CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE 6
Childsexual abuse is a worrying trend in the contemporary society. Fromstatistics, out of three girls one has been sexually abused, and outof four boys, one has been sexually harassed in the United States ofAmerica before adulthood. Sexual harassment is not a selectivefeature it occurs everywhere regardless of age, ethnic background,social, and economic status and the religion of the place(Crosson-Tower, 2012). Sadly, it is more prevalent in the lives ofchildren. Reports presented by the Institute of justice indicateabout 2 million children, between the ages of 12 and 17 years, hadbeen molested sexually in U.S.A out of a population of 22.3 millionchildren (Briere, 2015). From the research, girls are twice prone tothe vice as compared to boys during adulthood, and the probabilityshoots to eight times higher during adolescence.
Childabuse can be described as any sexual activity that involves a minorwhere consent cannot be agreed (MarcFarlane, 2013). This takes thepath of an adult and a child or an older child who can give consentand one who cannot give consent. There is a wide variation in theforms of sexual harassment it may be physical or non- contact. Theimpacts of sexual abuse, which range from emotional, cognitive tophysical, have prompted scholars to research on the issue in order toaddress it. In my essay, I will look at how to identify the vice ofchild abuse, intervention, prevention, and its effects in thesociety.
Generally,children fear opening up about certain issues (Finkelhor, 2013) thismakes it difficult to identify the issue unless we keep a keen eye onthem. This can be seen on the physical damage on the private parts,the mouth, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and abnormalsmell from the mouth and complaints of being uncomfortable. Suchconditions can be realized by a doctor after examining the child.Nevertheless, it is not easy to identify these physical symptomsafter sexual abuse. Similarly, it is complex to have leading resultsafter medical censuring. The most leading symptom is the emotionaldisorder, where children behavior will portray some levels ofdistress (Finkelhor, 2013). Emotional behaviors like withdrawal,irritability, low self-esteem, a feeling of being helpless, andobsessive ideas are some of the indicators of sexual abuse. However,not all emotional signs I have mentioned can lead to a conclusionthat the child was sexually abused. A child with more of such signsespecially, at extremes should be subjected to mental evaluation.This should be done by a person who is always close to the child forhim or her to disclose the issue freely.
Ondisclosure, the confidant should keep calm to avoid reaction that mayhave a negative effect on the child, like panic and disbelief(Briere, 2015). The confidant should react in a caring, andrespectful manner, and trust the child. The adult should not blamethe child for the issue but rather respond in a manner to suggestthat it was not the child’s fault. It is, also, necessary toprepare the child psychologically for any step that will be takenafter him disclosing the issue. For instance, he should be made awarethat such situations must be reported to children protection agenciesor police officers for legal actions to be taken. This is necessarybecause such processes can be horrifying to the child especially,where the child must be interviewed several times during theinvestigation. Many children get scared to tell what happened.
Thereare a number of ways that have borne fruits when it comes to dealingwith cases of sexual abuse in children. Such methods likepsychotherapy at individual, group, and family level are proven to besuitable. Such treatment focuses on specific problems and offers asolution to both long-term and short-term effects. Treatment at anindividual level is usually between the child and psychologist or adoctor (Crosson-Tower, 2012). The person to address the issue shouldhave some specific training on how to deal with such issues. Variedcounseling ways may be applied to bring the child’s condition undercontrol.
Treatmentis also another intervention, especially to offenders. It is actuallypossible to treat sexual abuse but curing is impossible. Offendersare treated in order to reduce the probability of them re-doing theact again. However, the surest way to prevent such issue fromreoccurring is barring the offenders from reaching helpless childrenor those that they offended in the past.
Childrenshould be protected from sexual abuse at all costs. MacFarlane (2013)posits that there is dire need for them to be protected at primary,secondary, and tertiary level. Primary prevention aims at the generalpublic to reduce the probability of the vice from reoccurring. Inareas that have recorded reduced incidences of sexual abuse, therecords have been supported with the creation of awareness campaigns.Secondary prevention targets specific groups that are consideredprone to be attacked. A good example is a school going children beingtaught how to prevent an assault. The last level of prevention is thetertiary level, which involves the affected people. The victims areeducated on how to deal with the issue (MacFarlane, 2013).
Inmany cases, prevention processes have been faced with manychallenges for instance, there is the lack of efficacy for theprevention programs and inadequate resources.
Effectsof child sexual abuse
Effectsof sexual abuse among children are detrimental they range fromshort-term to long-term ones. According to Crosson-Tower (2012), longterm effects include but not limited to relationship challenges andproblems, like reluctance to disclose details about themselves, poorsocial skills, and inability to trust others, sexual challenges, likeindiscriminate multiple sex partners, fear of intimacy, or difficultyin reaching orgasm, and underlying sense of loss, anger, and guilt.The effects may also be direct or indirect a common impact is theposttraumatic stress disorder, which comes along with several signsand symptoms that include withdrawal from the public andhyperactivity. Research shows that over 50% of the victims experiencethese conditions in partiality, while full blown symptoms have beenexhibited in over a third of the victims (Briere, 2015). Depressionand anxiety were also reported over a third of those affected or havebeen victims of child sexual abuse. Other common conditions includebehavioral problems and feelings of unworthiness. Such conditions ifnot well addressed can lead to suicide or even spill over toadulthood. Long term effects include but not limited to drugaddiction, sexual dysfunction, stress, and trauma. Other effectsinclude body injury, infections of sexually transmitted diseases, anddistress to parents and those who are close to the child.
Toconclude, it is clear that child sexual abuse is a pervasive issue inthe contemporary society. It affects individuals from all spheres oflife regardless of their background and status. The issue haswell-documented impacts, which are both short-term and long-term. Itis clear that children do not freely open up after the incidence, andare even scared to testify before legal system upon disclosure.Therefore, there should be attempts to make the legal proceedingsfriendly to the victims. Further, efforts should also be made toeliminate the vice.
Briere,J. (2015).The APSAC Booklet on Teenager abuse. New York: Sage Publications.
Crosson-Tower,C. (2012). UnderstandingChild Abuse and Neglect.Allyn & Bacon.
Finkelhor,D. (2013). What’s wrong with sex between adults and children?Ethics and the problem of sexual abuse. AmericanJournal of Orthopsychiatry, 49,692-697.
MacFarlane,K. (2011). SexualAbuse of Young Children. New York: Guilford Press.