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The NCAC models, promotes, and delivers excellence in child abuse response and prevention through service, education, and leadership. Polyvictimized Children.

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Presentation on theme: "The NCAC models, promotes, and delivers excellence in child abuse response and prevention through service, education, and leadership. Polyvictimized Children."— Presentation transcript:

1 The NCAC models, promotes, and delivers excellence in child abuse response and prevention through service, education, and leadership. Polyvictimized Children “The Artificial Construct of Specialization and the Need for a Comprehensive Interview” Copyright © National Children’s Advocacy Center.

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13 RESEARCH – NatSCEV OJJDP created Safe Start Initiative to prevent/reduce impact of children’s exposure to violence Launched National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV) Purpose - document full extent of children’s exposure to violence Designed by Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire 13

14 RESEARCH - NatSCEV Conducted in 2008 N = or younger, interview with caretaker 10 or older, interview with child Examined children with multiple intersecting forms of victimizations within past year and over lifetime -Turner et al., 2010; Finkelhor et al.,

15 RESEARCH - NatSCEV NatSCEV (JVQ-R2) included 48 types of victimization within the following categories: (Finkelhor et al., 2009; Turner et al 2010)  conventional crime  child maltreatment  peer and sibling victimization  sexual victimization  witnessing and indirect victimization  School violence and threats  Internet violence and victimization 15

16 EVIDENCE INDICATES More than 60% surveyed exposed to both direct/indirect violence Frequent victimizations across different domains in the same time period Rare to experience a single type of abuse (life condition rather than an event) Large number of serious victimizations 16

17 EVIDENCE INDICATES Victimization of any 1 type left substantial vulnerability for different type of re-victimization 22% suffered 4 or more different KINDS of victimizations in a year - Finkelhor, Ormrod, & Turner, 2009 Mean = 3.7 victimizations over lifetime with range to 26 17

18 EVIDENCE INDICATES Victimization from past year to lifetime  25% increase risk of physical abuse  135% increase risk of sexual abuse  204% increase risk of witnessing domestic violence 18

19 DEFINING POLYVICTIMIZATION Experiencing several different types of victimization regardless of the duration or frequency of each -Turner, Finkelhor, & Ormrod,

20 KEY FINDINGS Evidence that victimizations tend to cluster Repeated victimization, in a multiple of settings and at the hands of different perpetrators characterize the lives of many children If identified as a polyvictim at a young age, more likely to continue to have multiple different types of victimization as they get older 20

21 KEY FINDINGS In past year: 1 in 6 sexually victimized More than 1 in 4 witnessed violent act Nearly 1 in 10 witnessed one family member assault another 21

22 KEY FINDINGS Witnessing violence associated with physical abuse and all forms of child maltreatment Child physically assaulted 5X as likely to be maltreated Child physically assaulted 6X as likely to be sexually victimized  Common comorbid abuse – sexual/physical 22

23 KEY FINDINGS After onset of victimization of any type, large increase in number of sexual victimizations Co-occurrence between online and offline victimization (Mitchel et al., 2011)  Sexual harassment, rape, attempted assault, assault by a peer or sibling, witnessing an assault with a weapon, being flashed and emotional abuse 23

24 KEY FINDINGS Children who experienced the following averaged 7 or more victimizations in a given year  rape/flashing  witnessing parental assault of a sibling  witnessing murder  dating violence Before onset of polyvictimization more than half of victimizations were from siblings or peers 24

25 KEY FINDINGS 25 Percentage of sexually victimized children who are polyvictims

26 OTHER RESEARCH ographies/child-polyvic-bib7.pdf /polyvictimization.html 26

27 PATHWAYS TO VICTIMIZATION Residing in a dangerous neighborhood Having preexisting psychological symptoms Living in a violent family Having chaotic, multi-problem family environment 27

28 Family induced “victim schema” that communicates vulnerability Higher risk for single parent families and blended families 28

29 THE TRAUMA EXPERIENCE OF POLYVICTIMS Extremely high levels of psychological distress and symptoms Linear relationship between number of victimizations/childhood adversities and level of adverse outcome Additional victimizations of different kinds associated with higher anxiety than chronic victimization of one type (Finkelhor, Ormrod, & Turner, 2007) 29

30 WHAT CAC/MDTs DO WELL Building a Child-Center Approach Facilitate needed services by offering a more thorough and child-oriented response to allegations of abuse or neglect Marshal limited resources toward common goal Reduces redundant/duplicative interviews Provide case review across domains 30

31 WHAT HAPPENS NOW? Building a Child-Center Approach Avoid assessment organized around a single form of victimization Assess for a broader range of victimization More closely responds to the reality of many, if not most, children who are victims of violence/ abuse May require a systemic shift away from “one interview” model 31

32 WHAT HAPPENDS NOW? Benefits Exploring other possible crime against child More chargeable offenses Better decision-making regarding child protection issues Child-focused Challenges Additional demands on over- worked team members and staff Challenges units of specialization Longer/additional interview(s) May not lead to chargeable offenses (fishing) 32

33 FORENSIC INTERVIEW Known allegation or risk factors Alternative hypothesis (other possible explanation for allegation, other possible offender/s) “Has something like this happened before?” Occasionally will ask about home environment, other victimization/s

34 COMPREHENSIVE FORENSIC INTERVIEW Address presenting allegation/s Examine issues that will aid in child protection or chargeable offenses  Sexual abuse/exploitation  Physical abuse/neglect  Witnessing violent crime in home/community  Drug/Alcohol abuse in home  Other? Most grievous crime first after presenting allegation 34

35 INTEGRATING INTO PRACTICE Planning Before the Forensic Interview Information about child, caretaker and family Information about known alleged offense(s)

36 INTEGRATING INTO PRACTICE Planning Before the Forensic Interview Prior victimizations, delinquency, CPS or criminal history Examine pathways  Residing in dangerous neighborhood  Having preexisting psychological symptoms  Living in a violent home  Having chaotic, multi-problem family environment

37 INTEGRATING INTO PRACTICE Planning Before the Forensic Interview Type of Disclosure  No prior disclosure  Ambiguous disclosure  Clear disclosure

38 INTEGRATING INTO PRACTICE Planning Before the Forensic Interview Is it safe to tell?  Who has access to child  Unsupportive caretaker  Threats, intimidation, manipulation  Fearful/skeptical of system

39 In the Interview Deciding What’s Most Important Sexual Victimization  “At any time in your life, did an adult/teenager/child touch you in your private parts when they shouldn’t have or make you touch them in their private parts?  “Or did someone force you to have sex?”  “At any time in your life, did someone make you look at their private parts by using force or surprise?

40 In the Interview Deciding What’s Most Important Physical Victimization  “At any time in your life, did an adult/teenager/child hit, beat, kick, slap, or hurt you in some way?”  “At any time in your life, did a kid, even a brother or sister, beat, kick, slap, or hurt you in some way?”

41 In the Interview Deciding What’s Most Important Family Violence  “At any time in your life, did you see a parent get pushed, slapped, hit, punched or beat up by another person, even another parent, or their boyfriend or girlfriend?”  ““At any time in your life, did you see a parent push, slap, hit, punch or physically hurt your brother or sisters?”

42 Incremental Approaches - Contexts of Child’s Life People – family, friends, etc. Activities – school, sports, church, etc. Environment – home, school, etc. Time segments – after school, week-ends, summer, etc.

43 Benefits of Incremental Approach Move closer to possible other victimizations using focused questions Balanced, open-ended approach Allows observation of verbal and non-verbal responses Allow time to move into sensitive material

44 Tailor to Case Incorporate known information Select topics for discussion May include people, locations, activities, time periods, special elements Select topics can be considered during pre- interview planning phase

45 “Don’t forget the why of what we do. Remember our jobs, our duty is to make the world a safer, better place for the children we serve.” 45

46 THANK YOU

47 Andra K. Chamberlin Trainer/Child Forensic Interview Specialist National Children’s Advocacy Center 210 Pratt Ave NE Huntsville, AL


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