W e know that the abuse or neglect of children is tragically common in America today. Nor are most of us surprised when studies point to a strong link between the physical, sexual, or psychological maltreatment of children and the development of psychiatric problems. To explain how such problems come about, many mental health professionals resort to personality theories or metaphors. Research on the effects of early maltreatment, including the work of my colleagues and myself at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, appears to tell a different story: that early maltreatment, even exclusively psychological abuse, has enduring negative effects on brain development. We are also beginning to understand how these abnormalities may account directly for the personality traits and other symptoms that patients manifest.
Online child sexual abuse material – the facts
Female sexual abuse: The untold story of society's last taboo | The Independent
Sharon Hall is a small, timid figure with wide brown eyes that dart nervously between the floor and her hands as she speaks. During our conversation, her sentences fluctuate between slow, fractured prose and sudden, spluttering outbursts as her words fall over each other in a fight to assemble. It has been almost 10 years since Sharon last tried to speak about the childhood memories she has spent much of her life trying to suppress — and that particular encounter, as we shall see, left her feeling sorrily dejected. The experience of sharing her story today she describes as a gruelling rite of passage, one she feared would prove too painful to complete: "Every moment I feel the effects of what I went through," she starts in a small, raspy voice, pausing briefly to brush an imaginary strand of hair from her cheek, before continuing, "I've been trapped by my past for all these years.
Students sexually abused at school face lengthy legal fights
When a perpetrator intentionally harms a minor physically, psychologically, sexually, or by acts of neglect, the crime is known as child abuse. A perpetrator can have any relationship to a victim, and that includes the role of an intimate partner. Regardless of how the law defines incest, unwanted sexual contact from a family member can have a lasting effect on the survivor. Skip to main content. Read More.
When children sexually assault other children at school, sometimes the only measure of justice comes through the courts. The barriers are formidable, and can lead to long, grueling fights: Public schools in many states enjoy powerful shields, including caps on damages if they lose a lawsuit and high legal hurdles to prove misconduct. And a handful of states offer schools complete immunity from lawsuits in state court. But the incentives for families are powerful, too — protecting their children, winning reforms and sparing others the nightmare of sexual assault. In Miami, the mother of a second-grade boy filed suit in after she said she pleaded in vain for months for administrators to protect her son from sexual abuse by an older boy at his charter school.