CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE: Breaking the Abuser’s Power Global Campaign for Violence Prevention: Kuching December 2003 Gill Raja: SWWS / UNIMAS SEXUAL ABUSE WHAT DOES IT MEAN? ANY ACTIVITY WHICH BRINGS SEXUAL GRATIFICATION TO THE ABUSER AND IS EITHER • EXPERIENCED BY THE ABUSED AS DISTRESSING OR •IS AN INAPPROPRIATE/DAMAGING EXPERIENCE FOR SOMEONE AT HER/HIS STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT. SUMMARISED BY How Defined by the Law A child is “ sexually abused if he has taken part, whether as a participant or an observer, in any activity which is sexual in nature for the purposes of: (i) any pornographic, obscene or indecent material, photograph, recording, film, videotape or performance: or ( (ii) sexual exploitation by any person for that person’s or another person’s sexual gratification. ( PART VI Section 38, Mal .Child Act 2001..\Akta Kanak-kanak 2001\ Penal code more restricted so harder to prove Lesson: The wider the definition the more you erode the abusers power base. BREAKING THE POWER NEEDS US TO: • Listen to Children • Believe Children • Stop Our Denial • Recognise Signs of Sexual Abuse • Recognise That Sexual Abuse Is Commoner Than We Think • Encourage Reporting From Children, Relatives, Neighbours & Teachers • Provide Emotional As Well As Physical Safety for the Child • Keep-safe Programmes for Kids • Being Able to Talk About Sex • Supporting Non-abusing Relatives • Understanding the Dynamics of CSA • Providing Programmes for Abusers POWER + ISOLATION = ABUSE PRESENT IN: PUBLIC, PERPETRATOR, FAMILIES & SURVIVORS Example of Forgetting Prevalence and Reported Denial & rates are different. Anger Malaysian Estimate of child sexual abuse: 8.3% of females: 2.1% of males (Amar Singh: 1996) Reported: 258 children under 12 in 2000 to JKM & on average 400-600 girls between 12-16 to police (Amar Singh, 2002) Could Rising Statistics be a Measure of Success? If so emotional reaction to increase may reverse trend APPLY EARLIER LESSONS • Awareness of Self • Handling our Emotions • Increasing our Knowledge Base • Increasing our Empathy with the Survivor • Empowering the Child and those caring for her COMMON REACTIONS IN THE SURVIVOR PRODUCES FEELINGS PROBLEMS AFFECT: OF: • POWERLESSNESS • INTERACTING WITH Tiada Kuasa PEOPLE • STIGMATISATION • HAVING CONFIDENCE Stigmatasi IN SELF • BETRAYAL • ACTIVITIES Curang • SEXUAL • SEXUALITY RELATIONSHIPS Seksualisasi yang melampau Remember: Each Person Reacts Differently HOW THESE FEELINGS MAY SHOW THEMSELVES:- POWERLESSNESS:- Tiada Kuasa • Having Control Important - may exert own power • Difficulties with people in authority • Does not understand, or has difficulty in keeping the usual boundaries which exist in relationships • Low expectations of a relationship HEALING:- EMPOWERING • GIVE HER CONTROL OVER HER LIFE WHERE THIS IS POSSIBLE AND APPROPRIATE FOR HER AGE • SET APPROPRIATE BOUNDARIES AND EXPLAIN WHY THEY ARE THERE • WHEN NECESSARY TO USE YOUR POWER USE IT ASSERTIVELY SO YOU ARE A GOOD ROLE MODEL- DO NOT BE AUTOCRATIC • HELP HER TO DEVELOP POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE (neither victim nor bully nor isolate) • WHEN SHE DISCUSSES ABUSE HELP HER REALISE HOW LITTLE POWER SHE HAD THEN BUT HOW IT CAN NOW BE DIFFERENT. CHECK OUT IF SHE IS STILL IN FEAR • GO AT THE CHILD’S PACE - DO NOT RUSH AND PUSH • ENSURE CHILD FEELS LOVED (UNCONDITIONALLY) AND SECURE STIGMATISATION Stigmatasi • SELF-BLAME • GUILT • `DAMAGED GOODS’ • LOW SELF-ESTEEM • DRUG/ALCHOL ABUSE • SUICIDAL TENDENCIES • SELF-MUTILATION HEALING:- S ma REMOVING STIGMA T t i G g • BUILD-UP CHILD’S CONFIDENCE AND SELF-ESTEEM • GIVE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE • NEVER ADD TO THE STIGMA - Do not blame the child; gossip about them; see their future as damaged for life • POSITIVELY PLAN FOR THEIR FUTURE • HELP THEM WORK THROUGH THEIR DEPRESSED FEELINGS INCLUDING ANY GUILT OR SELF-BLAME • STRESS THE ABUSER IS RESPONSIBLE NOT THEM • HELP THEM TO SEE HOW THE ABUSER TRICKED THEM • LET THEM EXPRESS FEELINGS OF CONFUSION e.g. The abuser may have been nice to them sometimes; some aspects of the abuse may have been pleasurable like being cuddled, reflex to being touched on genitals T R BETRAYAL U S T Curang • UNABLE OR HAS DIFFICULTY IN TRUSTING PEOPLE • STRONG EMOTIONS WHICH CAN EXPLODE, OR STIFLE DEVELOPMENT, IF CHILD IS NOT HELPED TO EXPRESS AND UNDERSTAND THEM e.g. ANGER, FEAR, GRIEF HEALING:- OVERCOMING BETRAYAL • BUILD UP TRUST • HONOUR YOUR PROMISES / BE RELIABLE • SHOW YOUR TRUST IN THE CHILD • BE PREPARED TO BE TESTED • PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR THE CHILD TO EXPRESS ANGER, GRIEF AND CONFUSION • SHOW RESPECT • GO AT THE CHILD’S PACE • WILL HELP CHILD IF KEY FAMILY MEMBERS SUPPORT CHILD AND ABUSER TAKES RESPONSIBILITY. IF THIS IS NOT HAPPENING AT APPROPRIATE TIME HELP CHILD TO UNDERSTAND WHY THEY MAY NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HELP THE CHILD IN THIS WAY. SHOW THAT YOU BELIEVE THE CHILD. SEXUALITY Seksualisasi yang melampau • MAY HAVE LEARNT THAT SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR IS WHAT YOU DO TO PLEASE ADULTS AND GAIN AFFECTION • OR MAY HAVE LEARNT THAT SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR IS A PUNISHMENT • EITHER ADVERSLEY AFFECTS DEVELOPMENT OF HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS AND COULD LEAD TO PROMISCOUS BEHAVIOUR (SEARCH FOR AFFECTION - BLAMING AND PUNISHING SELF) HEALING: TOWARDS HEALTHY SEXUAL RELATIONS • BE AWARE OF YOUR OWN ATTITUDES AND DO NOT LET THEM BLOCK YOU HEARING WHAT THE CHILD IS EXPRESSING AND HOW THEY NEED TO BE HEALED. IF UNCOMFORTABLE SEEK HELP. • SHOW UNDERSTANDING AND GIVE GENTLE GUIDANCE ON WHAT IS EXPECTED BEHAVIOUR • HELP THE SURVIVOR TO SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT THEY EXPERIENCED AND A HEALTHY SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP • INCREASING THEIR SELF-ESTEEM, EXPERIENCE OF TRUSTING RELATIONSHIPS & HOW TO SET THEIR OWN BOUNDARIES WILL ALL HELP IN THIS AREA. 9 factors affecting recovering of male survivors: Struve (1990) 1. Prevalent myth that men are not victims makes them reluctant to seek help 2. Defense Mechanism of minimalisation as society has (mistaken) view that sex with an older woman a privilege: with another man indicates own orientation 3. Shame as failed to protect self or sort revenge (links to image of male) 4. Exaggerated efforts to assert masculinity Struve’s work continued Cont. 5. Difficulties in expressing perceived feminine side within their male identity. 6. Confusion over sexual identity 7. Power & control behaviour to compensate for powerlessness 8. Externalisation of feelings (Acting on) rather than expressing them – ie. following pattern socially prescribed for men. 9. Vulnerable to compulsive behaviours (product & task activities) as they help them deny feelings. A WORD ABOUT ABUSERS ADULTS: CAN ONLY BE SAID TO BE ON THE ROAD TO REHABILITATION WHEN: THEY ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY SHOW EMPATHY TO THOSE THEY ABUSED KNOW WHAT HELP THEY NEED WHEN THEY ARE TEMPTED TO REOFFEND AND FIND IT, CHILDREN WITH SEXUAL BEHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS NEED TO BE RECOGNISED EARLY, UNDERSTOOD & HELPED FOR EACH CHILD Listen to her/his experiences, perceptions & desires Enable child to maintain significant relationships with non-abusing relatives & other trusted adults Ensure child feels safe physically & psychologically throughout childhood Provide help to those caring for the child so they can deal with issues which arise Ensure all children abused by the perpetrator are identified and helped. CAN WE …. • Increase Detection Rates? • Increase Numbers Coming to court and fast-track cases? • Have Programmes for Abusers including after release? • More Community Based Services? • Reactivate SCAN and make it effective? • Discuss Dynamics Involved in CSA with Magistrates?