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ERIC Number: EJ902497
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-1546-2781
Overlooked Victims: Working with Non-Offending Caregivers in Child Sexual Abuse Cases
Grant, Deborah Dillon
Alabama Counseling Association Journal, v32 n2 p22-27 Fall 2006
The national statistics for child sexual abuse are staggering. In 2004, there were 209,880 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assaults according to the National Crime Victimization Survey. While effective treatment alternatives for victims are being provided, non-offending caregivers can be easily overlooked. Mason and Erooga (1990) have described mothers of sexually abused children as "the forgotten parent," a term that could be argued to apply to any non-offending caregiver. Cammaert (1988) described non-offending guardians or caregivers as "secondary victims." They are enduring the ramifications of trauma in their own lives even when they have not directly been victimized. This article discusses why an understanding of non-offending caregiver needs is so important. It is essential that counselors and other human service professionals understand the dynamics of working with victims and their families and understand the range of emotions these clients face. It is important for counselors and caseworkers to remember that by offering support to non-offending caregivers, they are having a direct influence on the child who has been a victim of abuse. Caregiver support in the form of individual or group counseling can offer critical support to families who have been traumatized by sexual abuse. Practitioners who understand the needs of families who have been touched by sexual abuse are a critical step in the road to long-term recovery. While they may be unable to stop the incidence of sexual abuse of children within the country, they can offer critical counseling and support to the families who have been touched by this abuse.
Alabama Counseling Association. 217 Daryle Street, Livingston, AL 35470. Tel: 888-655-5460; Tel: 205-652-1712; Fax: 205-652-1576; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A