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WORKING WITH CHILDREN EXHIBITING SEXUAL BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS. Sexually abused children have both emotional and physical reactions to their abuse. TRUE More likely to have physical health problems Report more school problems More likely to experience major depressive disorders as adults

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  2. Sexually abused children have both emotional and physical reactions to their abuse. TRUE • More likely to have physical health problems • Report more school problems • More likely to experience major depressive disorders as adults • Girls more likely to development eating disorders as adolescents • More likely to develop alcohol and drug addictions

  3. A child who is sexually abused always proceeds to abuse others. FALSE. This is a widespread myth not supported by any scientific evidence or research. • No evidence that childhood sexual abuse leads directly to the victim becoming an adult sexual abuser. • Studies have shown that the majority of sex offending adults have NOT been sexually abused as children.

  4. Growing up in a violent home may lead to sexual behaviorproblems, even if there was no sexual abuse in the family. TRUE. Additional risk factors include: • Incidents of trauma • Physical abuse • Neglect • Exposure to domestic violence

  5. Trauma “A single event or series of events over time, which can tax or overwhelm a person’s resources and sense of wellbeing.”

  6. How an individual responds to trauma depends on: • The person • The traumatic event • The environment

  7. Sexual abuse, domestic violence, physical abuse Exposure to adult sexual activity Access to sexual materials Extreme parental dominance Enmeshed, unhealthy familes Secrecy is a norm Unclear family roles Special privileges for one child over another Unequal roles, unequal power – especially related to gender Family Risk Factors May Include:

  8. Inappropriate adult roles for children Parent is jealous of child Isolated from community and supports Extreme reaction to sex education materials Excessive use of alcohol or drugs Intolerance of/denial of/ lack of feelings Lack of consequences for sexual behavior problems Covertly sexualized atmosphere Additional Family Risk Factors May Include:

  9. Green Light Behavior • Exploration with children of similar age and size; usually not siblings • Voluntary, spontaneous - usually not shame, fear or anxiety • Sexual behavior balances with curiosity about rest of their world May still need limits or intervention (Just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it’s OK)

  10. Yellow Light Behavior • Preoccupation with sexual themes • Attempts to expose other’s genitals • Sexually explicit conversation, graffiti, innuendo • Precocious sexual knowledge or language • Preoccupation with masturbation • Mutual/group masturbation

  11. RED LIGHT BEHAVIOR • Sexually explicit conversations with others of significant age difference • Touching genitals of others • Degradation/humiliation of self or others with sexual themes • Forced exposure of others (hazing) • Inducing fear/threats of force • Sexually explicit proposals/threats

  12. RED LIGHT BEHAVIOR, cont. • Repeated or chronic peeping, exposing, pornographic interest, rubbing genitals against others or objects • Compulsive masturbation • Female masturbation that includes vaginal penetration • Simulated intercourse with dolls, peers, animals, or younger children • Oral, vaginal, anal penetration of dolls, children, animals • Forced touching of genitals • Simulating intercourse with peers (nude)

  13. Definite Need For Therapeutic Intervention • Extensive preoccupation with sexual themes • Secretive, anxious, confused • Angry, violent, forceful in sexual behavior with others • Compulsive sexual behavior; not necessarily enjoyable • Age-inappropriate sexual activity • Sexual activity with much younger or much older child • Attempts sexual intercourse with animals

  14. Experts generally agree that sexual behavior problems are best understood and explained using a continuum of behavior approach. We have chosen to use the continuum developed by Toni Cavanagh Johnson.

  15. Toni Cavanaugh Johnson’sContinuum of Sexual Behavior Problems • Normal Sexual Exploration • Sexually Reactive Behaviors • Extensive Mutual Sexual Behaviors • Children Who Molest

  16. Group 1: Normal Childhood Exploration • Sexual behavior based on discovery and development • Exploring feelings/genitals • Interest in language • Similar age and size • Friends rather than siblings • Voluntary, light-hearted, fun, silly

  17. Group 2: Sexually Reactive Behaviors • Preoccupation with sexuality • Often have been abused or exposed to pornography and sexual stimulation • Shame, guilt and anxiety • Usually alone, or with peers of similar age and size • Do not use force or threats

  18. Group 3: Extensive Mutual Sexual Behaviors • Approach sexuality as the way they play • Use coercion and manipulation, but rarely violence • Without emotional affect • Often have a history of severe abuse, neglect or abandonment • Must relearn social skills • Require intensive supervision

  19. Group 4: Children Who Molest • Obsessed with sexual thoughts • Engage in full range of sexual behavior • A pattern, rather than a solitary incident • Feelings of anger, rage, loneliness, fear • Choose vulnerable and younger or smaller victims • Lack compassion • Borders on compulsive

  20. 6-Step Model of Intervention • Manage your own reaction • Neutralize the behavior • STOP the behavior • Define the behavior, specifically and clearly • State house rule or expectation about the behavior • Redirect the child and/or enforce the consequences

  21. Prevention Education for Children with Sexual Behavior Problems • Teach about Different Kinds of Touch • Role-Play and/or Set up a Safety Plan • Personal Space and Boundaries • Regular Sexuality Education • Birth Control Information • STD Prevention Information

  22. DSHS Confidentiality Rule You may discuss information with: • DSHS representatives • CPA Case Manager • GAL/CASA • Others designated by the Social Worker Check with your Social Worker for guidance about sharing with teachers, counselors, and other professionals.

  23. Safety at School • Request coordinated meeting with Social Worker and school officials • Provide copy of child’s safety plan as it relates to school setting, with permission of child’s Social Worker • Do NOT tell school child is a sexual offender • Some activities may have to be limited based on child’s specific safety plan • Maintain open and frequent communication with school; request regular review meetings

  24. Safety Plans • Define the issue or problem • Be clear about who needs protection • Pinpoint when the behavior occurs • Determine who is involved in the plan • Set a time limit • What if the plan fails? • Re-evaluate

  25. House Rules • Privacy • Respect, courtesy • Supervision • Bedrooms, bathrooms • Clothing, modesty • Horseplay, tickling, wrestling • Sexual talk • Personal touch, personal space

  26. Allegation Prevention • Keep your behavior above reproach • Rule of three • Separate bedroom for foster child • No physical punishment • Clear house rules around privacy and touching, wrestling, tickling, horseplay • Good documentation • Family and group therapy • Reduce your stress • Address issues as they happen • Avoid teasing, suggestive or ambiguous language • Good relationship with caseworker

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