Caring for and supporting children who have experienced sexual abuse can be a very challenging experience for the adults around the child.
Adults may be anxious about engaging with and communicating with the child around disclosures, sex talk or any issues related to sexuality.
In order to support a child who has experienced the trauma of sexual violation it is important that carers and other adults around the child feel equipped and confident about how to respond and support the child around such matters.
- The definition of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)
- Are there reliable signs and symptoms that a child has experienced sexual abuse?
- The impact of Child Sexual Abuse on the development, functioning and behaviour of children and adolescents
- CSA disclosure- how do children disclose sexual abuse?
- What are the barriers to disclosing?
- What enables a child to feel safe in disclosing?
- Preventing re-traumatisation- how can adults work with their knowledge about child sexual abuse to make it safe for children to engage with them around their experience
- Explaining sexual abuse to children
- Taking to children about body safety
- Understanding problematic sexualised behaviour in children and how to respond
- The impact on adults on hearing a child disclose sexual abuse and the importance of support and self-care
- How the adults around a child can support them to build resilience in order to recover from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse
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RN, BSc Psychology, Dip in Family Therapy, MA Child Psychotherapy, Dip Clinical Supervision.
Over the past 17 years, Christina has worked as a psychotherapist with children, adolescents, birth parents, foster carers and adoptive parents. This followed on from 20 years working as a nurse in the NHS. Her experience includes the development of a multidisciplinary clinical service for families experiencing trauma and attachment problems who were reluctant to engage with main-stream social care and mental health services. From 2015-2017 Christina provided trauma consultancy to the clinical team developing a children’s service within the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in the UK.
She also delivers training on child development, trauma and attachment both within the NHS and other education and social care systems across the UK and Ireland. Her special interest is in early childhood development and the impact of trauma on a child’s developing capacities, functioning and behaviour. From her experience working with children who have endured developmental trauma characterised by neglect and abuse, she has found it necessary to use a comprehensive integrated approach in order to address the multiple complexities which such children present with.
Christina returned to live in Ireland in 2016 and currently works as a Developmental Trauma and Attachment specialist providing training, assessment and clinical interventions on behalf of Tusla Child and Family Agency and in independent practice with birth and adoptive families.