A girl in her 20s, who was the only person in her family to have survived the Holocaust, survived a second-class train to Auschwitz in the late 1940s.
“The train came at the end of the night, and it was like the trains were falling apart.
And the girl was sitting on the back of the train, and she was crying.
She couldn’t breathe, and her face was swollen.
And then she heard somebody say, ‘Good night, my name is Gabor.
We will come again.'”
The girl’s mother, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, died of the illness.
The survivor became known as Gabor because she didn’t know her father.
But her life, and the life of her family, were saved by a girl who had no siblings and lived with the stigma of a girl trapped in a family with no place to go.
“It’s a very unique story,” said Mary E. Stoklasa, a psychologist who has worked with survivors of the Holocaust and who has written several books on the subject.
“This story of a person who survived by herself, without having a mother, without a father, without any other people to look after her, and who also has no siblings is so unusual and so unique.
And that’s the kind of story we need to be telling.”
Gabor’s story has inspired generations of survivors of other types of abuse, including the girl whose family fled to Argentina in the 1960s.
In the late 1990s, a group of researchers led by Elizabeth D. Schoen, a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University, examined data from a nationwide survey of more than 4,500 children who had experienced abuse in the home or school setting.
In all, the researchers found, nearly three-quarters of the children had been subjected to abuse by someone in their own household, and a majority had been victims of sexual abuse.
“In general, the prevalence of these types of offenses is very low,” Schoen said.
“But the extent of these offenses is extremely high.”
Schoen and her colleagues, which included two psychologists and an anthropologist, published a paper last year in Child Abuse and Neglect titled “The Prevalence of Abuse, Violence, and Sexual Abuse Among Children Who Have Experienced Abuse in the Home or School Setting.”
Schön and her team analyzed data from the National Survey of Family Growth, a longitudinal survey of nearly 4,000 children who were the children of divorced or separated parents.
The survey, conducted between 1997 and 1999, had the children asked questions about their experiences of childhood abuse and neglect, such as how often they experienced physical and sexual abuse and how long they lived with abuse.
The data also showed that about a third of the child abuse cases they studied were perpetrated by a family member, while about a quarter of those reported being victimized by a person in their home.
About half of the abuse victims were also female.
“We found that there were more female perpetrators than male perpetrators of child abuse, and there were fewer female victims than male victims of child sexual abuse,” Schön said.
The authors also found that among children who experienced abuse, abuse victims had more severe psychological problems, such a depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
“There was a much higher rate of PTSD among female victims of abuse,” she said.
Schön noted that some survivors of sexual assault have been identified through the trauma of sexual violence.
“For some, it’s not just sexual abuse but it’s also trauma of being sexually assaulted,” she noted.
“Many survivors of child sex abuse have experienced a number of traumatic events in their lives, and we don’t know if they are all victims of childhood sexual abuse.”
Schössa said that the findings of Schoen’s study could be a warning to other parents who may be reluctant to bring their children to social services because of the stigma attached to abuse.
She said the study’s findings have implications for how the federal government treats survivors of childhood trauma.
“I’m not saying there’s not abuse that we should be addressing,” Schös said.
But she said that “one of the biggest things that we need is the understanding of the effects of childhood maltreatment on children.”
Schässa’s research also highlights a larger point: Many of the most severe childhood abuse experiences are not only experienced by children themselves but by their families, friends, and schoolmates.
The researchers also found a connection between the extent and type of abuse that children are exposed to and the severity of their symptoms.
“If we were to start thinking about trauma that takes place in their environment, then we could have a better idea of how to intervene,” Schreuss said.
For example, children may not be able to understand that they are experiencing abuse in their childhood environment.
Schösen said that her research suggests that it may be possible to provide a different kind of support for children who have experienced sexual abuse than for other children.
For instance, if they witness someone sexually