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#450659 - 10/19/13 05:59 PM Child Advocacy A Step to Heal But Not Enough
KMCINVA Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1540
My T has suggested my next step in healing would to be to give back. I have done some volunteer work for CSA, have met survivors and spoken to the families of several survivors. I have been on a panel to discuss my abuse to help those inflicted and to educate. But I have been looking for something more recurring. I saw in a local paper the child advocacy center needing support and help. Last week I went to an introductory session. The center works with children of abuse up to the age of 18. These children have experienced emotional, physical and sexual abuse. It was an eye opening experience—so many children suffer and the impact was so evident in their faces and actions. We learned there are children there who falsely accused a parent or someone close to them of abuse, mostly sexual abuse. Someone asked the frequency of false accusations and why would a child do this. It is higher than I expected with estimates of 10-25% of all abuse allegations may be false. Why, several reasons, manipulation and control of the child by another parent or caregiver to gain love, parental discipline, permissiveness of parents to allow children to control the house and so on. They are there because they suffered emotional abuse. When they were speaking of the false accusations I thought of several people on this board who have experienced such destructive accusations. It made me realize most children who make false accusations are doing so from their own emotional abuse. It is a sad and vicious cycle that can repeat and repeat.

It was an eye opener and I realized it takes a special person to work with children who need to heal. I was sad to see the children and hear of some of the stories. I admire people who are able to help these children. I left feeling sad and remembering so much of my own abuse. I did feel good that these children are getting help to overcome the abuse but as the personnel said, resources are limited and it takes time to heal the children. At age 18 they are no longer able to avail themselves to the facility.

More needs to be done to ensure facilities and help is available to children and post 18 and to educate the public. It was quite clear, the sooner the child receives help after the abuse, the better chance the child has to live the life he/she deserves. Silence has been our ally but also our enemy. I also realize I am an adult but part of me was stuck like these children in the period of the abuse. This Board and MS has done much to bring the issue to the forefront but clearly more needs to be done.

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#450690 - 10/19/13 11:23 PM Re: Child Advocacy A Step to Heal But Not Enough [Re: KMCINVA]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1467
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: KMCINVA
My T has suggested my next step in healing would to be to give back.
Hey KMCINVA,

Your T is exactly right. Its by serving others that we overcome our own tendancy to focus on only our own problems. When we see that there are others in this world hurting as much, if not more than ourselves, it gives us some perspective on our own pain. We can find healing for ourselves by helping others, even in the most menial roles. I think we should all consider this.
_________________________
"But now old friends are acting strange,
they shake their heads, they say I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day
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Joni Mitchell

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#450709 - 10/20/13 08:19 AM Re: Child Advocacy A Step to Heal But Not Enough [Re: KMCINVA]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
Quote:
We learned there are children there who falsely accused a parent or someone close to them of abuse, mostly sexual abuse. Someone asked the frequency of false accusations and why would a child do this. It is higher than I expected with estimates of 10-25%


That is a horrifying statistic. Everything I'd previously found on the matter said it was closer to 2%. Is there possibly a source you can cite for it?

The importance of giving back is very real. I'm trying to find opportunities to be an in-class guest speaker - when I was in school we had them come and talk about alcoholism, drunk driving, eating disorders, disabilities, etc. I figure it could do some good....
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#450710 - 10/20/13 08:41 AM Re: Child Advocacy A Step to Heal But Not Enough [Re: SoccerStar]
KMCINVA Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1540
It was said verbally and I was stunned. But the range is wide--it could be at the low end, high end or somewhere in between. I thought I had previously heard 2-7%. I did a google search after your question--I found several stats from 2% to 10% another with 12%. Maybe I misunderstood the stat. They were also talking about unsubstantiated cases and maybe it was a combined stat. That would make more sense. Also one stat I saw was alarming--estimated in cases of marital discord/divorce, child custody the rate is estimated of false accusation to be as high as 35-55%.

Nothing is good about false accusations.


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#450712 - 10/20/13 12:51 PM Re: Child Advocacy A Step to Heal But Not Enough [Re: KMCINVA]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1388
Loc: California
Totally, wholeheartedly agree with this.

Earlier this year I finally volunteered to be a Big Brother (mentor program). They signed me up immediately with a 12 year old boy who has multiple disabilities, wears glasses and hearing aids - just like I was when I was 12.

It's been really challenging in ways I wasn't expecting, and rewarding in ways I could not have predicted. It's a weird paradox (and wisdom of the ages) that the mentorship, thoughtfulness, deliberateness in the way I role model for my Little Brother, is providing ME the mentorship, thoughtfulness and deliberateness in the role modeling I SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN when I was a child.

Surprised by what's happening. But it seems it has become a direct exercise in learning how to parent myself by role modeling for this child. And I feel like I'm growing by leaps and bounds in awareness, compassion, and understanding for myself, as well as others.

I think I'm learning far more subtle nuances of my emotional language (my heart), and thus, being able to TRUST THEM. I had an epiphany about "trusting your feelings". It is said that survivors of abuse learn to distrust their feelings. One of our tasks as survivors is to learn how to trust our feelings. Because out of trusting ourselves is the ability to think clearly and respond appropriately and the ability to take care of ourselves and be mindful of others at the same time.

So YES! to volunteering to work with others. Many others have suggested the same thing to me, but I have resisted it for many valid reasons. It wasn't until I thought about volunteering with KIDS specifically that it started clicking into place. I can easily volunteer as long as I know I'm making a significant contribution to children(s) lives.

Dammit. I always intend to write a short reply and wind up typing a lot more. Sigh.

D


Edited by Magellan (10/20/13 12:55 PM)
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#450993 - 10/22/13 03:41 PM Re: Child Advocacy A Step to Heal But Not Enough [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: SoccerStar
I'm trying to find opportunities to be an in-class guest speaker - when I was in school we had them come and talk about alcoholism, drunk driving, eating disorders, disabilities, etc. I figure it could do some good....


Update:

I spoke to the chair of my old high school's health dept. She was able to verify that I was indeed a former student. She is cautious about the idea - apparently the "guest speaker" initiative was scrapped years ago. We talked a little about why I want to do this, my past history as a teacher, and the multiple levels of approval that would be needed. I might be better off trying a "fresh start" at a whole different school but at least here I can name drop the teachers I'd had who can vouch for me being a real person. I emphasize that this is the high school, NOT the elementary school!

If the school attempt doesn't work out, my T said I could contact hospital psych and trauma wards which will have social workers involved, who in turn would have contacts for community outreach opportunities.

I may have to give up on this but I will at least try.
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#451019 - 10/22/13 09:56 PM Re: Child Advocacy A Step to Heal But Not Enough [Re: SoccerStar]
BraveFalcon Online   content
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1087
Loc: The ATL
Hi Kevin. Wow, what an awesome and worthwhile endeavor you undertook by volunteering with the child advocacy group. I only hope that at some point in the future, I can find some way of giving back as you have, in a manner that would be appropriate for my abilities and for someone with my issues. It is an inspirational idea for sure and it's one that I only wish more people out there would look into.

Originally Posted By: KMCINVA
It was said verbally and I was stunned. But the range is wide--it could be at the low end, high end or somewhere in between. I thought I had previously heard 2-7%. I did a google search after your question--I found several stats from 2% to 10% another with 12%. Maybe I misunderstood the stat. They were also talking about unsubstantiated cases and maybe it was a combined stat. That would make more sense. Also one stat I saw was alarming--estimated in cases of marital discord/divorce, child custody the rate is estimated of false accusation to be as high as 35-55%.

Nothing is good about false accusations.


If these statistics are true, they are horrifying for a number of reasons. One being that children who are manipulated into making a false allegation are facing a from of abuse as bad as any. Two being that there is no better or more effective way to completely destroy a person's life than to falsely accuse them of abuse. Three because if these statistics are true, that makes it much, much harder to successfully prosecute a person who is legitimately abusing children, especially when there is no physical evidence, as there often is not. That statistic alone gives any defense attorney all the ammo they need to create reasonable doubt. The reality of false allegations opens any allegations up to skepticism, and, sadly, it should. I can't imagine there is a fix to this in regards to our justice system. What a disaster.

Originally Posted By: SoccerStar

I may have to give up on this but I will at least try.


Good luck with this, Matt. You're a brave man for even trying. I only hope you are successful. Peace,

Ken

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#451026 - 10/22/13 10:32 PM Re: Child Advocacy A Step to Heal But Not Enough [Re: BraveFalcon]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1540
The more I research the statistics I realize there is at least 90% of cases with valid cause. The remaining cases are strongly influenced by family situations--manipulations and control of a child to alienate a caregiver by another caregiver looking for emotional support or love. I believe the numbers would be closer to the lower end of the range. Sadly, as you stated it is a terrible way to destroy someone's life--but for some this is their goal, unintentional or intentional, is to hide their own absences and issues. And a very high percent of these situations are not true. If you strip out the cases related to marital discord/divorce or child support. So if we can save and protect at least 90% we are giving hope to a large number of children.

For me, it is important to protect the child and to identify false accusations so the innocent are protected. But in the end the child has been damaged-but to many the false accuser is only a pawn of others and must deal with the emotional issues of their abuse. They need help as does that who have been sexually abused. It is such a difficult path for so many.

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#451568 - 10/28/13 12:37 PM Re: Child Advocacy A Step to Heal But Not Enough [Re: KMCINVA]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
FURTHER UPDATE:

They said no. The in-class guest speaker program was scrapped so long ago that current faculty didn't even understand what I had described. They thought I was a professional motivational speaker and I would need to be paid - asked for my website. I pointed out that the twenty-something-year-old alcoholics and bulemics and burn victims who spoke when I went there weren't "professionals", they were taking time out of real life to talk firsthand experience of things that put kids at risk.

I offered to pre-prepare a presentation / script and submit it for their review but they weren't interested. And they said that the post-Sandy-Hook visitor background checks were so intensive that it didn't seem like it would be worth anyone's while, including my own. They also repeatedly said they just couldn't justify varying from the curriculum.

So, that's that I guess. All I could do was try.

10% of all high school boys will ADMIT to being sexually assaulted during athletic hazing. I guess they'd just better hope this is covered by the standardized testing curriculum because otherwise it clearly has no place in their health class.



Matt
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#451609 - 10/28/13 06:20 PM Re: Child Advocacy A Step to Heal But Not Enough [Re: KMCINVA]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6356
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
On what topic would you present to High Schoolers? Just CSA in general is rather broad and beyond the scope of non-parental control.

In your last post it looks like you are trying to encourage disclosure. That's not for a non-professional to perform and certainly ought not be pitched to a large gathering of peers.

I mean its fun to go to the Sex Offender section of a prison and jab at them all of Halloween night and make them all want to die or kill the speaker, but if someone were to pitch this in a HS in my reach, I'd have the Skool Brd in court.
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