Bridging the gaps between therapy, prevention & justice
ESTD and its biennial conferences
The "European Society for Trauma and Dissociation (ESTD)" is a European organisation of clinicians and other specialists in the field of trauma and dissociation. One of its main goals is to increase the knowledge about trauma, dissociation and all disorders associated with chronic traumatization (see the "Mission Statement" by ESTD).
International conferences take place every two years, with even numbers up to 2016 (see also estd2016.org in Amsterdam, Netherlands), and odd numbers from 2017 onwards.
The ESTD Conference 2017 will include presentations on trauma and dissociation, as in previous ESTD conferences. However, in order to improve the situation of victims of abuse and neglect as far as possible, we believe it is also important to invite experts from other fields who deal with sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation of children and adults.
Child abuse & neglect, sexual abuse: a challenge for therapy, prevention & justice
Despite an increasing awareness of the devastating and often long-lasting negative effects of child abuse and neglect, as well as sexual violence against adults, the majority of cases are not reported, and those which are reported are often not prosecuted (link). This poses a serious problem for societies in general, and therapy, prevention and justice in particular.
Several reasons have been found for the low reporting and conviction rates. For example:
- Victims are afraid not to be believed and respected by relatives, therapists, counsellors, police and/or justice, and therefore decide to remain silent.
- Prejudicial myths and misinformation about sexual violence in many professions, including therapy and justice, interfere with state-of-the-art therapies and investigations.
- The length of time that the criminal justice process can take and the ordeal it poses for victims leads to high attrition rates.
- Lack of sufficient evidence or perpetrators who cannot be found and identified, prevent convictions and the protection of other potential future victims.
- The victims sometimes do not cooperate sufficiently with the investigative authorities or are unable to cooperate adequately due to mental illnesses, especially (complex) posttraumatic disorders from previous traumatic events.
- In practice, the experiences of victims during juridical and police cooperation and therapy depend largely on the victims’ encounter throughout their interaction with these specialists, and how they interact and cooperate with each other.
While abuse and neglect are a serious problem for therapy, prevention and justice, specialists in these fields have not had the opportunity yet to meet and discuss these issues at international conferences.
Abuse and neglect cannot be improved overnight, but it is essential that there is a common ongoing commitment to improve justice and prevention as well as treatment for survivors of violence.
Bridging the gaps between therapy, prevention and justice
We therefore invite all professionals interested in improving therapy, prevention and justice of child abuse & neglect as well as sexual abuse of adults, including lawyers, judges, police investigators, prevention specialists, trauma support- & counselling centers, therapists, politicians and others, to join us at the ESTD conference in Berne, November 9 - 11, 2017.
See you in Berne, Switzerland, in November 2017!
The organizing committee of ESTD 2017