Cases of children being sexually abused have become a common problem in the U.S. and this affects individuals from all races and all social economic background. Two million children fell victims of a serious sexual abuse annually. Girls are three times at risk than boys to fall victims of sexual offenses. The most popular explanation of sexual abuse is “Any sexual activity that involves a child where there is no consent or consent cannot be given”. Sexual contact between a minor child and an adult or a younger teen with an older teen is considered sexual abuse.
How and why children become victims of sexual abuse
It has been established that most children abusers lure children by offering gifts or giving some special attention, threatening or manipulating the victims and even using aggression and also a combination of all these tactics has been used to sexually abuse children. Research indicates that most of the child molesters frequently use aggression. It was noticed that 50% of the child victims underwent physical force which included being shaken violently, being struck or being held down. Another common issue with the victims of sexual abuse is that the victims mostly know and even trust their offenders. Children most vulnerable to sexual assault are those who suffer from parent inadequacy and unavailability which leads to a child seeking the parent figure where it may not necessarily be the right place and this may lead to the people who are trusted by the child to take an advantage of the situation to sexually abuse the child. Another group of children which is at risk of sexual abuse is the one that is always in conflict with the parent and suffers from poor child-parent relationship. This is so because they are mostly not taught by their parents about sex and are very naïve about sexual abuse. They also have a danger in that after they have been assaulted, the parent would most probably be the last to know because it would be very difficult for the child to open up to the parent about it.
Physical and medical indicators of sexual abuse
It is a rare thing for a child who has sexually abused to come out and speak directly about the sexual abuse .Physical evidences of sexual abuse include irritation, bleeding or pain to the genital area, penile or vaginal discharge, difficulty of urination, offensive and unusual odors, pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. In most cases of sexual abuse offenses there are no physical evidences of the crime and if this is the case, behavioral or emotional characteristics that indicate distress may come in handy to point out a child that has been sexually abused. Behavioral or emotional symptoms come out stronger than physical symptoms as indicators of a child who has been sexually abused. The behavioral signs will include a nervous behavior towards the adults, a child becomes sexually provocative even before they have attained an appropriate age and also the use of alcohol and other drugs. Boys tend to act in an aggressive manner and antisocial ways due to abuse.
Why children are preferred sexual objects
Sex offenders mostly prefer children because they are at an age way above the victims’ age and know that there will be little or no resistance from the child. The offenders take the advantage of being able to manipulate children’s capacity of reasoning.
The situational child offender is a sexual offender who has few victims than his preferential type. This child abuser does not have a real sexual interest in children but wants to experiment with children when his life is troubled by stress. This type of abusers will not only abuse children but will also molest the sick, the impaired and even the elderly. There are four main types of the situational child offenders as follows, the regressed child abuser who has an occurrence of situation that impels him to abuse children as a temporary object for sexual satisfaction. In their normal relationship, they show no great problems in relating with adults in sexual as well as in personal relationships. The naïve or inadequate child abuser includes the persons who suffer from some type in mental problem that make them unable to distinguish between right and wrong in many situations and this includes sexual acts with children. Fixated child abuser is a criminal who is stuck in an adolescent age and claims to be in “love” with children. He is usually single and does not have any activity with the people of his age. Mysoped child abuser and a killer is a type of molester who makes connections between sexual satisfaction and violence.
Pseudo-mature behavior is an effect from sexual abuse where children show an outward mature behavior and appearance which results to assuming adult tasks and handling responsibilities that are beyond their years.
Botash, A. M. (1997). Examination for Sexual Abuse in Prepubertal Children. Pediatric Annual .
Groth, N. &. (1989). Understanding Sexual Offense Behavior and Differentiating among Sexual Abusers. Lexington: Suzanne sgroi.