CSA Blog Series : Do You Know What You Need to Know?

This post is introducing a Blog Series. I find that many do not want to talk, read, think, consider, and spend time learning about childhood sexual abuse.

It’s easy to look away.  We’ve all heard “yeah that’s horrible but that doesn’t involve me, so…”  The sad thing is it doesn’t involve any of us until it happens to us, our child, our family member, our partner remembers something about their childhood they never suspected well into your marriage. If you’ve navigated this in your life in some way, you know there is a great privilege in feeling like this “doesn’t involve you”. I find that there is a nonchalant attitude from a lot of people about this who don’t really understand it. IF we were more informed, maybe it wouldn’t happen, maybe it wouldn’t keep happening right under our nose, maybe the damages wouldn’t be so devastating. The list goes on, so many maybes.

This information I’m giving is just one fraction of what is out there. I am in no way an authority on this, this is just the tip of some possibilities. This content is so complex. These are just SOME of the things that could possibly come up. This is definitely a “take what works and leave the rest” situation. My intention with these writings is to spark a dialogue and ask “what does this mean for you?” and encourage you to ask those questions of people in your life too. Anytime information is cut down to be more digestible for the masses, it is natural that I would lose some of the depth and for that I apologize. I am definitely not an expert in Childhood Sexual Abuse, I am saying “here is one piece, where will you go with this? Let’s get ourselves talking about it.” If you ever have feedback for me, I encourage you to bring it right to me. I would love to hear, keep it in mind as I write, and I thank you for that.

1 in 5 females and 1 in 20 males

Take that in for a moment. Think of 5 girls / women you know. Think of 20 boys / men. And this statistic is only what is reported and is not fully accurate. A society that truly values children would not have a statistic like this. I will also say there is so much focus on how women suffer and yes women do suffer. But boys and men also have suffered from this and I intend to be inclusive of them.

This blog series is written with hopes of providing information for the people who are in contact with people who have had this experience or may be having this experience and you’re wondering (not only therapists but teachers, parents & family, mentors, friends, partners, etc).

Whether they are still a child or grown, there are so many ways to be helpful in their journey. And there are many behaviors and comments that are harmful (even if we are well meaning).  We will all run into this if we work with people.

My hope is that this avenue of writing sparks a dialogue inside of you. What does this mean to you? Here is what I will cover :
  • The effects in current time: naming the link between abuse and current struggles. How the past can influence the present, the basics of how this can affect lives in all facets (personal power & self-image, mental health, intimacy, sexuality, physical experience, parenting & families). Click here to read this post on the effects.
  • Gender and sexual orientation stereotypes : there are times when boys and girls experience abuse and women do the abusing. And times when boys are abused by men. Women who are lesbians are not gay because of their abuse. Click here to read the post on gender and sexual stereotypes.
  • For partners : how to work with partners of people who have this life history, how to help them with their feelings of rejection / anger in relationship to sex. Here are the links for Part A and Part B of the “for partners” content.
  • Sex: we all need some healing here, this post may be very helpful for all of our lives with the culture we live in! Click here to read the post on sex.
  • For kids & families : (this is a huge one when the abuse happens within the family, this may be split into multiple posts):  How is the family system affected and what can be done to give repair? What happens with the person who abused the child? Silence in families? Keeping relationships manageable? How and when to break the silence? What to do if / when the silence is never broken? Healthy sexual development in children.
  • How CSA can affect pregnancy, birthing, postpartum, and everything in between
  • The institutional piece is often missing from the CSA conversation. What to do if you suspect abuse in any circumstance.  The real deal with reporting, police, state laws, etc. How oppression & the system play into this.

 Thank you for taking the time to read! Your presence with this information could make a difference in someone’s life. With love, Alicia


About Alicia Patterson

Alicia Patterson is a Psychotherapist / Dance Movement Therapist, Birth Doula, Energy Worker, Dance and Yoga Facilitator in the Boulder / Denver area.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.