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MITNICK '10 CHILD VICTIMS OF CRIME Mindy F. Mitnick, Ed.M., M.A. Licensed Psychologist 5100 Eden Avenue Suite 122 Edina, MN 55436 952-927-5111.

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Presentation on theme: "MITNICK '10 CHILD VICTIMS OF CRIME Mindy F. Mitnick, Ed.M., M.A. Licensed Psychologist 5100 Eden Avenue Suite 122 Edina, MN 55436 952-927-5111."— Presentation transcript:

1 MITNICK '10 CHILD VICTIMS OF CRIME Mindy F. Mitnick, Ed.M., M.A. Licensed Psychologist 5100 Eden Avenue Suite 122 Edina, MN 55436 952-927-5111

2 MITNICK '10 DEVELOPMENTAL VICTIMIZATION SURVEY  Ages 2 to 17  One year incidence estimates of childhood victimizations: Child maltreatment Child maltreatment Peer & sibling victimization Peer & sibling victimization Sexual assault Sexual assault Witnessing & indirect victimization Witnessing & indirect victimization Conventional crime Conventional crime

3 MITNICK '10 PHYSICAL ASSAULTS  Just more than 50% experienced in the course of a year  1 in 10 assaulted also injured  Physical assaults higher for elem. grades  Most assaults by family members  Dating violence > 3% of teens (13-17 y.o.)

4 MITNICK '10 SEXUAL VICTIMIZATION  1 in 12 were sexually victimized Rape & attempted rape Rape & attempted rape Sexual harassment Sexual harassment Being flashed Being flashed Statutory sex offenses Statutory sex offenses  More often to teenagers

5 MITNICK '10 CHILD MALTREATMENT  A little more than 1 in 7  Emotional abuse most frequent  Lower rate for preschoolers (they were not the informants)

6 MITNICK '10 PROPERTY VICTIMIZATION  > 1 in 4 experienced robbery, vandalism and theft  Boys had more experiences than girls  Rate lower among preschoolers

7 MITNICK '10 WITNESSED & INDIRECT VICTIMIZATION  1 in 3 witnessed the victimization of someone else Domestic violence Domestic violence Abuse of a sibling Abuse of a sibling Assault Assault Murder Murder Riot or war Riot or war

8 MITNICK '10 MULTIPLE VICTIMIZATIONS  Average number of experiences for those victimized: 3 different ways in separate incidents  31% had only one experience, 2% had > 10 incidents  97% who had any sexual victimization had additional victimizations

9 MITNICK '10 MULTIPLE VICTIMIZATIONS  Most associated with: Dating violence w/ injury Dating violence w/ injury Completed or attempted rape Completed or attempted rape Being flashed by a peer Being flashed by a peer Sex assault by stranger Sex assault by stranger Bias attack Bias attack Witnessing murder Witnessing murder

10 MITNICK '10 Exposure to war Exposure to war Statutory sex offenses Statutory sex offenses Attempted or completed kidnapping Attempted or completed kidnapping Being flashed by an adult Being flashed by an adult

11 MITNICK '10 ERIKSON’S MODEL  Biology, psychology & the environment  Sequential  Critical times  Building blocks  Psychological strengths or  Opposite of strengths

12 MITNICK '10 IMPACT IS TWO-FOLD  Can derail development from the age of experience(s) forward  Can retroactively undermine already accomplished tasks

13 MITNICK '10 TRUST vs. MISTRUST (Birth to 1 Year)  Security  Mutuality  Responsiveness of caregiver  Positive vs. negative caregiving  Secure, anxious or avoidant attachment

14 MITNICK '10 TRUST vs. MISTRUST  Abuse/violence is first and foremost a violation of trust  Victimization teaches the world is not safe  Victimized children and children who witness violence learn mistrust

15 MITNICK '10 ISSUES IN INTERVENTION ISSUES IN INTERVENTION  Does not trust others  May not believe you  Does not expect to be believed  Suspicious of “helpers”

16 MITNICK '10 AUTONOMY vs. SHAME & DOUBT (1 TO 3 Years)  Power, control and will  Choices  Developmental milestones  Oppositionality develops  Exploration is necessary

17 MITNICK '10 AUTONOMY vs. SHAME & DOUBT  Abuse/violence is a violation of the child’s need for control  Victims of crime feel shame  Shame-based children become sneaky, manipulative  Victimized children believe they are bad  Victimized children doubt themselves

18 MITNICK '10 ISSUES IN INTERVENTION  Feel ashamed and don’t want to talk about it  Need to control overwhelmed by “system”  Afraid of looking stupid  May not describe how they “felt”

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20 INITIATIVE vs. GUILT (3 to 6 Years)  Exploration  Fantasy  Conscience development  Gender role development

21 MITNICK '10 INITIATIVE vs. GUILT  Victimization discourages curiosity  Physical abuse encourages retaliation  Sexual abuse confuses sex and affection, sex and aggression  Secrecy about abuse/witnessing may over-generalize  Guilt may over-generalize

22 MITNICK '10  Won’t offer information  Will feel guilty about breaking secret(s)  Guilt may lead to recantation ISSUES IN INTERVENTION

23 MITNICK '10 INDUSTRY vs. INFERIORITY (6 TO 14 Years)  Learning, mastery and competence  Roles and rules, competition, cooperation  Puberty and normal sexual feelings

24 MITNICK '10 INDUSTRY vs. INFERIORITY  Victimized children become guilty bearers of secret  Victimized children blame selves  Victimized children hide injuries – physical & emotional  Victimized children feel different, dirty  Victimized children fell isolated

25 MITNICK '10 INDUSTRY vs. INFERIORITY Coping mechanisms include:  Depression  Learning problems  Psychosomatic complaints  Sexual behavior problems  Aggression/passivity  Acting out

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27 ISSUES IN INTERVENTION  May feign not knowing or remembering  Need to feel competent  Need to know not alone  Need not to be blamed  May recant if threatened or intimidated

28 MITNICK '10 IDENTITY vs. ROLE CONFUSION (14-24 Years)  Identity formation  Independence  Rebellion/risk taking  Revisit old problems


30 MITNICK '10 IDENTITY vs. ROLE CONFUSION (14-24 Years) IDENTITY vs. ROLE CONFUSION (14-24 Years)  Premature emancipation  Retaliation  Self-injurious behavior  Internalizing pain  Sexual problems  Problems with authority figures  Negative identity formation

31 MITNICK '10 ISSUES IN INTERVENTION  Require patience  Need help reporting embarrassing, disgusting details  Need not to be talked down to  Need to be kept informed  Need to understand own reactions

32 MITNICK '10 ISSUES W/ “COMPLIANT” VICTIMS  Don’t see self as “victim”  minimize/deny  Believe can cope w/ situation  Self-blame due to “consent”  Believe they are “in love”/special  May disclose because relationship ended, not to end relationship

33 MITNICK '10 EXPECT  Denial  Minimization  Incomplete account  “I forget”  Claim of consent  Exaggeration  Blaming self, others, not offender  Lying

34 MITNICK '10 ROADBLOCKS  Assumptions How teen felt and feels now How teen felt and feels now Who initiated Who initiated Why it ended Why it ended Why child did or did not disclose Why child did or did not disclose Why child makes contradictory statements Why child makes contradictory statements How caregiver(s) reacted How caregiver(s) reacted

35 MITNICK '10 WORKING WITH ADOLESCENT VICTIMS  Check yourself for: Anger Anger Mistrust Mistrust Feeling pressured Feeling pressured Blaming the victim Blaming the victim

36 MITNICK '10 REMEMBER  Many victims have co-occurring problems Poverty Poverty Dysfunctional family relationships Dysfunctional family relationships Absent father/mother Absent father/mother Mental health issues Mental health issues Poor performance in school Poor performance in school Previous abuse/neglect Previous abuse/neglect

37 MITNICK '10 INTERVENTIONS  Social service and mental health screening should always ask about other forms of victimization when one type is reported or known – within the past year and for the teen’s lifetime  Screening should always look for co- occurring psychological maltreatment

38 MITNICK '10 INTERVENTIONS  Polyvictims should receive mental health assessments with experienced professional

39 MITNICK '10 INTERVENTION  Prevention efforts for teens should move beyond “Stranger danger”  Prevention efforts should focus on Statutory relationships Statutory relationships Internet victimization Internet victimization Other exploitation Other exploitation

40 MITNICK '10 INTERVENTION  Foensic interviews should be expanded to include questions about computers, pornography and the Internet regardless of relationship with suspected/known offender(s)  All interviews should not confuse victim/perpetrator dynamics

41 MITNICK '10 INTERVENTION  Interviewers should not expect younger teens to be able to understand consequences of choices  Interventions should not “out” teen’s sexual orientation  Interventions should not be hostile or coercive

42 MITNICK '10 FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE IMPACT OF CRIME  Temperament  Past experiences  Interpretation of event(s)  Stage of development  Intensity of the event  Support system  Problem-solving skills

43 MITNICK '10 FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE IMPACT OF CRIME  Others’ responses to event  Extent of exposure to event  Likelihood of recurrence  Role of the child in the event

44 MITNICK '10 REMEMBER  It’s not the event, but how the child processes the event, that causes damage.

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