A Little More on Numbers and Research

Hi all, we are in the middle of moving so hopefully electronics will be set up right away in the new house!

There is so much more about research, and I will off another couple of  bites for you to ponder.  There is more in the book and lots more online.

When people are asked directly whether or not they have ever experienced any type of sexual violence, often the answer is no because of denial, shame, ignorance of what happened to them, fear, and many types of motivations.  Some types of SV are not acknowledged as such by our culture and sometimes our laws.  I wrote in the book that therapists do not ask direct questions about SV due to the past scandals of ‘false memory syndrome.’  I will not go into a debate about that issue here however.  The point is at a recent SV Forum that I gave a therapist attended who is newly licensed.  She corrected me and said that now therapists are allowed to ask.  As far as I am concerned, that is great.  So!  one year, and already the book has an outdated statement!

Each state has its own legal definition of rape.  The range of SV includes such things as rape, incest, child sexual assault, ritual abuse, marital or partner rape, sexual exploitation, unwanted touch, sexual harassment, exposure to such things, human trafficking, and voyeurism.  These and more  are crimes.  They are motivated by such things as the need to control, humiliate, and do harm.  It is important to realize that nothing about SV has to do with sex.  Sex is only possible between two consenting adults.

A current trend some of you may not be aware of is “sexting.”  “Sexting …is the act of sending sexually explicit messages of photos electronically, primarily between cell phones.”  This behavior has been reported as early as 2005.  It has since spread worldwide.  “In January 2009, a survey of 1200 teenagers reported that one in five had sent explicit photos of themselves.  A sociologist at Colorado College interviewed 80 youngsters (not sure what that word describes, does he/she mean children?)  and believes this claim is overblown…Legal responses have been mixed.  A social danger with sexting is that material can be very easily and widely promulgated, over which the originator has not control.” (“Sexting,” Wikipedia, www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexting, page modified April 24, 2009.) Sexting is a form of SV and gets so easily out of control.  Dr. Phil has done shows on this topic and the damage done to the kids is apparent in the pain it genders.

Well, I am sure this information just makes your day.  It is hard, very hard to get real about this subject.  The more we give voice to it the less power the words have.  The point is how will we help survivors who obviously are all around us.  Maybe even some of you.

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