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Pruente 1 Renee Pruente Victimology Reflection-Final

This course has had a huge impact reinsuring me what I want to do in life. As a career, I want to be psychologist and help individuals, especially children, who are affected by sexual abuse. According to Burgess, Regehr, and Roberts (2013), sexual abuse includes physical contact, including the touching or exposing of sexual or other intimate parts of a person for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire in either the perpetrator or the subject child (p. 202). Traumatic experiences, such as sexual abuse, can have a profound effect on the physical heath, mental health, developmental of a child. The symptoms of sexual abuse include withdrawn behavior, depression, sleeping and eating changes, development of fear and phobias, and psychosomatic symptoms. Sexually abused children may also become highly anxious or feel guilty. It is also likely for children to develop aversive feelings about sex, sexual identity problems, and hypersexual or sexual avoidance. It will be extremely important for me as a psychologist to know and recognize the symptoms of sexual abuse so that I can help the victims of sexual abuse appropriately. It is also important for me to address these issues in a respectful manor. These subjects are often difficult to talk about and victimology has allowed me to discuss the topics in a serious but light hearted manor, which is important when you working in a careers dealing with difficult subjects. I believe that Loras College should require students to take a victimology class. According to researchers, college students, particularly females, are at great risk for being victimized. If students learn about victimization and preventative tactics, perhaps there will be a decrease in victimization amongst Loras College students, particularly females. Not only will

Pruente 2 requiring students to enroll in a victimology class decrease victimization it will also help individuals begin to understand the impacts of victimization, societys view of victims may soon begin to change in a positive direction. As a student, who has attended Loras College since freshmen year, I felt as if Loras College was a relatively safe place where sexual assault and rape was unlikely. After attending Take Back the Night, sexual assault and rape at Loras College became a reality. Take Back the Night was a stance against violence and has really inspired me to make a difference. Victimology has taught me that there are ways to prevent myself as well as others from being victims of sexually abused and/or assault. In one particular situation, I was at a party and could see a freshman girl being pressured to go home with an upperclassman. I could tell the girl was uncomfortable and decided to take action. I approached the girl pretending that we had attended the party together and that we were leaving to go to another party. After the girl was free from the upperclassman she thanked me for saving her. I feel that because of the victimology class I was able to recognize a potentially dangerous situation and was able to prevent possible sexual assault from occurring. Take Back the Night has changed my view on sexually abuse victim. I no longer view individuals who have experience sexual abuse as victims but rather as survivors. According to statistics one out of three women are sexual abused at some point during their lifetime. During Take Back the Night, a few people I knew talked about their experiences dealing with sexual abuse and/or sexual assault. In many cases, I was shocked that those individuals had dealt with situations of that sort. This experience made me realize the reality of sexual abuse and how close it can affect people.

Pruente 3 Brianna Courtneys courage and strength as she told her story of sexual abuse was a very powerful and moving moment in victimology. I have had several classes with Brianna and never would have expected the pains and difficulties she has experienced. Brianna has taken control of her life even though she often deals with anxiety and depression. I applaud Briannas openness and willingness to share her story. According to Burgess, Regehr, and Robert (2013) many victims of sexual abuse go unreported due to the feeling of embarrassment and fear of making the sexual abuse public. As Brianna shared her story she did not show any embarrassment or fear. Brianna is truly an inspiration and I am blessed to have the opportunity to get to know her for who she is, rather than what she has been through. I think it is very important that Brianna does let her sexual abuse define her as a person. I considered Brianna a survivor. Because of Brianna, I have learned that I have the strength and determination to help and victims of sexual abuse. Since fall of 2012, I have been employed as a childcare assistant at Hills and Dales Childcare Center. As a mandated reporter, I am expected to report if there is any reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect. The failure to report a suspected case can place the child at risk of a more serious episode of maltreatment. On November 25, 2012, Bentley Randall, a child who attended the Hills and Dales Childcare Center, died from submersion burns and head trauma. The mothers boyfriend was charged with neglect or abandonment of a dependent person, manufacturing methamphetamine and manufacturing marijuana. Victimology helped me to really understand the importance of mandatory reporting. If the Childcare assistances at Hills and Dales had recognized the signs of possible maltreatment Bentley may still be alive today. From what I have learned in victimology I believe that the training for mandatory reporting should be longer

Pruente 4 and more intense so individuals will be better able to recognize and distinguish signs of maltreatment. According to Loras Colleges mission, Loras creates a community of active learners, reflective thinkers, ethical decisions-makers, and responsible contributors in diverse professional social and religious roles. Victimology has given me to opportunity to display the Loras College dispositions. Through active learning, I engaged in classroom discussions and attended events outside of the classroom. One particular even that I attended was the Open Doors Dash. I decided to run the 5k to support the Maria House and Teresa Shelter. I am a strong believer of giving back to the community and I felt that just volunteering was insufficient. I sacrificed a night of going out with my friends to prepare for the race. The opportunity to participate in the race not only allowed me to give back to the Dubuque community but it allowed me to grow as a person. The Open Doors Dash was my first ever race and it made me realize my true potential. Completing the race gave me a boost of confidence and made me feel that I could accomplish anything. I want to be a responsible contributor and become an OVE+R member. More people need to take action to stop and prevent physical and sexual abuse. Victimology has really impacted me and has inspired me to help the Dubuque community. I plan to volunteer or possible intern at the River View Center. Without the opportunity to take victimology, I would not have had the opportunity to grow and learn. Not only did I learn more about the topic but I also learn about myself and what I want to accomplish in life.