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INFORMATION AND STATISTICS

WHAT IS POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER?

If you have experienced severe trauma or a life-threatening event — During the trauma or life-threatening event you feel as if your life

 or the lives of others were in danger or that you had no control over what was happening. 

Not everyone that experiences trauma exhibits signs/symptoms. 

However, there are factors that increase the likelihood of developing the disorder:


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Intensity of the trauma can vary for each individual:

Being physically close to the traumatic event (witnessing violence)

Feeling of being out of control (helpless/hopeless)

Lack of support after the trauma occurred

Reoccurring traumatic events

Common symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:

Recurring intrusive memories or nightmares of the event

Sleep Issues

Anxiousness/anxiety

Feelings of numbness

Loss of interest in normal activities
Irritability/Hyper-vigilance (being constantly on guard)

SIGNS THAT AN INDIVIDUAL HAS BEEN PHYSICALLY/SEXUALLY ABUSED

1. Bruises, Marks, Broken Bones

2. Substance Abuse

3. Nightmares and Anxiety

4. Withdrawal from friends or family

5. Behavioral problems 

6. Feeling dirty or damaged

7. Refusal to engage in normal activities

8. Secretiveness

9. Unusual aggressiveness

10. Suicidal ideation/attempts (Barnett, Millar-Perrin, & Perrin, 2005)

MYTHS AND FACTS

MYTH #1: It's only abuse if it's violent. 
Fact: Physical abuse is just one type of child abuse. Neglect and emotional abuse can be just as damaging, and since they are more subtle, others are less likely to intervene.


MYTH #2: Child abuse doesn't happen in “good” families.
Fact: Child abuse doesn't only happen in poor families or bad neighborhoods. It crosses all racial, economic, and cultural lines. Sometimes, families who seem to have it all from the outside are hiding a different story behind closed doors. 

MYTH #3: Most child abusers are strangers. 
Fact: While abuse by strangers does happen, most abusers are family members or others close to the family. ONLY 10% OF ALL ABUSERS ARE STRANGERS!!!


MYTH #4: Abused children always grow up to be abusers. 
Fact: It is true that abused children are more likely to repeat the cycle as adults, unconsciously repeating what they experienced as children. On the other hand, many adult survivors of child abuse have a strong motivation to protect their children against what they went through and become excellent parents. 

Types of Abuse

PHYSICAL - involves physical harm or injury to the child.

EMOTIONAL - Constant belittling, shaming, and humiliating a child.

NEGLECT - is a pattern of failing to provide for a child's basic needs, whether it be adequate food, clothing, hygiene, or supervision.

SEXUAL - exposing a child to sexual situations, material, or the initiation of sexual activity. (Barkdoll and Musco, 2007) 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE

CHILD ABUSE/FAMILY VIOLENCE STATISTICS

  • Almost five children die everyday as a result of child abuse.
  • More than three out of four are under the age of four.
  • One in four Americans will be directly affected by family
    violence every year.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse. 
  • 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
  • 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
  • Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults occur to children ages 17 and under
  • An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today (Rennison, 2006).

REPORT CHILD ABUSE

  • Almost five children die everyday as a result of child abuse.
  • More than three out of four are under the age of four.
  • One in four Americans will be directly affected by family
    violence every year.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse. 

REFERENCES


Barkdoll, B. E. & Musco, A. J.,(2013).Palm Beach county sheriff's office law enforcement. (14th ed).Tallahassee, FL: Municipal Code Corporation. 


Barnett, O., Miller-Perrin C. L., Perrin R. D., (2005) Family violence across the lifespan (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage Publications, Inc.

Rennison, C., "Rape and Sexual Assault: Reporting to Police and Medical Attention," Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006.