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

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.
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Published on May 21, 2012 03:54 • 845 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.
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Published on December 16, 2013 12:19 • 2,139 views • Tags: abuse, abusers, child, childre, emotional, neglect, pain, physical, sexual
Parenting Through Divorce by Susan Jane Smith

I have never forgotten the telephone call I received on Christmas Eve many years ago. It was from a man in his thirties who was distraught because his wife had walked out on him and the children that morning. I was a Psychotherapist back then and he was asking for an urgent counselling appointment. I saw him within the hour because he was so upset.

What I had not reckoned on was that he brought the two little girls with him. They were aged 5 and 7 - crying and frightened because their world had just been turned up-side-down. They didn't fully understand what was wrong - just that this was not normal.

Now UNLESS THERE IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE I would ask parents of either sex to think about the children at this time of year.

I am not normally in favour of 'staying together for the sake of the children'. At Christmas I think it is a good thing to do as long as the couple can hold it together enough to be civil to each other. Separate in the New Year.

Obviously, if you are in any danger I think it is important to get out of the situation. There is no merit in endangering your life or that of your child or children.

What I am talking about is where there is marital breakdown because of an affair or general unhappiness or issues that have not been resolved. The reason for this is that Christmas will have been ruined for ever for those two little girls. There will not be happy memories for them and that is likely to have a knock on effect into their family's Christmases in due course. So other children will not have a great time either.

A written Parenting Plan is ideally written by the two of you before you announce to the child(ren) that you are splitting up. Please read my e-book "Parenting Through Divorce" to give you some ideas about how to put the needs of the children FIRST!

If you prefer to read a paperback rather than an ebook please buy a copy of my book "Emotional Health For Emotional Wealth" and see the chapter on parenting through divorce.Susan Jane Smith

How would you feel if your parents separated just before Christmas or any special day?
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Published on November 30, 2015 07:55 • 1,449 views • Tags: child, children, christmas, divorce, ebook, paperback, parent, parenting, parenting-plan, relationship
Parenting Through Divorce by Susan Jane Smith

In the late 1990's I trained as a Mediator with the Family Mediators Association because they were developing what I thought was a great idea. They trained us and then paired a therapist mediator with a solicitor mediator so that the divorcing couple got the best of all three ways of thinking regarding separation. It brought a lot of expertise to the process and created balanced outcomes which were equitable for all concerned.

Then in the UK the British Government decided to give out contracts so that the low income people could use mediation in divorces as well as solicitors. This was not as generous as it may sound because the government decided that the pay rate for mediation would be less than for a solicitor only divorce. This was a money saving tool for the government.

Mediation can create a fair settlement that has been thoroughly discussed and agreed before going to court over the money and the care of the children.

When mediation becomes inappropriate is when there is not a balance of psychologial or financial power in the relationship. Thus domestic abuse (including marital rape) and domestic violence should be excluded (in my professional opinion as a former Professional Practice Consultant for the UK College of Family Mediation).

There are other times when mediation is not able to be balanced and that is when one or both of the people concerned is depressed. They will not have the emotional capacity to stand up for themselves in the negotiations. They need a solicitor to 'fight' their corner.

I would also say that they need to be in counselling/psychotherapy to address their emotional issues. The solicitor can only advise a client - they act under instruction from the client and if that person is being brow beaten the court has a difficult time if one of the people are willing to give away all their assets.

Another situation when mediation won't work is if there is too much emotional pain still which is fueling anger and selfishness. Counselling/psychotherapy needs to be undertaken first.

When a person is emotionally immature they are not usually able to work with a former partner in mediation to create a win/win agreement. There again I would recommend a lot of counselling work/psychotherapy before even trying to mediate.

I have been prompted to write this blog because a dear friend has just come away from an emotionally abusive husband. Her self esteem is so low she is behaving like Pavlov's dog - she has been "trained" to do what the abusive husband wants. She's suffering from learned helplessness. Subtle putdowns, grooming into the abuser's way of thinking and financial deprivation plus social issolation all create a situation where she needs the legal system to protect her.

If you are leaving a marriage or civil partnership always get independent legal advice.
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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
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Emotional Health For Emotional Wealth The View From A Therapist's Office by Susan Jane SmithEmotional Health For Emotional Wealth: The View From A Therapist's Office Somehow growing up I learned brothers were not supposed to have sex with their sisters because their babies would have two heads and be mentally deficient. It was not until my thirties, whilst doing a masters degree in psychology, that I remembered my father putting his penis into my mouth when I was a very little girl. I had loved my dad - once I remembered I hated him. Now I have accepted that he did the best he knew how,even if it was not good enough. He did not know what the impact would be for my life and he probably was just meeting his own needs without thinking about what I would feel.

I read all the research papers I could find about incest and a couple of books - back in the early 1980's there simply was not much available and I wanted to understand!

Then "The Courage to Heal" was published and Laura Davis and Ellen Bass saved my mind with this excellent book. I cried all the way through the book but at least I learned that I was not crazy and I was not alone. The "Courage to Heal Workbook" and "Allies in Healing" helped too.

I learned incest and child sexaul abuse causes trauma and the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I understood my life and reactions better once I read "Father-Daughter Incest" by Judith Lewis Herman. My perspectives changed. I changed. My life changed. I learned to express anger appropriately and stopped turning it inward upon myself. I healed. It was not easy.

Now in my sixties I have no regrets about facing the wall of emotional pain that I walked through. Life is better on the other side. Many people try to avoid the pain and try to bury the memories - that will not work forever - they pop up or seep out.

Like rape, incest is more about the power dynamic than the sexual aspect. Perpetrators can try to make themselves feel better by using power, control, domination and humiliation. It does not really work for them either.

During my twenty years as a Psychotherapist I listened to hundreds of people talk about their painful/shamefilled issues. I wrote my book "Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth" as a way of showing the pathway to recovery from being a victim to become a survivor and on to a thriver.

I now thrive and I am so grateful for all that I have learned along the way. My clients taught me as much as I taught them and you will find some of their stories in "Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth" (it was a paperback but now an ebook for Kindle, Nook, Kobo etc).

My hope is that if you have been a victim of child sexual abuse or incest you can use "Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth" to help you find resources for healing the emotional wounds, build coping skills and move on in your own life. Take responsibility for your quality of life now and make yourself well and happy.
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Published on April 15, 2014 03:33 • 2,169 views • Tags: amazon, child, child-abuse, children, ebook, incest, kindle, kobo, nook, relationships, sex, sexual, survivor, victim, violence

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