The Traffic Light can help us differentiate – part 1

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It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between healthy sexual playing, and when the sexual behaviour is problematic and harmful for both the child inflicting it, and the child exposed to it. Knowledge about normal development, and signs of behaviour changing negatively is therefore important. Sexual behaviour can also have different motivations and meanings for children in different developmental stages.

“The Traffic Light” is a nice tool for adults to use when identifying and assessing sexual behaviour causing concern.

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Marita Sandvik is a social worker with a master’s degree in mental health care. She is also a cognitive therapist with experience working with violence and sexual crimes at St.Olav’s Hospital, Brøset department (Central professional unit for committal to care, Center for safety-, prison- and judicial psychiatry) and Trondheim Prison.

At the moment she works at RVTS Mid with raising competence around problematic and harmful sexual behaviour in children and young people. Sandvik is especially a proponent of prevention of assault by professional development and establishing access to treatment and following-up for adults and children in danger of committing sexual violations. She is in addition a coordinator for the Resource team for problematic and harmful sexual behaviour (REBESSA).