Susan Jane Smith's Blog - Posts Tagged "abuse"

I'm not just an old woman on her soapbox. This is about what you can do to make a difference.

On the 8th May 2012, in England, there was a gang of 8 British born Pakistani men and an Afgan man convicted of sexual abuse.

One of the reporters,I heard, said that the incidence of gang abuse was rare generally,but that within some cultures now living in the UK,it is acceptable for men to groom a vulnerable girl, have sex with her (meaning rape because of the grooming), and then pass her along to one or more other men. Those men because they have shared the female then consider themselves to be better friends.

In my opinion, this is not about the colour of a person's skin - it's old cultural concepts that a man has the right to dominate a female.

Nevertheless, I do think it significant that the men in this case did not chose females from their own community.

This is treating a female worse than when we were just considered chattels. I had thought that this kind of thinking had gone out with modern education and the work of the women's movement.

One of the girls spoke on TV and said they were given food and alcohol and thought initially that the men were being nice to them (when actually that is grooming). Then the situation became frightening as these girls were taken to places and share around. How awful for those young females. What if that had been your daughter?

How can it still be acceptable thinking that a female body is just an object to be used as a male decides?

There may be laws about abuse but these young females had difficulty getting the police to act.

I believe decent men need to do more to support a change in male thinking.
This needs to not be just a woman's issue.

Men you need to educate yourselves about the long term negative effects of sexual abuse. Abuse affects the public purse and thus your tax money because amongst other things it creates depression which frequently leads to an inability to work and thus needing financial support from the public.

What can you do? Educate yourself and lobby your Member of Parliament (in UK & equivelent elsewhere as this is an international issue). Ensure that the laws are strengthened including increased penalties.

My work as a Psychotherapist for over 20 years was to help heal the wounds that this kind of abuse creates. See my book "Sexual Abuse & Incest" £1 on Kindle.
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on May 21, 2012 03:54 • 842 views • Tags: abuse, child, grooming, rape, sex
Physical Emotional Abuse Hurts the World as Well as The Child Physical Emotional Abuse Hurts the World as Well as The Child by Susan Jane SmithSusan Jane SmithIn The Sunday Telegraph newspaper (London) on the 11 January 2009 there was a heading "Child abuse won't be overcome until we define what it is". I was outraged that anyone would question what child abuse was and then thought I better write about it for everyone's information in case of doubt! Sexual Abuse & Incest is another of my Little Book series so please take a look at that too!

I'd say ALL children deserve:-
freedom from fear
freedom from inflicted physical pain
freedom from imprisonment
freedom from neglect
freedom from emotional pain

There is a lot more informaiton in my e-book "Physical and Emotional Abuse Hurts the World as Well as The Child" so please do give it a read.
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on December 16, 2013 12:19 • 2,132 views • Tags: abuse, abusers, child, childre, emotional, neglect, pain, physical, sexual
Feeling Down? by Susan Jane Smith B.Sc,

A friend recently asked where to start when wanting to overcome depression, high levels of anxiety and grief. That is a lot for any human being to try to be handling. My answer is that it doesn't matter where you start - just start. Do something. Small steps add up to a change over a period of time.

Action is the hardest thing to do when you are depressed. Just try to do one bit a day. If you find that hard you might be trying to punish yourself by staying stuck so think about that if it applies to you. Check out Call the Samaritans if thinking about suicide or self-harm. Read "Understanding Depression" by Dr. Caroline Shreeve who was herself depressed.

If abused in childhood depression and anxiety are part of the long term negative effects - it is a normal reaction to abuse. Adults simply cannot do things that hurt a child and think it goes away - it just gets buried deep down inside.

Here are actions that, in my opinion, would help to improve your quality of life if in that kind of situation:-

DOCTOR: Always start by seeing your general practioner and ask their opinion - they have access to the Becks Scale to assess if you are depressed. They are also able to refer you to counselling or for psychiatric care or give you medication.

Some people are opposed to anti-depressants. They work and you usually have to stick with them for a month before seeing any results. If you don't think they are working for you go back as there is a variety of medication doctors can prescribe.

COUNSELLING: Find someone to talk to who is professionally qualified. In the UK, check out the Directory of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. There are professional associations in many countries.

If you have the financial resources go to counselling weekly. The reason for this is that it is a talking theapy and you need to develop the working relationship with your professional. In my opinion, you need to go for at least 12 sessions. Week 6 - you might start noticing a bit of a change, week 9 a bit more and week 12 a bit more change in how you think and feel and behave.

You need to make at least this amount of commitment to yourself because you deserve to make the changes you want to do.

For issues that are from childhood pain I would say don't stop until the day you feel like there is nothing else to expose to the daylight. In many instances (particularly as an abused child) you need to go weekly for 1-3 years is like peeling an onion - one layer of pain at a time.

The benefit of talking to someone outside of your friends and family is that they will listen with an independent ear. This is not about advice or taking sides.

Be a wise consumer and interview several counsellors/therapists. Most will give you a free half hour to meet each other and see if you feel you could work together. The relationship is a part of the process so if you don't feel comfortable look for someone else.

JOURNAL: Write down your feelings and thoughts as often as you can. This allows you to look back a couple days later and see how you felt then. It also gets the emotions up and out as you really don't need or want to keep them buried. Keep your writing private if you can as that allows you to 'speak' freely in your writing. This can be on scraps of paper - it doesn't have to be in a fancy book. This is just for your personal use. You will see change when you look back after several months/years.

CRY: People tend to underestimate how much they need to cry. You will stop eventually. If the tears come, let them,without feeling bad about it.

MASSAGE THERAPY: Aromatherapy, Indian Head Massage, Reiki and Reflexology are all ways of reducing your stress because they induce deep relaxation. Stress reduction is an important part of recovering from any aspect of emotional pain. If you have the financial resources do this weekly.

CD's: You can find relaxation from the cd's by Louise Hay and Paul McKenna (I particularly like his 'Change Your Life in 7 Days' inside the book of that name). Play them once or twice a day and go to sleep with them if that works for you. You might not see results in 7 days, but I am convinced they will help you to make change because they are accessing your subconscious.

READ SELF-HELP BOOKS: Obviously, I'm an author of self-help e-books so you would expect me to recommend my own books, especially "Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth". You can do a search of 'Susan Jane Smith' on Amazon and see my other books.

I have recommended other author's books within my books and I am particularly partial to the work of Louise Hay, Susan Jeffers, Susan Forward PhD and Judith Sills PhD.

For child sexual abuse I think particularly well of "The Courage to Heal" by Laura Davis and Ellen Bass. Also "The Courage to Heal Workbook" and for supportive partners "Allies in Healing".

If one of your carers had difficulty with their drinking search on Amazon for books about being an ACOA - Adult Child of an Alcoholic...initially recognised in the USA.

If any kind of pain from childhood, search on Amazon for books about 'healing', 'inner child', and being a 'wounded' child.

Phobias, and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and panic attacks are linked to anxiety so that is why reducing stress is so important. I would also say that, in my personal opinion, there is unexpressed anger if you suffer from any of these.

Everyone really could benefit from reading "Managing Anger" by Gael Lindenfield. You can also talk to an empty chair to get feelings and thoughts out of your head. You can hit a cushion/pillow. Express your anger to get it up and out one bit at a time. Keeping anger buried simply does not work. You can be angry without being violent to a person or animal. Sometimes people are afraid to be angry because they fear being out of conrol. You can learn.

THERAPY LETTERS: See my book "Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth" for the best format. Fundamentally they are letters that you DO NOT SEND TO THE PERSON. You either read them to an empty chair or take them into your counsellor/therapist. The reason is that if you are not going to give the letter to the person who has hurt you there is more freedom to say exactly what you think! Never expect that even if you gave the letter to the person that they would respond the way you would like them to do. Many people will never say sorry.

ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES: Hugs are good medicine and are free so ask someone who you feel safe with for a non-sexual hug.

Try lavender oil on your pillow or on a handkerchief that you sniff during the day. It is generally considered that lavender is a healing aroma and is the only one you cannot overdose on! That is my understanding at least. You can get it at a health food store or chemist.

The above suggestions are my subjective opinion and not legal or medical advice. My wish is for everyone in the world to be inspired for positive change.
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Did you have a parent or carer who was drinking excessively? One of the sad aspects of alcoholism is that it affects the children of that person’s family.

Alcoholism does create a dysfunctional family – it does not work the way a healthy family system supports and gives nurturing to each member.

There can be four ways that children are affected that have been generally agreed (originally in the USA I believe). The successful high achiever who has low self-esteem underneath that achievement. They are frequently the only child or the oldest child of a family. Because they may be the hero of the family and look like they are ok the family ignores their needs and they can become parentified – taking care of the adults and other children.

In a multi-child family you can find the clown – making people laugh to overcome their internal fears because they cannot actually handle the stress. Humour masks the child’s pain and anxiety. The humour relieves family tensions. The jollity creates the illusion that the child is not in need of care and support.

It is possible for a child to be a loner and withdraw into invisibility as a way of trying to survive. They may be seen as the ‘angel’ who does not cause the family trouble. This child may feel lost.

The family may use a child as a scapegoat – he or she may be the rebellious one and thus everyone gets to be overly focused on their troublemaking rather than deal with the real problem which is the drinker’s drinking.

Unpredictability and consistent inconsistency can be a hallmark of alcohol abuse in a family and extremely difficult to live with. The child/children of the family are only ‘allowed’ to feel what the alcoholic finds acceptable and thus they can lose touch with their own perceptions of reality.

If you grew up in a family where there was too much drinking please read my e-book “My Drinking Isn’t A Problem!” available on Amazon or via the online bookstores.

See my column "Ask Susan" at
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
I have just heard that four men in India have been sentenced to death for their rape and murder of a young woman on a bus last winter. I am so glad that the international attention to the rape laws in India have made an impact. Sad because it took the loss of a woman's life.

I would like to think that Twitter, Facebook and other social media including blogs may have helped to publicize the situation in India.

Here was what I wrote as my contribution to social change. This is a blog on Goodreads that I wrote about the police in India:-

"I have listened to the BBC News here in England about the horrific level of rapes in India. I didn't realise that it appears to be much worse than in the UK. Many rapes are unreported due to the attitude of the Indian Police and that is outrageous. The Police in India need education.

Further, it is time that the Indian culture accepted equality and not accept a patriachial society as ok in this modern world. The international community can now watch what India, Africa, China and all countries are doing with regard to rape. Social media like Twitter means that word can travel fast!

I have heard conflicting reports on the news - the laws are in place but not enforced, laws need to be tightened, and most scary of all the reports that I heard was that women in India are not "allowed" to have mobile phones! Can this be true?

Indian women hold some positions of power and are not totally downtrodden so what is going on in that country?

My suspicion is that there is still a cultural acceptance of sexual objectification and the use of pornography. The problem with porn is that it allows men to look at a woman's body as an object and thus they "forget" that the woman in front of them is a real person...with feelings...not just a body to be used.

Another endemic attitude is probably still that women are second class and can be used for a man's pleasure. However, no kind, caring man would rape. Thus it leads me to suspect that the motives are power, control and domination. Humiliation is also a part of this crime of violence. And, yes, it is vital that rape is seen as a crime.

Men who rape are inadequate human beings.

Please read my Amazon e-book "Rape Not Sexual Assault" if you want to understand why some men rape."

At the time of the publicity about the rape and murder of the young woman on the bus I also sent emails to the British Prime Minister, the Indian Prime Minister and the Consulate in London. I came across a picture on Facebook when reading about the rapes in India and the photo still haunts me. I hope it will haunt you and the rest of the international community as we must not close our eyes to abuse anywhere in the world. It is of a young woman in India being carried upside down on a pole with blood and obvious injuries.

Why treat any human like that?
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on September 13, 2013 07:28 • 809 views • Tags: abuse, india, murder, rape, rapists, violence
Rape Not Sexual Assault Rape Not Sexual Assault by Susan Jane SmithThe first thing to remember is that there are lovely, kind, caring, compassionate men in the world. Some men feel inadequate and try to use rape as a way to make themselves feel better!

The reason for posting this blog is that Max Clifford (a famous PR Guru in England) has just been convicted of sexual assaults that he vigorously denied. Denial of dastardly deeds is not unusual. In my opinion (based on my training and 20+ years experience as a Psychotherapist) it is that when you do something that you actually believe is 'beyond the pale' your mind closes the 'curtain' so that you do not have to face what you have done.

In my office "Why me?" was the most frequently asked question by victims of sexual assault. There are some theories about victims being chosen for their vulnerability. Rape is certainly no respector of age (you can be 85 yrs old and get raped), not wear short skirts, not be out after dark, etc. Yes, some men do get raped by other men too.

Why does a rape or sexual assault happen? The simple answer is that the perpetrator WANTED to do it. He is meeting his own needs and gives no regard to the impact on his victim. Rape is about the rapist's internal emotional life so no victim needs to blame themselves - ever.

The other important aspect of rape or sexual assaults is that they are still culturally acceptable in many areas of the world (including the West) because there is still a belief that male domination of women is acceptable (even if not publically acknowledged).

Rape is about power, control, domination and humiliation - not sex. Sex is just the weapon used. It is a crime of violence.

I helped to run a domestic violence and rape crisis centre in the USA years ago.
You can find my training and experience outlined on my website http://www.EmotionalHealthForEmotiona... Obviously that has informed my thinking on the subject of rape.

In my ebook "RAPE NOT SEXUAL ASSAULT" you will see that I have outlined what I believe are useful descriptions of the kinds of rapists so do take a look if you want to know more. This is useful information for all women - please do not wait until you have become a victim.

Generations of women have been courageous and spoken out about the impact of domestic violence, rape and child abuse. I am concerned that there no longer appears to me to be the zeal in younger women to shout about unacceptable cultural norms. They may think that it is alright to accept the work of the women's movement and the benefits that it has brought into play for women today. Effort is still needed.

What will you do today to create social change to improve the lives of women all over the world?
2 likes ·   •  1 comment  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on May 01, 2014 02:16 • 1,831 views • Tags: abuse, ebook, max-clifford, rape, rapists, sexual-assault, survivor, survivors, victim, victims, violence

Susan Jane Smith's Blog

Susan Jane Smith
Susan Jane Smith isn't a Goodreads Author (yet), but she does have a blog, so here are some recent posts imported from her feed.
Follow Susan Jane Smith's blog with rss.