child abuse is inevitable, the ability to improve outcomes for children of abuse is achievable with the right resources. This is why creating and an awareness of child abuse, identifying attributes of resilience and their relevance in overcoming adversity is imperative. According to Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University resilience can make or break a child’s journey in overcoming their abuse, “In the final analysis, resilience is rooted in both the physiology of adaptation and the experiences we provide for children that either promote or limit its development.” (2015, p. 1), which is why to be active members of society and understanding the importance of reporting abuse. Reporting abuse not only provides an opportunity to safeguard that child, but it also rolls up into federal reporting leading to increased awareness at a national level with potential for increased funding to sustain or improve existing or create new programs and services for abused children.
doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2013.12.002 Font, S. A. (2015). Child protection investigations in out-of-home care: Perpetrators, victims, and contexts. Child Maltreatment, 20(4), 251. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1732543511?accountid=7098 Morton, Brenda. "
The film, “One night the Moon” by Rachel Perkins and , “Took the children away” by Archie Roach are comparative texts. Through Rachel Perkins’ use of effects, techniques and imagery, the audience can clearly understand that her view of family ties and the stolen generation is very similar to the song “Took the children away”.
It is found that from the years 2009 to 2013, a documented 63,000 children were reported as victims of sexual abuse or harassment. Statistically, it is also found that every eight minutes, Child Protective Services find evidence or claims of child sex abuse. The effects of this abuse can be long-lasting and consequently affects the mental health of a victim. It is found that victims who encounter sexual harassment are four times as likely to develop drug abusiveness, post traumatic stress disorders, and three times as likely to develop anxiety or depressive episodes (Children and Teens: Statistics). The consequences of sexual abuse are not only found to be confined to the times of incidents but develop lasting effects on the victims long after the incident occurs.
Research has provided evidence that people who were subjected to abuse and neglect during their childhood were more likely to become involved in criminal behavior later in life. According to the National Institute of Justice, being a victim of abuse or neglect during childhood is likely to increase the potential of arrest of a juvenile by 59 percent, an adult by 28 percent, and 30 percent for a violent crime (NIJ 2011). Adolescents who were victims of sexual assault are three to five times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, be abused again, become dependent on drugs and alcohol, or commit delinquent acts compared to adolescents who were not victimized. Additionally, girls who witnessed violence during childhood are almost
To conclude covering this topic of child abuse, it is important for those within and outside the social work profession to understand the guidelines of helping a potential child in danger. As mentioned before social workers are mandated reporters but not every one outside of that profession is. Any individual who witnesses or even hears of any type of child abuse has the power to greatly help or even save that child life. It is predicted that those that suffer from abuse are less likely to graduate high school, become employed, and even get married when compared to those that haven’t suffered from abuse. These children that suffer from being abused also have a higher rate of getting put in a juvenile detention center and/or even being arrested
Sadly even more children are abused than actually reported, “research has revealed alarming rates of abuse in foster care. One independent study after another has found abuse in one-quarter to one-third of foster homes, and the rate in group homes and institutions is even higher. And for reasons related to study methodology... even those figures almost certainly are underestimates” (Richard Wexler). According to Wexler a majority of figures addressing the number of children abused are put together by the child welfare agencies.
When children and teens commit a violent crime such as murder, courts convict them as adults. This means that children as young as eight have been tried as adults in court. Eventually, these convicts will be housed in jails with adults. Despite the federal law stating that juvenile and adult inmates must be separated, most states do not comply with these rules. Furthermore, a law that varies throughout the states is the age in which courts send the children to adult or juvenile prisons. These cutoffs range from 7 to 14 years old. At any rate, the current situation is one that has sparked many moral and ethical beliefs to surface, resulting in debates that have yet to be resolved. Children who commit violent crimes should not be tried as adults, because proper educational services are typically not affordable, children are more susceptible to harming themselves
Lapedo Child was another treasure in the scientific world. At first, it looked like a regular child skeleton that had been specially buried in a spiritual ritual. Even the ochre stained bones, animal bones, charcoal, tiny traces of pollen, the four deer teeth and two periwinkle shells did not raise too much of an attention. Nor did the fact that Lapedo Child was just four when he died, of unknown causes. Everything about Lapedo Child indicated he was a modern human. The chin was modern. The red ocher burial was a common modern human ritual. The Scotch pine in the grave pit was dated to a time when modern humans had inhabited Portugal. However, something didn’t make sense.