The signs of childhood sexual trauma are not always clear cut. The O’Brien Dennis Initiative (formally the O’Brien Dennis Foundation) has been around for over nine years. The organization’s vision is to “Empower communities, to create a environment where men and boys can speak freely about sexual violence and grow up free from sexual abuse.” In 2015 the organization created Understanding Childhood Sexual Abuse – How to Engage Children & Families written by author, advocate and male survivor O’Brien Dennis along with Clinical Psychologist Dr. Kim Arrington. Each participant who attends the training will be given a workbook that helps them to define the key terms surrounding childhood sexual abuse. Participants will also be given a signed copy of Understanding Male Sexual Abuse by O’Brien Dennis. The manual is divided into three sections:
Section 1 – Sexual Abuse
Section 2 – Identifying Child Sexual Abuse
Section 3 – Prevention
The training can consist of no less than five and no more than twenty-five participants per training session. The sessions are for a full day; a light breakfast will be provided. Each participant will be given a workbook, a certificate of attendance, signed copy of Understanding Male Sexual Abuse and is expected to complete a pre-and post-training questionnaire. At the end of the training session, participants should be better able to see signs of sexual abuse, and understand how to engage children in conversations surrounding sexual trauma. In the last session, we address parental fears and how to better help caregivers cope with childhood sexual trauma.
The training manual is geared toward social workers, clinicians, and first responders in helping them to responders in helping them to understand the key concepts of childhood sexual violence, and knowing the forms and types of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). More importantly, it is geared toward identifying the signs of childhood sexual trauma and tackling the age-old question of prevention.