Helping Young Victims of Sexual Abuse by Better Identification
The problem of child sexual abuse is increasingly recognized in our society. However, there are many victims who, because they suffer in silence, are not yet known and do not receive the services they need. Delphine Collin-Vézina has designed her research program with the aim of helping them.
As Canada Research Chair in Child Welfare, Collin-Vézina will analyze the procedures that could help to better identify victims of sexual abuse in Canada. To do this, she will consult many sources, including Canadian studies conducted in 1998, 2003 and 2008, on the reporting of cases of child abuse and neglect, police investigations and data concerning Canadian pediatric hospitals. Next, Collin-Vézina will compare these procedures with those followed in other countries, including the United States and France.
Drawing on her experience as a mental health clinician and researcher, Collin-Vézina will document the traumatic conditions and symptoms that follow incidents of sexual abuse, as well as the psychosocial factors associated with their expression.
Collin-Vézina will also study how symptoms of sexual abuse change over the years, as well as the implementation and evaluation of treatments (for traumatic conditions and symptoms) that are recognized for their effectiveness. In addition, making use of English- and French-language websites about Canada’s health and social services system, Collin-Vézina will undertake longitudinal clinical studies of young people in all age groups, as well as of aboriginal populations.
The work of Collin-Vézina will influence the social measures and policies that will be made a priority for identifying a larger number of victims of sexual abuse. In addition, her work will help in the development and implementation of intervention strategies that better meet the needs of these young people.