Sexual Abuse in Childhood

 

Sexual abuse can be physical or non-physical

Physical

Inappropriate touch anywhere in the body

Rape or intent of rape

Child pornography

 

Non-physical

Indecent exposure

Evident conversation about sex, directed to produce a reaction in the child or incite curiosity.

Allowing a child to observe or hear sexual acts or pornographic material.

 

     A child is vulnerable to wrong intentions of anyone: biological parents, caretaker, siblings, other relatives, a babysitter, educators, neighbors and authorities? figures such as religious leaders, bus drivers or public workers, young or old.

Sexual abuse can happen only once or multiple times, it is sexual abuse either way!

Children from any race, any age, any sex and from any social class can be a victim of sexual abuse.

What is the driver of a sexual offender?

Can be the result of emotional problems such as low self esteem, bullying; can have sexual deficiencies and utilized a child to cover their primal needs and unresolved issues.

 

Alcohol and drugs abuse.

 

A recurrent behavior that usually starts in childhood

 

How child abuse is developed?

The different methods that a sexual offender uses to control a child is varied and appealing to the perpetrator:

Intimidation: A child will fear the abuser and will follow orders and instruction, the victim is powerless and degraded.

Hoax and/or tricked:  The abuser will use ?games? that end ups in sexual misconduct, touch, caresses or body friction with or without clothes.

Blackmail: There are two ways of blackmailing a victim, the first, promising toys, food or any other goodies in exchange of obedience; second, threatening to kill the victim, victim?s pet or the child?s familiar if obedience is not achieved.

EFFECTS OF CHILDREN ABUSE OR MOLESTATION

Emotional and psychological damage: conduct problems such as precocious sexuality or aggression, depression, anxiety, sexual confusion, sleep disorders, nightmare, bed wetting.  Low self esteem, poor self image, the constant feeling of wrongdoing and dirty, guilt feelings that can generate into suicidal behavior, auto destructive behavior, sexual problems in adulthood and pregnancies.

Physical damage:  genital rupture, pain when urinating or defecating, stomach aches, sexual transmitted diseases, including AIDS.

 

HOW CAN WE, ADULTS PREVENT CHILDREN SEXUAL ABUSE?

We must talk about sexuality to children in a healthy manner according to their ages in a way that they can understand.

Teach children that saying NO is acceptable and is their right to ?not engage? in any act that they feel is not healthy.

Be alert to identify any of the effects previously discussed.

Learn to closely listen to your children without being judgmental; cultivate trust among your young ones.

Allow your children to speak openly with you.  Tell them they DO NOT NEED to keep a secret that makes them feel bad, wrong, dirty or uncomfortable in any way.

 

WHAT TO TEACH TO A CHILD IF A TARGET OF SEXUAL PREDATORS?

Run away

Say No

Scream HELP

Find an adult and tell

DO NOT FEEL GUILTY

WHAT TO DO IF FACING SEXUAL ABUSE IN A CHILD?

Control your emotions

Accept the facts

Provide emotional support to the child

Seek information

Get medical assistance

Contact your local social department and/or school official