Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Child Sexual Abuse Awareness




Child Sexual Abuse Awareness

April month is considered as Child Sexual Abuse Awareness month. It’s just my small part in spreading this awareness. Again thanks to The Chennai Bloggers Club (CBC) for the alert and I can proudly tell that this one is also a CBC inspired post.

What is Child Sexual Abuse?

Theoretically Child sexual abuse may mean the dominant position of an adult that allows him or her to force or coerce a child into sexual activity. But in reality, it is much more than that. This is more common across the globe.
The below screen shot itself tells whether it is common or uncommon. It is the screen shot of google news for “Child Sex Abuse” and it just one page of many pages, most of the news updated in last 2 days. It proves that, child sex abuse is increasing every day.

Screenshot of Child Sex Abuse related news in Google News


 Risk Factors:

The family and its environment are the determining forces behind a child’s sexual abuse. Few of them are listed below:

Source: kathmanduk2.wordpress
  • Family structure is the most important risk factor in child sexual abuse. The risk is higher when children live with step-parents or a single parent. Children living without either parent (foster children) are 10 times more likely to be sexually abused than children that live with both biological parents
  • Gender is also a major factor in sexual abuse. Females are 5 times more likely to be abused than males
  • Age is a significant factor in sexual abuse. While there is risk for children of all ages, children are most vulnerable to abuse between the ages of 7 and 13
  • Children who live in rural areas are almost 2 times more likely to be identified as victims of child sexual abuse
  • Children who witness or are the victim of other crimes are significantly more likely to be sexually abused

How to Prevent Child Sex Abuse:

In most of the cases, it is evident that the abuse has been done by the people who are known to the children. It is the duty of the parents to teach certain things to the kid. The disabled kids are more prone to sexual abuse than the others.

Image Source : all4women.co.za
  • The most important thing is to believe your kid when they tell about the abuse. Most of the parents are ignoring those words since its coming from the mouth of a kid.
  • Don't scare your children in order to keep them safe. Teaching them the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching will help them from the predators. As early as age 3, children should understand that parts of their body are private and that it is not okay for anyone to touch them.
  • Start talking to your children by explaining how certain parts of their body - those covered by a swimsuit are private. No one should touch them there except for parents when they're being cleaned—and the doctor, too, but only if Mom or Dad is there in the room. Avoid telling like "some people are bad" kind of explanation.
  • Use real names for body parts. Avoid calling your child’s private parts made-up names. “It makes kids think that there is something weird or shameful about their bodies, and they’ll be less likely to tell you if someone touches them,” says Sharon W. Doty, author of Keeping Them Safe: Protecting Children from Sexual Predators and Evil in Our Midst: Protecting Children from Sexual Predators. Nothing wrong in using the words like “penis,” “testicles”, “vagina,” and “breasts” instead.
  • Advising your children not to talk to strangers is good. But the truth is, most of the abuse is committed not by strangers but by someone the child knows well. You have to worry more about with whom your child spends time on daily basis
  • Advice your children not to keep anything as secret if they have asked to do so by any adult. Because, this is one way where the abusers gain advantage. They asks the kid to keep it as secret, else their parents would go mad at them.
  • Do NOT insist that children hug or kiss relatives or friends. Let children express affection on their own terms

American Academy of Paediatrics recommends the following age-oriented conversations with children :

·         From ages 18 months to 3 years: Begin teaching children the proper names for all body parts.
·         3 to 5 years: Teach children about private body parts and how to say “no” to anyone who touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. Give them direct answers to questions about sex.
·         5 to 8 years: Talk about good touches and bad touches and safety away from home.
·         8 to 12 years: Focus on personal safety issues
·         13 to 18 years: Discuss issues such as rape, HIV, other sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy.

Why do offenders involve in Child Sex Abuse ?

There are many causes of child abuse however none of them can be treated as excuse.

  • Some abusers have mental problems and see themselves as kids too. They tend to have a strong desire for sexual things with kids. This mental condition is called pedophilia. A person suffering from that is a pedophile.
  • Most adults who sexually use or abuse children were, during their own childhoods, abused sexually - physically, and/or emotionally, as well as neglected physically and/or emotionally. In reaction to those experiences of abuse, neglect, betrayal and powerlessness, they may have attempted to find feelings of power and control over others – including sexual power over children.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse also seem to be a common factor in child abuse cases.

Conclusion:

As discussed above, there can’t be any single reason for the offenders to involve in child sex abuse. We can’t predict when our known and reliable person will become an offender. Better to be safe than sorry. Try to follow the Age-Oriented conversations as enunciated by the American Academy of Paediatrics. Let us make a better tomorrow.

Disclaimer: All content in this blog is provided only for general information and awareness based on the references cited at the bottom, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical / psychological advice of the professional.

References: apa.org, cachouston.org, parenting.com, virtus.org, voices.yahoo.com


10 comments:

Informative post!
It is not just for child abuse! I used to wonder why some parents are so closed about lot of things which forces the kid to fall prey to wrong things.

Great going

Keep smiling,
Lakshmi

Thanks Lakshmi. And yeah , you are right. Most of the Moms of present day were not even allocate time to talk with their kids. Thats worse, just want this to change somehow. Am not sure whether this medium (ie. this blog post) will reach those moms. Need to do something..

Very informative.. Should be read by adults and parents especially

Thanks Sandhya. Yeah it should be read by the parents and adults. Let us make a better tomorrow.

Thank you for this informative post. I'm sure a lot of victims of sexual abuse will learn so much from this post. This will give us ideas and preventive measures on how to deal with sexual abuse. attorney medford oregon

U are doing a good job Deepak the post is about today's generation...keep going. :)

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