Functional humanity and the dialectics of change through dramatherapy: An engagement with PTSD patients
Referred to as molestation, sexual abuse is the undesired sexual behaviour by one person upon another. It is a serious and pervasive social malady which has permeated all strata of the society in many countries of the world, Nigeria inclusive. The extension of this malady to innocent children makes it an issue that needs urgent attention. Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a form of child abuse that includes sexual activity with a minor. When perpetrators engage with a child this way, they are committing a crime that can have lasting effects on the victim for years. CSA can contribute to abnormal and arrested development, and a wide array of psychological and emotional disorders, that some children and adolescents may experience for a lifetime. It is often perpetrated using force or by taking advantage of another and does not need to include physical contact between a perpetrator and a child. The victim often suffers in silence except in cases where the victim is fortunate to have parent/guardian who comes to her rescue. While some victims suffer physically or emotionally, some suffers both ways and psychologically too and if not quickly and properly treated, the resultant effect of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can affect them throughout their lifetime. In Nigeria as in some other countries, this abuse often goes unreported for fear of stigmatisation. When this occurs and children are not given the protective and therapeutic assistance they need, and are left to suffer and struggle on their own. Resting on the pedestal of functionalist theory and adopting the homestead method of applied drama, this paper discusses the nature and incidence of CSA and its traumatic effect on the girl-child victims. It exposes the importance of the application of dramatherapy skills in the treatment of PTSD suffered as a result of the abuse.
Key words: Child Sexual Abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Homestead Method, Dramatherapy.