Violence Counselling

In 2015, the US Child Protection Services (CPS) received 4.4 million reports of alleged child abuse, involving 7.2 million children. About 2.1 million of these reports were investigated in detail and about 683,000 cases of child abuse were confirmed. It has been established that both sexes suffer equally; the younger the child, the higher the level of victimization.

About three-fifths of all communications to Child Protection Services were made by professionals who are required to collect information about abuse (eg, educators, law enforcement, social services, lawyers, medical personnel, foster care providers).

75.3% of all confirmed cases of abuse in the United States in 2015 are child neglect (including medical neglect), 17.2% physical abuse, 8.4% sexual abuse and 6.9% others forms of abuse, including psychological abuse. Many children have been victims of several types of abuse.

Symptoms of sexual assault

Specific symptoms of sexual assault

  • Overtly sexual games and behavior that does not correspond to the level of development;
  • Sexually colored drawings and conversations;
  • Ability to describe in detail various sexual activities;
  • Excessive masturbation, open masturbation;
  • Involvement of other children in sexual activities;
  • Sexual abuse by a minor against other children;
  • Avoiding men or women;
  • Stigma, isolation from peers;
  • Early onset of sexual activity, frequent change of partners;
  • Prostitution.

Behavioral signs of child sexual abuse

3-4 years:

  • Excessive masturbation. Frequent display of genitals;
  • Sexual games of an obsessive nature, want to do something to a little sister or brother;
  • The child’s behavior becomes sexual;
  • Recurrent nightmares;
  • Encopresis and enuresis;
  • Sleep disturbances;
  • Excessive anxiety;
  • Fear of being alone with an adult, brother, sister, or going to kindergarten;
  • Regressive behavior.

4-6 years old:

  • Excessive masturbation, frequent display of genitals;
  • Sexual games of an obsessive nature, wants to do something to a younger sister or brother;
  • Aggressive sexual behavior with children;
  • Pseudo-adult behavior;
  • Some hostility and aggressive behavior, decreasing as they grow older;
  • The child does not complain about anything during the examination (the child is afraid);
  • Sleep disturbances;
  • Excessive anxiety;
  • Fear of being alone with adults and peers, unwillingness to go to kindergarten;
  • Arson;
  • Regressive behavior;
  • Somatic complaints (headaches or abdominal pain);
  • Refusal to go out.
  • 6-8 years old:
  • Compulsive sexual games with peers;
  • Increasing aggression towards peers;
  • Excessive anxiety;
  • Isolation or withdrawal from normal activities;
  • Irregular school attendance;
  • Sudden deterioration in academic performance;
  • Can’t find friends;
  • Doesn’t trust anyone;
  • Cannot concentrate;
  • Refusal to go out.

8-10 years old:

  • Sexual games of an obsessive nature;
  • Increasing aggression towards peers;
  • Irregular school attendance;
  • Feeling that all efforts are insufficient;
  • Excessive anxiety;
  • Hypervigilance for danger;
  • Injuries;
  • Isolation or withdrawal from normal activities;
  • Refusal to go out.

10-12 years old:

  • Social care;
  • Aggression towards peers;
  • Irregular school attendance and late arrival;
  • Sudden deterioration in academic performance;
  • Does not trust anyone; feelings of loneliness and isolation;
  • Cannot concentrate;
  • Often skips school;
  • Comes to school early – leaves very late;
  • Initial signs of clinical depression;
  • Excessive anxiety;
  • Being overly vigilant about danger or injury;
  • Isolation or withdrawal from normal activities;
  • Mood swings or defiant behavior;
  • Refusal to go out.

12-18 years old:

  • Symptoms of clinical depression, sleep disturbances, suicidal tendencies, isolation from others;
  • Escape from home;
  • Promiscuity;
  • Asocial behavior: fighting, beating other children or animals;
  • Excessive anxiety;
  • Does not participate in school activities;
  • Additive behavior (nicotine, alcohol, drugs);
  • Committing crimes;
  • Dissociation;
  • Being overly vigilant about danger or injury;
  • Mood swings or defiant behavior;
  • Isolation or withdrawal from normal activities;
  • Feelings of loneliness and isolation;
  • Attempted suicide or risky behavior.

What does a therapist have to report to the police?

Go to the emergency hospital for the beatings or injuries to be recorded. During the investigation, the police will seize medical documents. If you feel really bad, an ambulance can take you to the hospital.

In a hospital or emergency room, be sure to tell under what circumstances the injuries were received, who inflicted them, when and where. Show your doctor any injuries and report any pain.

All data on injuries must be recorded by the doctor on duty in the medical record. In the same card, the doctor will describe the nature of the injuries received and what kind of medical assistance was provided to you.

Make sure that the doctor correctly and in detail described the location of the injuries, their size, duration of formation and the way they were obtained. Doctors will do the necessary tests for you to confirm signs of physical or sexual abuse.

Be sure to get a certificate stating that you went to a medical institution for bodily harm. The certificate must indicate the card number, date of application, legible surname, name of the doctor, the stamp of the medical institution. The certificate says that a person who, for example, had a concussion and multiple hematomas in the upper left forearm and thigh, addressed a medical institution.

Such a certificate is the basis for the police to begin to deal with your case. If a person goes to a hospital with signs of violence on their own, hospitals are obliged to report all such cases to the police. Law enforcement officers, in turn, must conduct a check and give the victim a referral for a forensic examination. The qualification of the offender’s actions will depend on the results of the examination.

Do not forget to photo all traces of the beatings yourself in order to attach them to the case. Collect evidence – involve witnesses who can prove the fact of beatings and aggressive behavior of the abuser.

It is always best to have copies of all documents, photos, audio and video recordings in case the originals are lost. Keep copies in a separate, safe place.