Advocates for child sexual abuse survivors say traumatic stress can cause physical symptoms

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The Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office has confirmed with News 10 that Deputy Bryan Kibodeaux, an 18-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, was arrested Tuesday by State Police on one count of first degree rape, four counts of sexual battery and four counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile.

Kibodeaux has been fired from the VPSO, Vermilion Parish Sheriff spokesman Daryl Leblanc confirmed.  

Thomas Gossen with State Police Troop I said it’s unlikely that the age of the victims will be released because of the severity of the charges. Advocates for child sexual abuse survivors say traumatic stress due to abuse can affect children in a number of ways. 

“Child traumatic stress presents itself in many different ways. It can affect their ability to concentrate, to learn, it can present as anxiety or depression, or behavioral problems. It even can affect the development of their brains and bodies,” says Stacy Williams.

Williams is a therapist at Hearts of Hope. They see over 500 children with open cases of sexual or physical abuse each year.

“The first step in helping a child after abuse is for them to be heard and believed. That’s a big part of it and sometimes you see a little bit of relief from the symptoms just with that,” Williams said. 

“We often get the question posed to us, is it happening more or are more people reporting? I think maybe both things are true. It may be that it’s happening more but we absolutely know that more children are finding a voice and are feeling empowered to speak about whats happened to them,” said Amidie Shaw with Hearts of Hope.

The organization is working to teach students that abuse of any kind is wrong. 

“Statistics show children who have intervention and people who believe them, advocate for them and coordinate their care have a better outcome,” says Shaw. 

The organization provides counseling for both children and adults survivors of sexual assault. For more information about their services visit their website here

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