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Family sexual abuse treatment
 
Family sexual abuse, or incest, is defined as any sexual contact or interaction between family members who stand in an unequal power relationship. It is a crime of violence against children which happens when the needs of children for affectionate and trusting relationships are violated by family members who use the child to meet their own needs for sexual gratification.
  Incidence
  Statistics show that 1 of every 3 or 4 girls and 1 of every 6 boys is a victim of sexual abuse before the age of 18; in 85% of the reported cases the offender is known to the child, usually a relative or parent.
  Program Philosophy
  The program structure and treatment format of the Family Sexual Abuse Treatment Program is based on the philosophy that incest is not an isolated problem but should be understood as a manifestation of family dysfunction and as a multigenerational problem. Incest can affect the victim, the offender, the non-offending spouse, and siblings in many unhealthy, destructive ways. It is important, therefore, that treatment involves the entire family.

The goal of the program is to stop intrafamilial sexual abuse in this generation as well as to prevent future incest through the treatment and education of individuals living in incestuous families. The program meets this goal primarily through therapeutic peer groups. We believe that healing is facilitated most effectively when therapy takes place in groups of people with similar experiences. Peer group therapy helps to decrease isolation, to develop boundaries, and to increase self-esteem.

Groups are available for victims and non-offending mothers. Reunification depends upon the individual family; the program is designed to help people make choices in a healthy, responsible manner.

Defining incest as a crime for which there should be both moral and legal consequences is central to the philosophy of the treatment model. We support and encourage prosecution of the offender and, since very few come for treatment voluntarily, believe that a legal mandate is essential for the success of the program.
  Program Components
  The Family Sexual Abuse Treatment Program is a coordinated program of Northern Pines Mental Health Center and the Social Services Agencies of Morrison, Todd and Crow Wing counties. The program is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of professionals from these agencies. The following components make up the treatment program:
Diagnostic Assessment to determine if the family is appropriate for the program.
Orientation to the program for participating family members.
Therapy Groups:
   

- Non-offending Mothers group
- Adolescent victims group
- Pre-adolescent victims group
- Parent-caregiver therapy group as needed
- Individual, couples, and family therapy as needed
- In-Home


  Referrals
  Referrals are accepted from social service agencies, law enforcement agencies, courts, and other treatment programs. All potential group members are screened and evaluated before being accepted into the Family Sexual Abuse Treatment Program.
  Length and Treatment
  The length of treatment for specific families varies according to their individual needs, but individuals contract for a minimum of 1 year of treatment.
   
 
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Northern Pines is an integrated system of services committed to individuals, families and communities. We are dedicated to providing appropriate clinical mental health care along with preventative, educational and supportive programs throughout Central Minnesota.
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