Cleveland kidnapping story spurs needed parental discussions with children

Trauma professionals discuss topics

CLEVELAND - Recent, more vivid details emerging from Seymour Avenue's crime scene have led many parents to reassess just how much to expose to their children.

Clinical psychologist Lori Stevic-Rust of Stevic-Rust & Associates, LLC., in Willoughby offered guidance Thursday for families who may already be at their limit for information overload after four days of intense news coverage.

She said pushing for too much discussion about a news topic with details so disturbing that they may further traumatize children. It may not be the answer to quality communication among family members.

"We have to take the lead from our children. You know there are a lot of teenagers, young adults, who are already saying ‘I really don't want to hear all of that. I don't want to know all the details,'" Stevic-Rust said.

"It's bad enough to know that they were kept in that home for 10 years, so I think we really have to respect when children say, 'I just can't.' There's no value in pushing the details for them."

At the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, President & CEO Megan O'Bryan has seen a spike in calls to the downtown center from former rape and assault victims following daily details of the women's freedom. For people in need of rape counseling, reliving their own trauma after hearing news stories needs to be recognized by those around them, according to O'Bryan.

"At the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, we have so much compassion for Gina, Amanda, Michelle and their families," O'Bryan said.

"I think what we know from our experience in working with thousands of survivors of sexual abuse is that the road to healing is going to be a long one, and is going to require a lot of support from their families, from the community and from professionals and it's going to be an ongoing process for all of them," said O'Bryan. 

"As this story unfolds, it is most certainly going to bring up issues for people in our community who are surviving their sexual violence,"

"And I will say, in Ohio, 1 in 6 adult women are survivors of rape and if you have never gotten the help and support that you need to begin that healing journey, there's help available. In Cleveland that help would be at our Rape Crisis Center and we can be accessed at 216-619-6192, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," added O'Bryan.

For more information on the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center go to: www.clevelandrapecrisis.org

For information on Lori Stevic-Rust's clinical psychology services go to: http://doctorlori.net or info@doctorlori.net

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