First Presenter's Institution

Liberty University

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 7 (Sloane)

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

This proposal relates to the mental and physical health strand and the conference’s theme “Helping Adults Serve Youth” in a number of ways. In America, our youth are the most impacted by sexual trauma, which often leads to academic, behavior, and emotional problems. Without the proper coping skills, social support, and resources, sexual trauma can have a long-lasting impact on a child’s mental and emotional health. With the right interventions and evidence-based approaches, school professionals working closely with mental health counselors can become a protective factor for our youth impacted by this traumatic experience.

Brief Program Description

Sexual trauma is an unfortunate but a common and often masked experience for many students in America. While sexual trauma in itself is not a mental health disorder, it can become a risk factor for many academic and mental health problems. Trauma-informed schools can play an important role in helping students deal with the aftercare of a traumatic experience.

Summary

Sexual Trauma has become one the most masked forms of traumas facing our youth today with minorities becoming the most at-risk (Crosby, 2015). Many youths and adults have chosen to become silent about their abuse for many reasons(. Only 12% of youth report child sexual abuse and 93% of those abused actually know their abuser (National Sexual Violence Resource Center,2015). Until recently, survivors of sexual abuse were reluctant and out right afraid to speak out or speak up about their experience. The worldwide “Me too” movement has helped many survivors find both the courage and their voice to share their experience. However, finding a healthy way to deal with the aftercare of the sexual trauma remains to be a very difficult process for many individuals, especially among minority youth. For many youths, school is perhaps one of the safest places for them and can serve as a protective factor when schools have evidenced-based practices and resources in place for students who have experienced sexual trauma.

Based on much research, sexual trauma often has lasting impacts on a student’s academic achievement, behavior, and self-identity (Crosby,2015; Walkley & Cox, 2013). Therefore, in this session, the participants will receive an array of resources and handouts that can help change agents (i.e. school professionals, counselors, and parents) proactively develop evidenced-based practices and strategies for students who have experienced sexual trauma. Additionally, several case studies/scenarios will be presented where the participants will be given a list of symptoms to see if they can identify the warning signs/indicators of masked sexual trauma that may mimic other similar childhood disorders. The session will then review some of the most relevant evidence-based interventions and treatment approaches (i.e. trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy) used by mental health professionals when working with sexual trauma. Lastly, participants will be encouraged to develop and implement trauma-informed practices that specifically address sexual trauma by partnering with their community counseling agencies to conduct on-site training and advocacy for school faculty, staff members, and parents at their respective locations.

Evidence

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2015), researchers reported that “one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old” and sexual abuse remains the “most under-reported crime” in America. These survivors often live in silence with the trauma associated with this experience. Thus, this proposal is based on a growing body of research that seeks to gain a better understanding of sexual trauma and how it directly impacts students’ academic achievement, behavior, and overall self-identity. While there is research that focuses on these three factors, there is still more research needed that specifically address these factors with minority students and the evidence-based approaches schools can implement to help this population.

While many schools have incorporated some form of policy surrounding prevention, there is a large number of schools in the United States that have not adopted or embraced the need for evidence-based approaches such as trauma-informed classrooms and schools (Crosby, 2015; Brown,Brack, & Mullis, 2008). In fact, some researchers report that while schools serve as the primary provider of mental health services, the discussion regarding trauma informed practice in school is becoming less common (Cavanaugh, 2016).

The goal of this training is to allow participants to learn how sexual trauma impacts academic achievement, behavior, and self-identity while also engaging participants in the discussion on the importance of trauma -informed practice as an evidenced-based approach. Moreover, multitiered research-based strategies for supporting students who have experienced sexual trauma will be provided.

Brief List of References:

Alisic, E., Bus, M., Dulack, W.,Pennings, L., & Splinter, J. (2012). Teachers’ experiences supporting children after traumatic exposure. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23, 98-101.

Brown, S. D., Brack, G., & Mullis, F. Y. (2008). Traumatic symptoms in sexually abused children: Implications for school counselors. Professional School Counselors, 11(6), 368-379.

Cavanaugh, B. (2016). Trauma-informed classrooms and schools. Beyond Behavior, 25(02), 41-46.

Crosby, S.(2015). An ecological perspective on emerging trauma-informed teaching practices. Children & Schools, 37(4), 223-230.

McLean, C. P., Morris, S, H., Conklin, P., Jayawickreme, N., & Foa, E. B. ( 2014). Trauma characteristics and posttraumatic stress disorder among adolescent survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Journal of Family Violence, 29, 559-566. Doi: 10.1007/s10896-014-9613-6

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2015). Statistics About Sexual Violence. Retrieved on August 27, 2018 from

https://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/publications_nsvrc_factsheet_media-

packet_statistics-about-sexual-violence_0.pdf

Paccione-Dyszlewski, M. R. (n.d.). Trauma-Informed schools: A must. Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior.

Wiest-Stevenson, C., & Lee, C. (2016). Trauma-informed schools. Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, 13(5), 498-503.

Walkley, M. & Cox, T.L. (2013). Building trauma-informed schools and communities. Children & Schools, 35(2), 123-126.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. TeShaunda Hannor-Walker has served as a university professor/ supervisor for nearly 10 years. Dr. Hannor-Walker is a Georgia Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor, Licensed Professional Counselor, National Board-Certified Counselor, Certified Telemental health Supervisor, Certified School Counselor, and Certified in Educational Leadership with over 15 years in the public-school system. While in the public-school system, Dr. Hannor-Walker was named “Top Ten School Counselors in America” by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) in 2011.

Dr. Hannor-Walker now serves as an Assistant Professor at Liberty University and a Licensed Clinical Therapist in her Private Practice in Georgia. Dr. Hannor-Walker is the co-author of How to Raise a Successful Child with ADD, co-founder of Walker & Hannor-Walker, LLC, which offers counseling and consulting services, educational development training to schools, counseling professionals, and youth groups. Dr. Hannor-Walker provides trainings to educators and counseling professionals at state and national conferences including the CHADD Conference, National Youth At-Risk Conference, and Georgia School Counselors Association Conference just to name a few.

Keyword Descriptors

sexual, abuse, trauma, trauma-informed, masked, mental, health, youth, students, schools

Presentation Year

2019

Start Date

3-5-2019 2:45 PM

End Date

3-5-2019 4:00 PM

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Mar 5th, 2:45 PM Mar 5th, 4:00 PM

Unveiling the mask:Sexual Trauma's impact on academic achievement, behavior, and self-identity

Session 7 (Sloane)

Sexual trauma is an unfortunate but a common and often masked experience for many students in America. While sexual trauma in itself is not a mental health disorder, it can become a risk factor for many academic and mental health problems. Trauma-informed schools can play an important role in helping students deal with the aftercare of a traumatic experience.