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The Lifelong Sting of Abuse

Beth BrandesApril 13, 2017
Personal Narratives
NOTE: This story contains graphic descriptions of violence against children.I was 23 years old, in my first job as an assistant social worker in the Atlanta schools, when I was called to the principal’s office of a quiet suburban elementary school. The principal met me with hushed tones outside his office door and said, “I need you to look at Timmy; he is seven, in my office. His teacher thinks something has happened to him.” Forty years la...Continue

When Does Abuse End and Assault Begin?

Karen FarstMarch 6, 2017
Insights
While child sexual abuse can take many forms, it is typical for the child (and family) to know the offender. The offender uses this relationship to “groom” the child so that abuse can involve more invasive physical contact over time. This grooming process is not only part of the reason that there is often not physical evidence of the abuse once it is disclosed, but is also part of the dynamic that causes more than half of sexual abuse victims...Continue

Measuring Success in Addressing Child Abuse

Kristie McKenneyFebruary 24, 2017
How-Tos for Leaders
I’ll never forget the way people used to look at me when I would tell them that we had a successful year at our Children’s Advocacy Center because there was a 25-percent increase in the child sexual abuse cases we saw.  All wide-eyed and somewhat exasperated, their response would sound something like, “More children being abused is considered success?”  Well, not exactly. We were successful because we reached more children. The...Continue

Finding Our Voice

Emily Chittenden-LairdFebruary 9, 2017
Insights
I’m a millennial. It’s a characterization I balk against for all its negative connotations, but thanks to Mom, Dad, and 1983, I am one. And for all the challenging characteristics of millennials, there’s one I find particularly true of us on the older end of the spectrum—an ingrained belief that the bright-eyed, emerging from college versions of ourselves espoused: we were supposed to do our part in healing the world.I was lucky enough to...Continue