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Related Issues: Talking With Kids About Tough Issues, Abuse, Children, Circumcision, Gangs, Hazing, Incest/Molestation, Malstreatment, Ritual Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Harassment, Violence, Domestic Violence, Women's Violence and Prisons.
Books - Abuse - Boys, Abuse - Children, Abuse - MPD, Abuse - Ritual, Abuse-Sexual, Circumcision, Anger, Forgiveness, Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Women's Violence
Resources: Abuse/Recovery, Child Maltreatment
Journals & Periodicals - on Child, Elder, Emotional, Religious, and Sexual Abuse and Trauma
Bumper Sticker - Make the World Safe for Children
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Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Jewish
Contrary to what we might want to assume, childhood sexual abuse is not limited to the gentile population. It is also a Jewish issue, and one that needs to be addressed. In the United States one of every three to five women, and one out of every five to seven men have been sexually abused by the time they reach their eighteenth birthday (Editor: Not counting circumcision.). Unfortunately, due to the fact there has been little research on this issue in the Jewish Community, we dont know how prevalent it is. Most mental health providers around the world who are based in Jewish Communities, will admit that they have survivors (of childhood sexual abuse) of Jewish origins as part of their caseload.
One of the major problems in discussing the issue of Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Jewish Community, is that doing so threatens the cultural perception of the wholesomeness of the Jewish family. The time has come to break the taboo and allow the Jewish Community to face reality and to begin the healing journey. While this process is taking place, we will also be able to compile valuable statistics on the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse in our community. It is important to note that when we refer to the Jewish Community, we are including everyone from the unaffiliated, Reform, Conservative, through the Orthodox, "Charedi" and "Chasidic" communities.
It may be surprising that despite Israels world-leading status in treatment of Post Traumatic Stress, the study of childhood sexual abuse in Jewish Communities around the world is still in its infancy. Over the past two years I've been working with years Na'ama Yehuda (of New York). Our dream is to create an international organization to address the issue of childhood sexual abuse in Jewish Communities international.
As you might have noticed, the first phase has already begun, by the updating of my web page for Jewish Survivors of Childhood Trauma and Domestic Violence. hometown.aol.com/vickipolin/Page26.html
The goal is to develop an International data base/web page. The
second phase will be to develop and implement an international
conference on childhood sexual abuse. The third phase would be
developing a treatment center and on going educational programming in
Israel, the United States, and throughout the world. Our long term
goals is to have network of researchers, development self-help groups
and an international speakers bureau. If you are interested in
joining forces, please contact me at: VickiPolin@aol.com
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Sexual abuse in girls leads to later
The study, which involved more than 1,400 adult female twins, found that the sibling who was abused had a consistently higher risk of psychiatric disorders, such as depression and bulimia, despite being raised in the same family and having the same genetic makeup as her sister.
"These results strongly suggest that...childhood sexual abuse and subsequent psychological disorders and substance abuse is indeed causal," Dr. Kenneth S. Kendler, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health in an interview.
Kendler and colleagues, from the Medical College of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, examined the psychological impact of different types of childhood sexual abuse ranging from exposure and sexual suggestions to unwanted intercourse. Their findings are published in the October issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
In the study, women had psychiatric evaluations and answered detailed questions about their sexual experiences as children. The women's parents were asked about their history of psychiatric disorders and their relationships with family members.
Just over 30% of women reported some form of childhood sexual abuse, with 8.4% reporting that they had unwanted intercourse. These women had the greatest risk of being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder or substance abuse problem, results show.
"The strongest association was confined to those exposed to the most severe forms of sexual abuse," Kendler explained.
He noted that the relationship was only slightly less when other factors, such as psychiatric problems or substance abuse among parents, and family income were taken into account.
Sexual abuse was also more strongly linked with substance abuse than with psychiatric disorders. Kendler speculated that sexual abuse might affect certain personality traits that involve impulsiveness and predict drug abuse in girls.
He also suggested that sexual abuse may lead some girls to become sexually active at an earlier age and seek out older boyfriends who might, in turn, introduce them to drugs.
Future studies, however, should help clarify the association
between sexual abuse and the increased risk of substance use, Kendler