Week 3 forum post responses

In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.

Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:

This week, we examine domestic violence, considering the many forms it can be displayed against all members of a family unit. In addition to understanding what domestic violence may look like, the course materials provide insight to the difficulties of identifying, assessing, and appropriately intervening in cases of domestic violence. The trauma response cycle is explained as a model of victim response and recovery.

  • In your forum post, discuss the utility of the trauma response cycle in working with victims of domestic violence.
  • How does an understanding of the cycle contribute to intervention and treatment strategies in cases of domestic violence?
  • Considering each stage of the trauma response cycle, during which would be most difficult to implement intervention and treatment goals with clients, and why?

Forum post response #1

  1. For the majority of men and women in our culture, I do not feel they believe the rape myths. Our society has become more aware of the damaging affects of the rape myths and how they can deter someone from reporting the crime. I feel because of this awareness, people in our society are less likely to believe the myths. When it comes to men and women from other cultures, I feel due to their beliefs, they might be more inclined to believe the myths. Not because they are heartless or uncaring, simply because their culture has a different believe system then ours. On that note, I do however feel that men are more likely to endorse rape culture. They are taught from a young age to be strong, assertive, ultra masculine men who can overcome any obstacle and win the woman they want. When they get a damaging blow to their egos by rejection from a woman, believing the rape myths gives them validation for their actions. Women are just as guilty as men in this situation, meaning, as women we are taught that if we offer ourselves to a man, it is almost a guarantee that he will accept. When a woman is rejected she might fall into the same pattern of disdain and anger where she feels she deserves to have him, therefore she forces herself upon him to validate herself.
  2. I believe to a point that our society perpetuates the rape culture. This can be seen in the porn industry. At one point sex was about the sensual connection between a man and a woman, this was mimicked in the porn industry. Today it seems as if rape, domination, coercive, and violent porn has become the accepted norm. Women today are even more accepting of the rape culture if the woman is the controlling figure, due to the number of women who state they want to be dominated by a man or also indulge in rape fantasy porn. While yes, they include the word “fantasy” in the description of their desires, fact of the matter it still perpetuates rape by its nature, just in a way that women can express it without being held responsible for helping perpetuate it. Now I know with the last statement I have raised some eyebrows, but here is why I believe this. Current movements today claim to want to seek justice for rape victims or victims of molestation or sexual trauma. This is just a claim because they only focus their intentions on women being the victims, they do not include men which I feel negates their plight. They do not simply want equality or an awareness to what is happening, they want a dominance where men are seen as sex starved creatures wanting to rape any woman that moves. This does not create the balance needed in order to lessen the acceptance of the rape culture, instead it enforces the idea that men are horrible and women are always the victim. I think one way to combat this is to bring sex education back into to schools but instead of just identifying certain parts of the body, educate the kids on what sex is supposed to mean. Parents need to take the taboo label off of sex and instead of making it something that is to be discreetly discussed behind closed doors, bring about open conversation for better understanding.
  3. The similarities I would use for children, adolescents, and adult victims of sexual assault would start with ensuring the victim that they are allowed to feel what they feel. Validating their feelings about the situation, except for self-blame and hate, lets them work through those feelings for a more rational outcome. I would reiterate to them that they did nothing wrong and are not at fault for what happened. With children and adolescents, I would use a softer approach with the assistance of an anatomically correct doll in order to deter any confusion in their minds. They may not know the correct terms for certain body parts and by having them show, unprovoked, what happened, it would solidify the case against the perpetrator. With adults I would use a soft tone but more casual talking and questioning. An adult should know the correct terms and be able to identify parts and happened, however I would not force them to talk about things they were not comfortable talking about.

Forum post resolution #2

Research suggests that although both men and women may believe rape myths, men are much more likely to endorse such myths (Collins & Collins, 2005). Also in the textbook, it is mentioned that males are more likely to respond to the sexual aspects of sexual assault and that it is more common for those who do not understand the nature of rape to respond by criticizing the victim. It is mentioned that studies reveal that groups of convicted rapists and college men who report engaging in sexually coercive and/or aggressive behavior hold similar beliefs and attitudes about gender and sex that permit them to justify and rationalize their behavior. Regarding women, it is mentioned that they are taught to believe rape myths, which make clear to her that avoiding rape is her responsibility. This seems to suggest that there are cultural beliefs and attitudes that have defended such harmful and disturbing behavior. Therefore, it seems that it will be extremely important for more awareness and understanding to be raised, to promote a new culture of beliefs and attitudes that are not so dismissive of rape as being a crime that causes extremely painful consequences for victims. The assigned article suggests the importance of continued research for understanding motivating factors of men’s rape behavior and women’s rape-avoidant behavior. When given the opportunity to help raise awareness, I will do my part to communicate the value of refraining from harmful behaviors and risky situations.

Our society does seem to perpetuate a rape culture, by not teaching its citizens with more accuracy or implementing laws that would identify all rape as crime. There are also parts of culture that create images of how females should try to look like, music that shames women and desensitizes males regarding treatment of females, and normalize rape behaviors as acceptable. Dispelling rape myths (i.e. ones that place females in the responsibility for preventing rape) seems to be a necessary approach to communicating more accurate information with the hopes of facilitating more preventative and safe behaviors. Encouraging rape victims to report the offenses also seems to be very important for raising awareness. Teaching could be provided to adolescents as part of health education at schools and other community-based settings. It would also seem that, in addition to teaching with more accuracy, providing more consistent consequences for rape behavior would offer more preventative measures (i.e. including more/all states to allow for prosecution of spouses that rape). Raising awareness could also come in the form of media (i.e. TV, social media, etc.).

For survivors of sexual assault from any of the age groups, I would be sure to approach providing crisis support very delicately. Sexual assault can cause intense confusion and shame, among other intense emotions. It will be important for survivors to feel as safe and comfortable during the process of reporting and receiving treatment. For young children, it will be important to engage with parents/caregivers to help them to process their own intense emotions and to help them to provide an environment of safety and security for the child (i.e. refraining from directing disappointment, anger, etc. toward the child). Everstine & Everstine (2006) strongly suggest ‘that the most important factor in how well a child or adolescent recovers from sexual assault is the nature of the response on the part of his or her parents, as well as that of significant other people in the child’s life,’ (p. 227). For me, I would approach intervention with directive Play Therapy for the initial session and continued nondirective Play Therapy, to include intermittent Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral techniques for teaching coping skills, providing child-friendly psychoeducation on symptoms of trauma, and challenging unhelpful thoughts. For adolescents, I would also engage parents/caregivers to promote a secure and nurturing home environment. After initial assessment, I would offer a combination of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other expressive art modalities in between teaching coping strategies, psychoeducation, etc. For adults, I would approach assessment/intervention from a very Client-Centered approach, with the main goal being to create a safe, warm and genuinely empathic environment, where the survivor can be able to process and communicate extremely intense psychological wounding.

Forum post response #3

Good Afternoon Professor & Classmates,

I want to apologize for being absent the las past week. Things have been overwhelming, and I had to step away for some self-awareness & self-care.

This week’s lessons and articles seem to hit relatively close to home. Currently in the field I work in I experience interactions with rape victims, perpetrators, survivors and sexually abused children. Matter of fact, we have a whole CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploited Children) department, a sexual assault department and a domestic violence department. As it was mentioned in our readings rape of a wife is not always viewed as a prosecutable offense, and usually is only viewed prosecutable when domestic violence is present.

Do men and women believe rape myths? When it comes to the myths I do feel that both men and women believe these myths, but I also feel that there are some out there who are knowledgeable about rape, who do not believe them. I feel it just depends on if both men or women have taken the time to become aware of rape and the influence society may have on them. As for men being more likely to endorse rape myths, again I feel this is something that is impacted by the man’s up-bringing, his background, and the environment he has chosen to surround himself with. But I also feel this is not one sided. I feel that women are just as capable as men to endorse rape myths. For me in order to challenge these beliefs, I feel that society and our justice system should become more aware and knowledgeable about rape, and the culture which surrounds it. This can be done so by holding monthly/bi-weekly meetings by providing community resources, providing any crisis line numbers, or even gain knowledge on what rape can look like from various points of view.

Yes, society does perpetuate a rape culture. This is done so by feeding the myths. For example, one myth that stuck out to me was that of women cry rape for revenge, I feel that because at some point there was exposure to this famously, that some may think it is okay. Not to mention, statistically, often times rape is under reported because those who fall victim feel ashamed. Another way that society perpetuates rape culture is by saying that victims deserved so due to the way they may have been dressed, or due to their drinking or drug usage. Again I feel the biggest way to address this is by holding monthly/bi-weekly meetings by providing community resources, providing any crisis line numbers, and giving knowledge on what rape can look like.

When approaching survivors of any type of sexual assault, being victim centered and victim based is key. You want to be able to provide a safe environment for them, build rapport and trust, and support everything choice they make and believe everything they say.

-Lacey