The Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse
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Throughout the course of history, children have been subjected to numerous forms of abuse, including physical abuse, verbal or emotional abuse, and neglect. All of these are terrible abuses that no child deserves to suffer. But in my opinion, the most insidious and despicable type of abuse that a child can endure is sexual abuse. During the preliminary stages of this work, I knew that I wanted to focus on a children's issue, since I have always loved children and am planning to dedicate my career to them. I had never really been exposed to the issue of child sexual abuse in my education or experience, and I wanted to learn more about the causes and consequences associated with it. I am not sure what I was looking for, but I definitely was not prepared for what I would find (how can anyone ever be prepared to confront such atrocities)? ln this paper I have attempted to convey my findings not only through academic research, but by incorporating my experiences at the Family Resource Center as well. ln this way, I hope to emphasize the humanistic perspective of this deeply tragic topic. Much of the three months dedicated to this project were spent serving as a volunteer at the Family Resource Center, a clinic for sexually abused children and their families. I assisted with group therapy sessions once a week, and occasionally provided child care free-of-cost during the parents' meetings. ln addition, I performed basic clerical and housekeeping duties. I also participated in an intensive empathy training course at the YWCA, which allowed me to become part of the YWCA sexual assault program as a volunteer. I spent a good deal of my time researching my topic, and had access to the Kalamazoo Collage and Western Michigan University libraries, as well as the small library in the Family Resource Center. ln addition, interviews with therapists at the Family Resource Center as well as one counselor at the YWCA provided a wealth of information through their personal experiences in the field.