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Things You Need To Know About Child Sexual Abuse

By Subodini Menon
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There are no two ways about it. Child sexual abuse is rampant in the society and if the statistics are to be believed, it is on the rise. The sexual abuse of a child is not a comfortable thing to talk about but this is perhaps the very reason why the sexual predators roam about in the open. The need of the hour is to address the issue and talk about it.

As parents, it is important to understand a few things about child sexual abuse. It is the first step towards protecting your children against abuse. The statistics show that at least one in four children experience child abuse before they attain the age of 18.

Sexual abuse is a horrible experience for a child who cannot comprehend what is happening to him/her. It can scar them for life and may even cause psychological, social and behavioral problems in them. The best course is to prevent and protect our children and be aware at all times.

What Is Child Sexual Abuse?

Child asexual abuse is any act that exposes children to inappropriate sexual behavior. These may include activities that involve touching and those that do not involve touching.

The Touch-related Activities Are:

Touching a child's private parts (including but not only the genitals) for sexual pleasure.

Making the child touch someone's genitals or private parts.

Insertion or touching of objects or body parts on or into a child's body parts for sexual pleasure.

Non-touch-related Activities Include:

- Exposing the child to pornography.

- Exposing the child to an adult's genitals.

- Photographing the child in sexual poses.

- Watching a child bathe, use the bathroom or undress, while harbouring sexual thoughts.

- Making, uploading, downloading or watching child pornography.

Who Are The Sexual Predators?

Perpetrators of child sexual abuse cannot be pointed out in the society as they belong to its every walk. They are people like you and me, only with a diseased mind. They are hard to find. They can be male or female.

The Sexual Predator Is Often Someone The Child Knows

As per the statistics, it is someone known to the child who will sexually abuse the child. It is disturbing that the more often than not the predator belongs to the child's close family or friend circle.

Children Do Not Lie About Sexual Abuse

It is seen that unless the parents have some kind of physical proof, they tend to assume that the stories of sexual abuse are just the child spinning tales. But it should be understood that it is not possible for the child to make up such stories. If your child has knowledge of sexual abuse, it is probably because he/she has first-hand experience. Your support and faith can help prevent further trauma and scarring of the child's psyche.

The Child Will Not Grow Out Of The Abusive Experience

Unless dealt with in a proper fashion, your child will not grow out of the scarring experience. Your child should see you supporting her/him. Your child may need counselling to help process what happened to him/her. They should see the perpetrators being punished for a sense of closure.

Most of all, hushing it and expecting your child to deal with it on his/her own will not work.

Paedophiles May Not Be Mentally Diseased

People who are perpetrators of child sexual abuse are usually functional members of the society. They may be married, have children and may hold a job. They often have sexual relationships with adults too.

Paedophilia should not be excused as a mental illness. The predators are to be held just as responsible for their actions as someone who commits a murder or is involved in other crimes.

Your Child Is Not Responsible For The Abuse

It is easy to point at the victim of child abuse and say that they are responsible for what happened to them. A child or even a teenager cannot seduce an adult. Their clothing or their behavior should never be called provocative. It is always the sexual predator's eyes that conceives a child or his/her behavior as sexual and it is always the predators fault.

Read more about: parenting kids parents child kid
Story first published: Friday, September 22, 2017, 9:34 [IST]
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