Tonight's special guest is Andrew Pari, LCSW, from the Antelope Valley area of Los Angeles, a returning NAASCA family member who serves as the Executive Director of Sexual Assault Awareness. He's a psychotherapist with over 20 years' experience treating survivors of sexual abuse and assault, including CSEC and sex workers. "I've done a number of law enforcement/military trainings, along with conferences since we last spoke," Andrew reports, "I speak and train nationally on the experience of arousal during rape/sexual abuse and how that affects survivors. He says forensic psychologists can better use this information in prosecutions. Andrew explains, "What brought me to my work and research on arousal affecting survivors was an interaction I had years ago with a colleague who denied sexual abuse/assault when a person experienced arousal during the event." He goes on, "This led me to pursuing the literature and research to see what was out there." It's quite common for survivors to delay recovery from feelings of shame or guilt, and a sense of self-responsibility for childhood sexual assaults. NAASCA knows these feeling are real, but misplaced. Children are helpless, innocent and powerless against predators. The 'responsibility' belongs to them .. not the child. Andrew was surprised when he first looked into this. "I had assumed this was common knowledge in the field. I have since learned that I was very, very wrong." He knows better now. "There is still so much to do in basic education on arousal for survivors. It's an area of great pain, great damage, and great danger for those who don't address it in treatment."
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