How Can Sexual Violence Be Stopped?
Mothers and Their Children Caught in the Trap
The life-threatening perils associated with domestic and sexual violence for women charged with the care of their children are dire. Of women in abusive relationships, 40 – 45% will be sexually violated during the time of their relationship and are known to be at much higher risk for homicide. Depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and self-destructive patterns of livings such as substance abuse, eating disorders, and cutting are known risk factors associated with sexual violence and trauma.
The likelihood of sexual abuse for daughters multiplies twenty-four times when mothers have unresolved sexual abuse and are addicted to substances. These among other factors requires child-serving agencies to appraise and intervene on sexual violence risks for mothers and their children.
This workshop will examine the importance of addressing a woman's sexuality as part of her treatment process with Children's Services. The focus of this program will be to enhance the case managers' and other professionals' ability to understand and prevent women's and children's risks for sexual violence, red flag indicators, what we know about women, sexuality, addiction, and recovery, as well as barriers that get in the way of healthy sexual choices for women with sexual violence histories.
A case example – a woman who has had a history of sexual and domestic violence, substance abuse, and currently has her 13 month-old child in the care and custody of the county's children's services will be given. Inquiries will be offered such as identification of risk factors, the role of trauma in substance abuse as well as strategies to facilitate self-enhanced living in sexuality. Local and national resources to support healthy intimacy for women with sexual trauma histories will be provided.
- Recognize the definitions for sexual health and sexual violence;
- Explore the underpinnings of intergenerational trauma and impact on risks for childhood sexual trauma;
- Identify at least three red flag indicators for sexual trauma history;
- Explain what gets in the way of healthy sexual choices for women survivors;
- Identify strategies for safety planning and sexual intimacy for women with trauma histories;
- Appreciate the role of personal values, beliefs, and attitudes in working with clients on sexuality and recovery;