Sexual Abuse Unit 1 Cultural Heritage
In addition, your beliefs about sexuality and sexual abuse may stem from your religious upbringing or may be more general to your family, neighborhood or geographic area of the country. These factors are part of your cultural heritage that may strongly influence your personal values.
In the Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Adoption and Family Services Act of 1992, which amended the CAPTA law discussed earlier, provisions were first made to include cultural distinctions and culturally sensitive practices relating to child abuse and neglect; these amendments also called for additional research to explore the relationship of child abuse and neglect to cultural diversity. Current research has focused upon two critical issues in culturally sensitive practice: respect for cultural differences and on-going self-reflection about personal values and biases (Alaggia, 2001). As we know, child abuse, and child sexual abuse, occurs across the broadest spectrum of American families, meaning that a wide range of ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds are represented among sexually abusive families. This diversity may be reflected in a wide range of issues such as:
- values of family and family preservation
- the roles of mothers and fathers in families
- acceptance of divorce and separation
- attitudes and beliefs about forgiveness, sacrifice and redemption (Aliaggia, 2001).