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

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

Tips to Help Your Child re-Handle a Violent Conflict

Nonviolent Conflict Solving is necessary if we choose to instill peaceful values into our children. Given the degree of anger and violence in society, children may need to know, as early as possible, how to handle disagreements with each other without letting their anger get out of control, and without using violence. As they develop physically and cognitively, children can be helped to use the conflict-solving methods that worked for them in their early childhood days to problem solve around the more complicated problems that appear in adolescence. We’re not violent so why should we teach this to our children? … Continue reading

The NET worth of a sexual predator.

Sexual predators defraud where ever and when ever they can. Like trolls prettied up as princes, they permeate every part of society and pick their targets from where ever they can access them: including the internet. They know no class or gender bounds; they instead pick anyone who falls for their fraudulent and cowardly manipulation. Their net casts over us all, yes, even those members on Be careful, be warned, be vigilant of whom you share personal information with. I have already had a dubious contact through It was dealt with, the person banned immediately, and there has … Continue reading

Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

October means many things to different people, Fall, Halloween, Christmas shopping time, just to name a few. October in our house means that it is Sexual Violence Awareness Month – a busy month for me that ends with the International Reclaim the Night march on October 27. Each year, October’s awareness raising focuses on a particular aspect of sexual violence. This year the focus is “Stop incest.” I hear this message loud and clear. Turnaround defines incest as: Any overtly sexual act between people who are closely related or who perceive themselves as being closely related (as in relationship between … Continue reading

What is Age Appropriate Sexual Development in Early Childhood? The Three to Five-Year-Olds.

The introduction to Age Appropriate Sexual Development can be viewed here. The pre-school child now has increased vocabulary and contact with a larger number of people. The children remain curious about their own bodies and the bodies of others. They are becoming acutely aware, and interested, of the difference between a boy body and a girl body and will typically start asking questions like, “Why does Daddy have a penis?” Their increased social contacts may bring them into contact with other Moms who are pregnant, or indeed, there may even be pregnancy in their own home. The questions continue: “Where … Continue reading