Child Sexual Abuse – An Everlasting Trauma
Children are a gift to this globe and ought to be treated with consideration. They ought to be regarded, minded, protected, cared for and shielded. Unfortunately, this is not generally the situation. Thousands and millions of offspring are abused every year and many children die due to ill-treatment.
Child Sexual Abuse is a sin. (1999) World Health Organization WHO report stated that; “Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) is an activity with the child who is not fully aware of it, or without any informed consent which will violate the law and rules of the society. And this is evidenced by the activity between an adult and a child or someone younger than the child forcefully”. This event leaves a child with many complications and has many impacts on child’s life. This issue is a current problem throughout the world. One of four girls and one out of every six boys are sexually abused and due to stigma attached by the society, these issues are hidden and results in many problems on the child’s mental as well as physical health.
Child Sexual Abuse is foremost setback which is distressing many kids. Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) is highly widespread in culture but owing to disgrace connected with it is concealed and roughly 88% of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) is not at all reported. World Health Organization WHO (2002) stated that; “other than, 800 children have experienced Child Sexual Abuse all the way through the world”. In traditional civilization like Pakistan, Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) is measured as an unpleasant act. According to a statement, in Pakistan there were 3,861 Child Sexual Abuse cases in 2012, about 17% amplified as contrast to 2011. In addition, roughly 1,204 cases of Child Sexual Abuse were recognized from January 2013 to June 2013.
Recently an incident occurred on 10th August 2015, commonly known as Kasur Incident in Punjab. This incident had opened the situation of Pakistan and the negligence of the government in front of the world. BBC news submitted the report (August 10, 2015) that more than 280 children were sexually abused in a village known as Husain Khan Wala. These children were around 14 years of age, their families were blackmailed and their videos were sold to people. Seven people have been arrested up till now and police is expecting to arrest others as well.
Seeing the worldwide ratio, it was estimated that 7.9% of men and 19.7% women have experienced Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) till the age of 18 by someone who is trusted more or is in the circle of trust. United States rates 7.5% for males and 25.3% for females. Reports have revealed that Africa has the premier incidence rate of Child Sexual Abuse which is 34.4% and on next incidence rate is Asia which is 10.1% to 23.9% [John Whibey, November 2011]. Statement by International Business times [February 2014], South Africa has the utmost rate of knots of raping and Asian Center for Human rights said; that additional 48,000 child rape incidents have been documented from 2001 to 2011 in India.
There are two types of abuse; that is contact sexual abuse which includes penetration, kissing, fondling, touching, physical violence or touching a child’s genital area. The second type of abuse is non-contact sexual abuse which includes, exhibitionism, showing pornography to child, by exposing one’s genital area to a child, or when child is naked or is undressed at that time staring at a child or watching a child and voyeurism. This non-contact sexual abuse is usually not taken as abuse by the people [prevent child sexual abuse 2008].
Sexual Abuse is characterized in three different ways which are as follows.
Sexual Assault is a characteristic in which an adult use a kid for the rationale of sexual pleasure. This is also known as Pedophilia and its example is rape which is a disagreeable and a forceful act and is done without the consent and knowledge of child.
Second characteristic is Sexual Exploitation in which an adult oppress the child for profit. Example for this characteristic is prostituting a child or selling a child’s body to others for their own needs that is food, shelter and especially for drugs. This is also known as Sex Trade.
The third type of characteristics is Sexual Grooming. Grooming word means that people who deliberately harm children which can even include their family members. It is the public behavior of a child sex lawbreaker. For example, of this characteristic is an online chat room in which the person pretends to be a child’s friend and hides his real identity from the child. They take out social and family information from the child and if they find it safe, they try to segregate the child. Livingstone, S., & Bober, M. (2005) UK children go online. London: London School of Economics stated that, “1 out of every 3 in the age of 9 to 18 have been through sexual grooming and only 7% of the parents are aware of it.
There are many risk factors which indirectly become the cause of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). A mix of individual, society and self-destructive components tossed into the danger of youngster misuse. Few risk factors include socially isolated families, isolated residency, or families living in a very suspicious places where they don’t know anyone, lack of understandings of parents towards their children and their needs, parents who are with the history of domestic violence, poverty, socioeconomic troubles, record of substance misuse in families, young-single non-biological parents, poor parent-child bond, parental pressure, society violent behavior [psychology today, November 2014]. Other causes could be lack of awareness, illiteracy, any serious mental problems, frequent change of residency, job stress, racial discrimination and discrimination between male and female [Human service, State Government Victoria, May 2013].
We have two types of effects of child sexual abuse. Short term effects which will be resolved by the child’s will and ability to forget and move on. And then we have long term effects which include:
Health and Physical consequences
In which early pregnancy, Sexually transmitted disease, difficulty walking, sitting and standing. Vaginal/penile ejection, pain in urination, breaks on Child’s body, bruises,difficulty in sleeping, enuresis, self-harm/suicidal ideation.
Cognitive Development Impairment
Second is Cognitive Development impairment which includes: age-inappropriate sexual knowledge, sudden changes in academic performance, rejection in taking part in any activity and difficulty in concentrating.
Emotional, Psychological and Behavioral maturity
The third effect is related to Emotional, Psychosocial and Behavioral maturity which includes: sexual involvement, frequent touching of genital part, masturbation, enmity, social disconnection, scary reactions, fear, poor public skills, substance abuse, complexity trusting others, cruelty or aggression towards animals and running away [Sexual Abuse of Children and Adolescents 2004]. These sexual abuse incidents that are unreported or unrecognized leave child with some impacts on their lives. Several researchers point to a quantity of psychosocial evils that occur after sexual abuse.
Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental disorder which is diagnosed because of any traumatic event that happened in the past. It results due to disturbing memories, sleep trouble, nightmares, deprivedattentiveness, hyper vigilance and uneasiness.
Second is a cognitive deformationas of guilt, poor sense of self, pessimisticinsight of self and self-blame.
Third is Depression, which is also known as mood disorder that causes a sudden feeling of unhappiness and loss of awareness from the real world. And as a result of anxiety, lack of emotional knot, suicidal thoughts and lack of control.
Other is Eating disorder,a condition in which eating behaviors leave negative impact on health. This usually occurs because of severe physical and mental disturbance. And this results in bulimia and anorexia.
Disturbed Social Functioning
Another isDisturbed Social Functioning such as sentiment of isolation, difficulty in trusting other people and issues with sexual uniqueness.
And lastly is a Physical/Somatic symptom which includesqueasiness, rectal discomfort, pain and traumatic problems. Others are panic disorders, phobias and decreasedself-esteem [National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2004].
Considering the sensitivity of this issue, I recommend work on an individual level by giving education to parents by teaching them what to teach to their children about their body and life safety and what appropriate age. Second we can conduct some community based session. Thirdly it is not only important for parents or children to learn about the body safety but teachers are equally involved as they play a great role in a child’s life. A child spends half of his day at school with other children of different ages and teacher. So teaching session for teachers is also very important.
Another is school based programs, teaching children about their body safety with different techniques. On Government level not only the presence of rules and laws should be seen but proper implementation should also be strictly monitored against such crimes and such criminals. Some NGOs like Sahil are also functioning on child sexual abuse utterly in alliance with UNICEF. It is highly important for the families and communities to work together which will not only improve society but will increase safety of your child.
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