rcasa

RCASA Sunday with Case Management: Adolescents and Sexual Assault

In Sexual Assault Awareness on November 28, 2010 at 8:00 am

Adolescent women are at a higher risk for sexual violence than any other age group. Part of the reason for this is the large number of date/acquaintance rapes which occur at this age. This is coupled with the fact that many adolescents are victims of sexual abuse and incest as well. Due to past or ongoing sexual abuse, teens with these experiences are more likely than their non-abused peers to participate in “delinquent” teenage behaviors including those which result in school problems, conflict with authority, early sexual behavior, and eating problems. These behaviors may help the teen escape from jeopardy and/or serve as a cry for help.

The Facts:

  • The risk of rape is four times higher for women aged 16 to 24, the prime dating age.
  • Young women between the ages of 14 and 17 represent an estimated 38% of those victimized by date rape. 
  • Studies indicate that dating violence affects at least 1 in 3 teen couples. It is one of the major sources of violence in teen life.

Effects of sexual assault on teenagers:

  • Emotional
    guilt/self-blame
    fear of recurrence
    crying spells
    mood swings
    feelings of humiliation/shame/embarrassment
    denial
    phobias
    anger at the assailant
  • Social
    fears of impact on peer relations
    acting out
    wish to change environment, e.g. schools
    concerns re: body image
    withdrawal from family and friends
    school performance suffers
  • Familial
    over-protection
    victim blaming
    parents fear sexual problems will follow
    sadness re: “sexualized child,” loss of innocence
    self-blame
    spiritual crisis

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