Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy
I think this can be worded more like... "Almost all offenders were abused themselves," not "Most victims go on to become abusers."
And really, I don't know how anyone could know or prove the latter, considering how under-reported abuse is. It's much easier to get stats on convicted offenders than the whole population of people who have been abused, since many in the population at-large either would not report their experience in the first place, particularly if they've already dealt with it and moved on (well, as much as someone can move on from such trauma).And I find it really intrusive that potential foster parents would be asked if they've ever been abused.
That is not what I said. I said that the number of victims who go on to become abusers is unfortunately higher than the general population. It is a risk factor, not a sure thing.
The home study process that my state used for screening potential foster parents is completely evidence and researched based. Unfortunately, having a history of sexual abuse that has not been addressed is a risk factor for foster children, which is why the question is asked. Not only do social workers need to screen for people like OP described who apparently view sexual abuse as normal and even positive, but there is also a huge need to screen for survivors who have not adequately addressed and worked through their histories of abuse. One thing that can and does happen frequently if a person has not done this, is that when a child who has been sexually abused is placed in their home, things start to unravel majorly for both foster child and foster parent. Dealing with a child's history can stir up a lot of turmoil, flashbacks, etc., for that foster parent. We need to know that the foster parent has adequate support, will seek out therapy if needed, and can help that child through the healing process. If a foster parent has not worked through that process themselves, there is no chance for them to be able to adequately support the foster child. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect all impact the parenting process if they haven't been addressed. We know from research that is a fact, so it is imperative to screen for these things to ensure kids are emotionally and physically safe in a home. It isn't about prying into a foster parents' lives. I have helped numerous potential foster parents be linked with therapy, etc. (paid for by the state) so that they could come to a place emotionally and psychologically where they could successfully parent a foster child with a history of trauma.
Originally Posted by IwannaBanRN
If this is a routine question asked by social workers trying to place foster children in homes, then it must be a high percentage of people that have been abused to go on to abuse. Abuse is so under-reported it's unreal. As I mentioned in a post above. I was lucky to have even spoken to my mom about what happened to me. I had no idea my sisters had been hurt too. They didn't speak up.
Completely true. Thank you IwannaBanRN. I totally understand the discomfort in discussing this. No survivor wants to be told that statistically speaking, they are more likely to be abusive than someone who hasn't been abused. I am not saying that specifically about individuals, but across the board, there is a correlation. In both my undergrad classes as well as sexual abuse training this was a huge issue in discussion, with many people speaking up and saying "I was abused, but I would NEVER abuse." I know. We know. It is a sensitive topic. The point is not to say that if one has been abused, they will abuse. The point is to say there is a correlation and when you see red flags like the person OP describes, you should take them seriously. The goal after all is protecting children--not ignoring the correlation because it is uncomfortable.
Originally Posted by Linda on the move
Although I agree with you, I find the way you worded this to be really insensitive.
I don't think it's even in the same ball park.
I'm a survivor, but not evil. Not even close.
Truly Linda, I would not wish to offend of be insensitve. It is true that the number of individuals who are sexual abuse survivors who offend is higher than the general population and that the percentage of perpetrators who have been sexually abused is greater than the number of survivors who then abuse. I am not being snarky at all but am wondering how you'd suggest wording that to be more sensitive while still being factual? Please share because I don't wish to be insensitive but I do wish to share that information.