Children Who Are at Risk of Being Abused

This week I watched a horrifying story on Dr. Phil about a mother who remarried and whose three girls endured years of sexual abuse by their stepfather. It was just absolutely gut-wrenching to hear what these girls endured. While I felt for the mom, a part of me couldn’t grasp how 8 years of this could go by and she had absolutely no clue. In fact, at one point Dr. Phil asked her if looking back now, could she see signs and she still says no. I certainly don’t want to point any fingers at her but what I am … Continue reading

Stranger Danger No Longer the Only Problem

It seems like lately all I am hearing are stories of child sexual abuse. Most of us are well aware of the Penn State scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, a former football coach. There are 10 alleged child victims. Then just this morning I hear on my local news station about the director of communications for the evangelical Lutheran organization, WELS, being arrested for charges of child pornography. Football coaches, religious leaders, teachers…the very ones we entrust our children to, taking advantage of their vulnerability and abusing their powers. Who can you trust anymore? Sadly, we live in a world where … Continue reading

Ask a Marriage Blogger – Leading Causes of Divorce

A good friend of mine is getting married shortly, and she’s had a number of questions about marriage and how to cultivate a good relationship with her new husband. As we’ve conversed, she’s given me permission to share some of her questions, and my answers, with you. Q. What are the leading causes of divorce? A. This is a very natural question – divorce is so common these days, it’s almost impossible to contemplate marriage without wondering if it will end in divorce. As I look into it, the causes seem to largely be these. Poor communication – when one … Continue reading

Teaching kids about teacher danger

I hate writing about this because I don’t want people to think I am anti teacher. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I think that most teachers are wonderful teachers who would give the shirt off their backs for their students. I would know, I was raised by one. However, it is hard to ignore all of the the incidents of teachers preying on and molesting children. Just this week, a Retired W. Pa. teacher was convicted on sex charges. A columbus Ohio teacher was caught sharing child pornograpy. Also a Florida teacht got 10 years for sex with … Continue reading

Sexual Assault: Denying Your Anger at the Perpetrator

One would expect that when a person has been sexually assaulted, the victim of the crime would be extremely angry at the perpetrator. But the act of sexual assault has such a profound effect on a person that what one might expect should happen, doesn’t necessarily happen that way at all. Take the case of Madi. Madi had been sexually assaulted by her boss of seven years. She didn’t report the incident and continued to work with him. However, within weeks of the assault she developed severe anxiety and panic attacks. It was these out-of-control feelings that drove her into … Continue reading

Anger and Sexual Abuse (4)

In Anger and Sexual Abuse (3), we looked at how 35-year-old Jenna had been sexually abused by her stepfather as a child and was now taking out her rage at this injustice on the world at large. She had just lost her job as a lawyer and had come for counseling. Jenna had never told her mother of the abuse as she was too frightened to do so as a child and now as an adult, she didn’t see the point in raking up old wounds. Yet Jenna was in enormous pain. She couldn’t maintain long-term relationships due to her … Continue reading

Anger and Sexual Abuse (3)

So far in this series on the anger associated with sexual abuse, we have covered the areas of guilt and internalized anger. Today we will examine the phenomena of “anger at the world”, a behavioral trait that is often exhibited by victims of sexual abuse. Jenna had been sexually abused by her stepfather from the ages of 8 to twelve. Her own natural father had died when she was 3, and her mother relied on her stepfather for a decent standard of living. Now 35, Jenna was consumed with rage at anything and everything. She had never told her mother … Continue reading

Anger and Sexual Abuse (2)

In Anger and Sexual Abuse (1) we looked at the role of guilt and anger in keeping victims of sexual abuse caught in a twilight world of unrelenting personal pain and anguish. Today we will focus more on the anger itself. The anger may have two origins: the anger directed at the self as a result of sexual assault and the anger directed outwards. The anger directed at the self is particularly destructive. Shawna was a very strong person, but she did not view herself that way. Her particular incident of sexual assault involved being held prisoner and she feared … Continue reading

Anger and Sexual Abuse (1)

In The Guilt of Sexual Abuse we looked at the issue of guilt and how it is such a common phenomena as to be almost expected after an incident of sexual assault. Today we will look at the anger associated with this insidious crime. Anger and guilt are the flip sides of the coin of sexual abuse. They are the daily currency for many victims of sexual crimes. But while guilt often appears soon after the abusive incident, anger can take much longer to come to the surface. Guilt, that is, taking responsibility for the abuse upon yourself rather than … Continue reading

Teach Your Kids How To Talk To Strangers

As parents we spend time talking to our kids about not talking to strangers. We also talk to our kids about what to do if they get separated from us while we are out in public. Most of us tell them that they are to approach someone and ask for help. Many of us tell them to approach a woman since women are more likely to become emotionally invested in helping your child and are less likely to be sexual predators. Unfortunately some kids may be unable to approach a stranger and ask for help when they need it most. … Continue reading