"Trouble in Kittyville" addresses the issue of sexual abuse perpetrated by children. This is a disturbing subject, causing even some therapists to avoid dealing with it. When it occurs within a family, attitudes and perceptions about sexual abuse perpetrators must be examined in detail.
Society's prevailing attitude toward adults who sexually abuse children is angry revulsion, accompanied by a sincere desire that they be removed from society, thus ensuring the public safety.
When children abuse each other, the paradigm shifts. The strong negative emotions felt towards adult abusers are not helpful when both victim and perpetrator are young children, perhaps siblings. Families may be at a total loss to know to begin to deal with the situation. In addition, the false societal assumption that only males abuse vastly increases the difficulties for those who are abused by females. In some families, tragically, the method of coping is total denial. This helps no one. For in truth, the question in such situations is not, "How can we inflict the most punishment possible?" but "What can we do to help these two victims heal, and how can we help prevent further victimization of and by either of them?"
Professional help is a must as the family begins its healing journey. This process can be lengthy. Unfortunately, in today's healthcare environment, insurance coverage for mental and emotional health is limited- in some cases so limited that effective treatment is nearly impossible.
Although professional guidance is necessary for its proper use, "Trouble in Kittyville" is a unique concept in that when the story is read to the child by the parent, the parent in effect becomes the therapist. Use of this material in brief-therapy treatment can both conserve resources and enable a family to heal.
Its purpose is to educate, encourage, and empower children and their parents- to teach children that they can say NO, that they can run, that they can bite, scratch, kick and scream when faced with a threatening situation. It is to be used to ease the emotional pain of the victims of sexual abuse and to alleviate the lack of understanding that paralyzes families when the child-to-child abuse occurs. This book can help speed along the healing of the emotional wounds caused by these tragic events.
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