Abused kids have intensely ambivalent relationships with their bodies.
Sexual abuse is an especially damaging act, as the most private part of a child’s life is burdened by shame, fear and betrayal. What’s worse is that a child may mistakenly blame their body for “inviting” the abuse. Sometimes the body automatically responds to the stimulation, leading a child to assume that they “wanted” it.
Kids may harm themselves to express this anger toward their bodies and the acts that were done to them. They may make suicide attempts. Or they may have such overwhelming emotions that nothing relieves it except self-harm, such as cutting, scratching and burning themselves.
Other self-destructive behavior includes substance abuse, eating disorders such as bulimia (vomiting or excreting excess food), binge eating and anorexia (self-starvation, compulsive exercise).
These behaviors can be mild, or life-threatening! Kids with these behaviors NEED AN EVALUATION FROM A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL, but there are still ways in which a teacher can support their recovery.
The Teachers’ Trauma Toolkit for Self-Destructive kids is built to help -
• Create a safety plan and coordinate with mental health professionals • Describe how trauma distorts body image • Increase self-esteem • Develop body awareness and safe expression • Discover what is uniquely loveable about each child
Help a child be safe in their body! Build your FREE Toolkit by clicking and ordering your favorite Tools below.