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No discipline, whether medical, legal, or clinical in orientation, holds sole responsibility for what should be done with cases involving preschool age victims; no discipline has all the resources or all the answers. However, professionals in all disciplines who interview, diagnose, or treat alleged young victims of sexual abuse should have two things in common: (1) familiarity and experience in communicating with young children, and (2) expertise in and knowledge of the problem of child sexual abuse. Children suspected of being abused and those suspected of abusing them deserve no less, though they frequently receive it. The suggestions that follow are presented with the hope that one day they will receive the specialized attention they deserve.
The increased use of innovative tools and techniques for diagnostic assessment is indicative of our growing awareness that face to face verbalization is only one of many avenues of communication with very young children. The use of puppets, anatomical dolls, art materials, and so forth not only provides children with familiar options with which to communicate; it also provides a measure of distance from subjects that may be too threatening to deal with initially in a direct manner. Those who employ these tools and techniques should be trained in their use and in interpreting the meanings of how they are utilized by children.
In the initial stage of identification, a series of interviews with the same interviewer is usually indicated in order to build rapport, establish trust, and give the interviewer a clear sense of what (if anything) has happened to the child. This may not be necessary with every child, and it may also depend on the purpose of the interview. The child's developmental level must be kept in mind with regard to what can and cannot be expected from a particular age group or stage of development. The young child may reveal little in one short assessment interview in a stranger's office, but given time and trust, may re enact the abuse for a caring person wh has established a relationship.
Sexually abused children are frequently afraid to disclose the abuse, due to threats made by their abusers or their own fears of what will happen if they tell. There ore, it is important to address those fears and potential consequences early in an interview, so that a child can begin to feel safe enough to describe what happened. It is equally important to recognize the children's use of defense mechanisms against disclosure, such as denial and projection, and to differentiate those protective devices from the statements of children who honestly tell us that nothing abusive occurred. (see SEXUALY ABUSED CHILDREN ARE FREQUENTLY AFRAID TO DISCLOSE ABUSE PART II)
About The Author
David Crawford is the CEO and owner of a Male Enhancement Facts company known as Male Enhancement Group which is dedicated to researching and comparing male enhancement products in order to determine which male enhancement product is safer and more effective than other products on the market. Copyright 2011 David Crawford of Male Enhancement Pills This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.
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