The 16 Signs of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Over many years of working with survivors of childhood abuse, in all of its many permutations and combinations, I’ve come to believe that there is a constellation of symptoms or behaviors in adults which suggest they might have been abused as children. While these are more applicable to sexual abuse, some apply to physical abuse victims and a few apply to the other types of abuse we put children through. Disclosure: the most exhaustive list...

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4 Stages of Healing from Childhood Abuse

Over the years, I have worked with many victims of abuse, women or men who were abused in childhood (I do not work with children).  Sometimes the abuse consisted of neglect; often it was physical, and emotional.  For many, it was sexual.  I find it interesting that in my practice, the men who were sexually abused as children were abused by someone outside of the family. the girls were all victimized by their fathers. (That is not the...

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Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse is the last and most disgusting topic in this series.  As a survivor of this tragedy, I thought I had heard and read it all and that I had recovered.  But in collecting and verifying statistics and information, I am sickened anew.  Children are constantly warned to be aware of stranger danger but sadly, their greatest risk is in their homes and their day to day lives.  Children continue to be raped and violated by parents,...

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Child Abuse: Neglect

When talking about abuse of children, images of battered, broken children usually come to mind. Unfortunately, the most prevalent type of abuse is neglect. Specific terminology can vary, but neglect is usually defined as a pattern of failing to provide for a child’s age-appropriate basic needs or failing to sufficiently protect the child from harm. Neglect may not be malicious – it can arise from ignorance or impaired judgement (e.g a parent...

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Physical Abuse, continued

Abuse can happen in any family and to any child.  Socio-economic station, race, religion and culture are irrelevant when talking about the welfare of children.  Sad isn’t it?  A well-educated man or woman, professionally successful, can be an abuser.  And their children can be at risk every moment of every day. Characteristics and behaviours commonly found in abusive parents or caregivers include: A sense of entitlement where only his...

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