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Helping A Victim Find Their Voice

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Updated: 7/25/2012 6:51 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Ponte Vedra psychologist Lynn Waddleton says the scars of child sexual abuse can last a lifetime.  

We've seen the issue in the spotlight a lot lately; first with former Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky, and now we're seeing it locally, with the arrest of Chris Bacca, a Duval County school teacher who's now accused of having a sexual relationship with a young boy.

Psychologist Dr. Lynn Waddleton says, "A lot of times, abuse doesn't happen with a scary stranger. Abuse happens with somebody that somebody actually likes and have had good times with."

Waddleton says so-called "good touch, bad touch" education should start early. But even if you've done all that, and you feel you and your child have a close relationship, she says it's still sometimes difficult for them to tell you they've been abused.

"The fear that maybe I said something wrong, or dressed too pretty, or was too nice, or I'd didn't report it a month ago, so now what's gonna happen. It might seem like I was part of it," says Waddleton.

She says the best thing you can do tell your kids they can always talk to you, without judgement. Dr. Waddleton says, "Kids don't like to see sadness and disappointment in their parents. And they know they're gonna see sadness."
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