RCASA’s Saturday Prevention: Working With Kids In Juvenile Detention

In Advocacy, Education, Outreach, Prevention, Sexual Assault Awareness on September 4, 2010 at 8:00 am

The US has a problem with juvenile violence. The concern focuses on punishment and very little on prevention or intervention.

No corner of America is safe from increasing levels of criminal violence, including violence committed by and against juveniles. Parents are afraid to let their children walk to school alone. Children hesitate to play in neighborhood playgrounds. The elderly lock themselves in their homes, and innocent people of all ages find their lives changed by the fear of crime.

This recent increase in violent crimes committed by juveniles has caused a shift from goals of rehabilitation to those of retribution and deterrence. Many states have opened juvenile proceedings to the public when a minor is charged with a violent crime that incites community outrage.

Among teens in juvenile detention, nearly 2/3rds of boys and nearly 3/4 of girls have at least one psychiatric disorder. These rates place detained teens on a par with those at highest risk, such as maltreated and runaway youth.

The number of youth held in adult jails on a daily basis exceeds 7,500; and the number of
youth prosecuted as an adult is approximately 200,000. In a 2007 study commissioned
by the Campaign for Justice, Jolanta Juszkiewicz, Ph.D., authored, “To Punish a Few:
Too Many Youth Caught in the Net of Adult Prosecution.” Dr. Juszkiewicz found that
two-thirds of that approximately 200,000 were subject to pre-trial detention in adult

Minors are granted special civil rights to education, training, medical, and emotional care that are unique to children. These rights are extremely difficult to enforce in an adult jail facility. An adult jail facility lacks the resources, specialized staffing, and the physical plant to deliver the required services.

Youthful offenders often present behavior problems when placed in general population.
These same juveniles are more likely to be victims of brutal crimes that may include sexual
assaults. Again, our ability to effectively manage the juvenile’s safety is tenuous at best. Most of the time we are forced to put them in protective custody or in some form of administrative segregation for their own protection. This amounts to an additional punishment, inasmuch, as the juvenile is in an isolation cell for the majority of the day.

Prevention is always cheaper than correction.  It is time to ensure our juvenile court system is designed to protect the welfare and rehabilitation of youthful offenders. We desperately need a system that will recognize that 99% of these juveniles will return to communities; and it is up to us to decide how they will return.

Evidence supports counseling strategies both for offenders, particularly juveniles, to reduce re-offending, and for victims, to prevent negative mental health and life course outcomes associated with abuse.

Things to Do When Working with Juvenile Survivors of Sexual Abuse and

Exploitation . . .

  • Learn what you can about sexual abuse and the impact on survivors
  • Learn about self-abusive behaviors as a coping skill and teach new ways to cope
  • Be prepared to listen to the survivor’s experiences and feelings
  • Be prepared to handle their fear of going to sleep, nightmares, flashbacks, and their ability to “dissociate”
  • Examine your own belief system about victims and abuse
  • Know the juvenile’s social histories ~ from birth on
  • Deal with your own victimization issues if you have any ~ this will impact your ability to help juveniles
  • Facilitate good communication between other service providers regarding the juvenile’s victimization issues
  • Inform juveniles of mandatory reporting laws; give survivors choices in how to deal with abuse reporting if they disclose
  • Be aware that what survivors report may only be a small part of what they have experienced
  • Know when you are in over your head and need help ~ refer to a person for expert help, but stay connected
  • Let them know you care about them no matter what has happened to them
  • Teach juveniles new coping skills to manage the effects and impact of abuse
  • Assist juveniles in repairing the important relationships in their lives that have been impacted by the abuse (juveniles will choose which relationships they wish to work on)
  • Partner with community sexual assault and domestic violence programs
  • If you are a survivor, and feel comfortable with sharing this, let the girl / boy know that you know what it’s like and that you are there to tell her/him that she/he can heal from the abuse with help and support.
  • Do this only if you have a good connection with the juvenile.
  • Set boundaries and only share this information if it will benefit the juvenile
  • Do not personally disclose if it’s for your own benefit and especially if you have not dealt with your own victimization
  • Provide juveniles with readily accessible resource books, information and people

Things NOT to Do . . .

  • Tell juveniles they have to talk about their abuse with you or anyone else
  • Wait until after a survivor discloses abuse to you and then tell them “Oh by the way, I am mandated by law to report this…”
  • Blame survivors for the abuse they have experienced
  • Feel sorry for victims and look upon them as helpless, hopeless and “damaged” for life…
  • React with disgust, revulsion and anger at what girl / boy might tell you about their
  • experiences
  • Be judgmental about the ways in which the juvenile coped with their abuse
  • Turn away from the juvenile because you can’t handle their victimization
  • Assume juveniles you work with are victims
  • Assume juveniles you work with are not victims
  • Tell juveniles details about your own victimization


General Information – Web Sites, Books, Etc.

Sexual Abuse in America: The Epidemic of the 21st Century by Robert Freeman-Longo, Geral Blanchard, Euan Bear (Editor), Safer Society

Stop It Now! The Campaign to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse


PANdora’s Box – by Dr. Nancy Faulkner


Darkness to Light


Red Flag / Green Flag Resources


RAINN (Rape, Assault, Incest National Network)


Sexual Abuse – A SIECUS Annotated Bibliography


Child Sexual Abuse – Intervention and Treatment Issues; An On-Line User Manual Series by the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


SEXUAL ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION: COURAGE TO HEAL: A Guide For Women Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse

Ellen Bass & Laura Davis Good education tool for teens and providers, and to help older teen survivor’s of abuse.

I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Edited by Ellen Bass and Louise Thornton

Broken Feather: A Journey to Healing

Suznne Stutman 1996, Manor House Publishing.

“Through the enchanted world of poetry and prose, Dr. Stutman takes us on a spine-chilling personal journey from the buried depths of child abuse through the labyrinth of remembrance to the dawn of healing”.

BEGINNING TO HEAL: A First Book for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Ellen Bass Companion book to Courage to Heal – geared much more for teens.


Lynn B. Daugherty Help for children who are victims of sexual abuse.

Excellent resource for children, preteens, teenagers who have are developmentally delayed.

In Their Own Words: A sexual abuse workbook for teenage girls

Lulie Munson and Karen Riskin, 1995, Child Welfare League of America

How Long Does It Hurt: A Guide to Recovering From Incest and Sexual Abuse for Teenagers, Their Friends and Their Families

Cynthia Mather with Kristina Debye, 1994, Jossey Bass Publishers

Shining through: Pulling It All Together After Sexual Abuse (for girls ages 10 & up)

Mondy Loiselle and Leslie Bailey Wright, 1992 Safer Society Press

Outgrowing the Pain: A Book for and About Adults Abused as Children

Eliana Gil, 1983, Dell

Legacy of the Heart: The Spiritual Advantages of A Painful Childhood

Wayne Muller, 1992, Simon and Schuster

AM I BLUE?: Coming Out From the Silence

Edited by Marion Dane Bauer

Very good book that addresses teens’ struggling with their sexual identity and how this effects their lives and relationships, provides support for teens.

BEGINNING TO HEAL: A First Book for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Ellen Bass Companion book to Courage to Heal – geared much more to teens.

Girls’ Circle: Promoting Resiliency and Self-Esteem in Adolescent Girls Curriculum

http://www.girlscircle.com Phone: (415) 883-8580

BOY V. GIRL: How Gender Shapes Who We Are, What We Want, and How We Get Along

George Abrahams and Sheila Ahlbrand

Examines gender stereotypes, a fun book for teens

BROKEN FEATHER: A Journey to Healing

Suzanne Stutman Poetry and prose on one woman’s path of healing from abuse.


Mindy Bingham, Judy Edmondson, Sandy Stryker

Helps girls recognize their future need to be independent, self-reliant and productive human beings, and convince them that they can control their future options.

COOL WOMEN: The Thinking Girl’s Guide to the Hippest Women in History: Edited by Pam Nelson, written by Dawn Chipman

“Imagine fifty stories of the bravest, wildest, most glamorous women in history, all told in a way that every girls can understand… Girls today need books just as strong as they are.”

COURAGE TO HEAL: A guide for women survivors of child sexual abuse.

Ellen Bass & Laura Davis

DEAL WITH IT! A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain, and Life as a Gurl

Esther Drill, Heather McDonald, and Rebecca Odes

Based on issues posted by girls on the popular http://www.gurl.com website, this book serves as a resource guide for girls on all types of issues including sexuality, puberty, hormones, and relationships.


Alisa Deltufo

Unique feminist picture book that offers a variety of perspectives on domestic abuse, including historical examples and attitudes about abuse, as well as resource information.

ERICA’S CHOICES: Alternatives to Running Away A workbook for teens.

To obtain a copy call: Missing Children Minnesota (612) 521-1188.

FIGHTING INVISIBLE TIGERS: A Stress Management Guide For Teens

Earl Hipp

FINDING OUR WAY: The Teen Girls’ Survival Guide

Allison Abner & Linda Villarson

Excellent book for teen girls talks about their lives and gives them really good resource info and support.

FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT Teens Write About How they Triumphed Over Trouble

Edited by Julie Lansmen published by Fairview Press

GIRL POWER: Young Women Speak Out! Personal Writing from Teenage Girls Hillary Carlip

“GIRL POWER is an extraordinary collection of writing by teenage girls from every part of American society. At a time when the lives of girls and young women are so often ignored, reduced to statistics, or turned into political footballs. Hillary Carlip brings us the powerful voices of teenage girls themselves.” Marie C. Wilson, President, Ms. Foundation for Women.


Frances Karnes & Susan Bean 20 true stories about inventors and their inventions.


Frances A. Karnes and Susan M. Bean — Twenty true stories about leadership.

GIRLS SPEAK OUT: Finding Your True Self

Andrea Johnson “… takes girls on a rare and positive journey where they discover strength in being female and understanding how they can stay powerful.”


Barie Levy

A teen’s guide to breaking free of abusive relationships/dating violence.

INSPIRATION SANDWICH Stories to Inspire Our Creative Freedom


“This book is food for your soul, and a bubble bath for your spirit! It is a guide to keeping your creativity alive.”

OPHELIA SPEAKS: Adolescent Girls Write about Their Search for Self

Sara Shandler

“Ophelia Speaks culls writings from the hearts of girls nationwide, of various races, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds.”

OUTGROWING THE PAIN:A Book by and for Adults Abused as Children

Eliana Gil

Discusses patterns and behaviors common in adults who were abused. Gentle, lighthearted book aims to help survivors break habits and patterns. For adults, but could be used by older girls.

RESPECTING OUR DIFFERENCES: A Guide to Getting Along in a Changing World

Lynn Duvall “Encourages young people to become more tolerant of others and savor the rich diversity of America’s changing culture.”

SHINING THROUGH: Pulling it Together After Sexual Abuse

Mindy B Loiselle and Leslie Bailey Wright

For girls 10 and up, this book includes activities and checklists to assist younger girls in understanding and healing from sexual abuse.


Susan KuKlin

Teenagers talk about race, sex and identity.

STORIES FROM MY LIFE: Cassandra Walker Talks To Teens about Growing Up Cassandra Walker

“Full of wisdom tempered by humor, this book encourages young people to believe in themselves.

SUGAR IN THE RAW: Voices of Young Black Girls in America

Rebecca Carroll

“…chorus of voices from black girls between the ages of 11 and 20. The 15 interviews are meditations on what affect black ‘girlchildren’ today.

TAKING CHARGE OF MY MIND AND BODY: A Girls’ Guide to Outsmarting Alcohol, Drug, Smoking, and Eating Problems

Gladys Folkers, M.A. and Jeanne Engelmann

This book tells the truth about addictions, sheds light on mistaken beliefs, and gives girls the skills and knowledge they need to take good care of themselves, overcome life’s obstacles, safeguard their futures, reach their goals and be the capable, self-assured, successful young women they’re meant to be. For ages 11-18.

THE FAMILIES BOOK: True Stories about Real Kids and The People They Live With & Love

Arlene Erlbach

Very good book for kids to explore families.


Barbara A. Lewis

Over 500 ideas for young people who want to make a difference.

THE MAID OF THE NORTH Feminist Folk Tales From Around the World

Ethel Johnston Phelps

“21 folk and fairy tales featuring women as heroic, clever figures rather that the usual roles of docile maiden in distress or villainous ogre causing distress. They are delightful takes from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.”

THE POWER TO PREVENT SUICIDE: A Guide for teens Helping Teens

Richard E. Nelson and Judith Galas Free Spirit Press

TOTALLY PRIVATE AND PERSONAL: Journaling Ideas for Girls and Young Women

Jessica Wilber

Jessica, who is 14 yrs. old, encourages girls to “keep a journal to celebrate life, understand themselves and discover the power of their own voices.” Includes advice on puberty and growing up, inspiring quotes and activities.


Marilyn Gootman

Good book on grief and loss for teens.


Lynn B. Daugherty

Help for children who are victims of sexual abuse.

Excellent resource for children, preteens.


Alison Bell & Lisa Rooney, M.D.

A guide to your changing body.


TEEN VOICES: A Magazine By, For And About Teenage And Young Adult Women

Call (888) 882-8336 NOT like “Seventeen” magazine – teens talk about real life and promote the value of females.


Written by and for girls ages 8 to 14. Call 1-800-381-4743.


MaleSurvivor – Overcoming the Sexual Victimization of Boys and Men


Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse by Mic Hunter

Alone and Forgotten : The Sexually Abused Man by Rod Tobin

Betrayed as Boys: Psychodynamic Treatment of Sexually Abused Men by Richard B. Gartner

Broken Boys/Mending Men: Recovery from Childhood Sexual Abuse by Stephen D. Grubman-Black

Beyond Betrayal : Taking Charge of Your Life after Boyhood Sexual Abuse by Richard B. Gartner

Diagnosis and Treatment of the Young Male Victims of Sexual Abuse by William Breer

Everything You Need to Know When You Are the Male Survivor of Rape or Sexual Assault by John LA Valle

If He Is Raped: A Guidebook for Parents, Mates, Friends by Alan W. McEvoy (Editor), Jeff D. Brookings (Editor), Debbie Rollo (Editor)

Leaping upon the Mountains : Men Proclaiming Victory over Sexual Child Abuse by Mike Lew, Richard Hoffman

Male Sexual Abuse: A trilogy of Intervention Strategies by John C. Gonsiorek, et al

Male on Male Rape: The Hidden Toll of Stigma and Shame by Michael Scarce

Memories of Sexual Betrayal: truth, Fantasy, Repression, and Dissociation by Richard B. Gartner (Editor)

Males at Risk: The Other Side of Child Sexual Abuse by Larry A. Morris, Frank G., Jr. Bolton, Ann E. MacEachron

Male Victims of Sexual Assault by Gillian C. Mezey (Editor), Michael B. King (Editor)

Opening the Door: A Treatment Model for Therapy With Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Adrienne Crowder

Psychotherapy With Sexually Abused Boys: An Integrated Approach (Interpersonal Violence, the Practice Series, 12) by William N. Friedrich

Speaking Our Truth: Voices of Courage and Healing for Male Survivors of Chilhood Sexual Abuse by Neal King

Sexually Abused Male: Application of Treatment Strategies by Mic Hunter (Editor)

Treating Sexually Abused Boys: A Guide for Therapists & Counselors by Lisa Camino

The Courage to Heal Workbook: For Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Laura Davis

The Male Survivor: The Impact of Sexual Abuse by Matthew Parynik Mendel

Wounded Boys Heroic Men: A Man’s Guide to Recovering from Child Abuse by Daniel Jay Sonkin, Lenore E. A. Walker


A WOMAN’S BOOK OF LIFE: The Biology, Psychology and Spirituality of the Feminine Lifecycle

Joan Borysenko


Angela Davis

“Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday weren’t just singing the blues, they were giving working class black women advice on topics from love to law ~ and laying the foundation for a feminist awakening.”

BOYS AND GIRLS LEARN DIFFERENTLY! A Guide for Teachers and Parents

Michael Gurian

Based on brain research, explains differences in how boys and girls learn and offers tips on reaching both boys and girls.

BRAVE NEW GIRLS: Creative Ideas to Help Girls Be Confident, Healthy, and Happy

Jeanette Gadeberg

CIRCLE OF STONES: Womans Journey To Herself

Judith Duerk

Thought provoking, & healing guide journal for women.

Resource Lists for Women and Girls Compiled by Paula Schaefer, NIC Technical Resource Provider for Meeting the Needs of Juvenile Female Offenders, FY2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.
General Resources, and Resources for Men and Boys Compiled by Leslie LeMaster, National Institute of Corrections, FY2006
For more information contact RCASA at 540.371.6771 or education@rcasa.org

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: