ERIC Number: ED431576
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Adventure Programming and Facilitating When You Don't Know Your Participant Is a Survivor of Sexual Abuse.
Survivors of sexual abuse are likely to be among the participants of many adventure and experiential programs. This paper aims to increase outdoor leaders' understanding of the possible reactions of survivors to adventure experiences and related group interactions. Long-term effects of sexual violence are pervasive and may be triggered by the unusual experiences in adventure programs. These effects include flashbacks of emotions or physical sensations of abuse; dissociation of mind, body, and spirit; feelings of loss of control; anger, turned inward or outward; shame; lack of trust; and difficulties with personal boundaries. Participants may be limited in their ability to withdraw from activities. Corporate and school groups may require 100 percent participation. Adolescent girls, in particular, may be reluctant to speak up about their discomfort, and instead, may try to influence the group to withdraw. Challenge is something of a "sacred cow" in experiential education; some rethinking should be done about providing true "challenge by choice" and about the nature of success in challenge activities. Practical suggestions are offered in relation to the extent of touching during initiatives, the importance of cleanliness to survivors, feelings of lack of control due to environmental elements such as weather or insects, nudity, and sleeping arrangements. Contains 14 references. (SV)
Descriptors: Adjustment (to Environment), Adventure Education, Affective Behavior, Anxiety, Fear, Group Dynamics, Outdoor Leadership, Psychological Patterns, Resistance (Psychology), Sexual Abuse, Victims of Crime
AEE, 2305 Canyon Blvd., Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80302-5651; Tel: 303-440-8844 ($2.50).
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Experiential Education, Boulder, CO.