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A quick question... Almost two years ago, I was assaulted. This was… 
16th-Oct-2006 08:39 pm
A quick question...

Almost two years ago, I was assaulted. This was not the first time I've had something like this happen to me.

I've been seeing a therapist for this, but haven't told her that much yet. She knows a bit about the first time I was sexually abused, but that's it.

Anyhow, I heard something somewhere about a therapist being required by law to report an assault to the police if it happened three or less years ago. Is this true? (I live in California, and am a minor, if that is any help...)

If it is true, how exactly do they report it? As in, if I don't give a name or any identifiable features, am I okay? Or do they file something, like, "Rachel Grace was assaulted on 18 December, 2004..."

How exactly does it all work?

Alternatively, if it's something similar but different, how does that work?

Thank you!


-Rachel Grace
17th-Oct-2006 04:33 am (UTC) - big hugs.
i don't have an answers for you, i'm not even the same continent, but i'm sending you lots of hugs.
17th-Oct-2006 05:55 am (UTC) - Hugs too!
Hi, I was under the impression that it is confidential what is said to a therapist. I've been to one but not for a while now, so some of the laws may have changed.
I do know about having been raped and how hard it is to get past. The good news is that you can learn to cope and it does get better with time.
One thing that I have noticed is that the same time of year is difficult, other triggers are smells, sounds and such that bring a subconscience memory that has to be gotten through.
The important thing is remembering that it is only a memory, not happening again, though it feels like it is. Protect your enviroment and the people you are around the best you can.

I hope this helps somehow, and lets you know that you are not alone with your struggle to heal. It is a process that takes time and a lot of work.
Collages are good therapy, cutting out words and pictures from magazines and arranging them, you can do different themes. My therapist in shelter asked me to do one with 2 sides, one of the relationship and the other of who I am working to become. I was a deeply personal experience and really did help me find focus, of the past and the future.

Ms Meow
17th-Oct-2006 05:08 pm (UTC) - Re: Hugs too!
Sadly, if you're under 18 in the US, you don't qualify for provider-patient confidentiality if there's been a crime committed (unless you're a legally emancipated minor in some states).

Most therapists/conselors won't report it without your permission unless you're in immediate danger of being hurt again, but it can happen.
17th-Oct-2006 06:56 am (UTC)
In Australia there is a law that if a therapist is told about abuse of a minor they have to report it to "DOCS" (Department of community services). The child is listed as a "child at risk" whether or not the name of the abuser is known. The more serious/current the incident is, the more likely the case is to be investigated by DOCS. An investigation can be anything from talking to the child and people in the child's life, to, taking the child out of the abusive situation and placing them with a foster family. Some cases are never investigated because the system is very over-run and doesn't have enough staff or funding.

I'm not sure how things work in America, but it may be something similar.
17th-Oct-2006 05:06 pm (UTC)
I don't know the specific California laws, but I know the basics of most state laws on the subject:

Anyone under 18 can have a crime reported for them by a "mandatory reporter". Mandatory reporters are teachers, police/firefighters, therapists, counselors, and any other school staff. Regardless of how little detail you give, someone could report the crime.

You can find the California laws on how invgestigations are conducted if a report is filed here under "Ivestigation Requirements", though be warned it's in all legal terms! And on page three of this document it talks about the requirements for making an abuse report. It cites the penal code for the crimes considered mandatory for reporting and those penal codes can be found on page 23 of this document

Now - most counselors understand that such a report would be a breach of your privacy and won't do that without at least telling you they would do so. I'd recommend talking with your counselor about your concerns. Saying something along the lines of "I want to talk about something that happened to me, but I want to know about how you feel about reporting what I say to the authorities" will usually get a pretty direct response.

If she feels she should report it, you'll know enough so that you can talk about it without giving enough details for her to file the report. But, like I said, many counselors will work with you so they won't report it without your permission unless you're in immediate danger of being hurt again.
17th-Oct-2006 05:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, ignore that first sentence - I forgot to delete it after I looked up the laws :P

You can have access to those laws for free via those webpages I linked - which goes into huge depth about all the services available and what's mandatory, etc. It just takes some digging
17th-Oct-2006 11:52 pm (UTC)
In my experience, being under 18 denies you of any rights or confidence you'd get otherwise. I'm under the impression that therapy is supposed to be confidential about the board, unless you plan on hurting yourself, but I wouldn't be surprised if that turned out to be bullshit to.

I think that unless you're in very immediate danger, no one should be "required" to tell anyone anything. Whatever happened to CHOICE? The choice to report, the choice to tell only the people you want? Just because I'm under 18 I can't make that judgement?

Sorry, I'm pretty bitter about that.
And December 18th is my birthday... again, sorry, but that just jumped out at me.
25th-Oct-2006 01:16 pm (UTC) - reports of abuse
rachel grace it really depends on the state you live in the age you were when the abuse happened and how long ago it was

i feel your pain on this subject i was abused and i did wait two years to tell i had a good friend report the crime i was 13 years old when it happened see i live in hew hampshire and the perp moved to vermont they filed charges on the guy but since he moved away and it happened a long time before the date of report they couldnt do much they guy who did this to me got a slap on the wrist and that was it he got to keep his kids and he abused them too and he also abuse my mother he got nothing

but my adoptive father who abuse my older sister got a visitation rights revoked he had to go to the sex offenders therapy classes but he droped them he lost his baby girl and he has to have state suppervised visits till my sister is 18 she is 16 now

from here in nh to california the laws are very different and they need to change

in other cases of abuse and rape the perp ends up in jail and has to registar as a sex offender of the state and if they move they have to re registar in the new state and or town neither of the guys who abused our family have to do that

between me and you the child protections laws suck balls

hoping for the best result caleb
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