Child Abuse- Every Adult’s Responsibility
Many children have been sexually abused before they turn the age of 10. The effects of this experience is guilt, self-anger, low self-esteem, infections, insomnia, etc.
Sexual abuse means when a child under 16 years engages to explicit sexual activities. This is done by an adult, a stronger child or teenager.
3 in 5 children have been molested or abused around the world. 1 in 3 children have been sexually abused without telling anyone. This is not untrue as many children who have grown into adults have had such experiences. Not being able to deal with these experiences, they become abusive themselves.
There are two types of child sexual abuse:
The contact abuse and non-contact abuse.
Contact abuse involves touching activities where an abuser makes physical contact with a child, including penetration. The child is sexually abused through:
* Sexual touching of any part of the body whether the child wears clothes or not
* Rape or penetration by putting an object or body part inside a child’s mouth, vagina or anus
* Forcing or encouraging a child to take part in sexual activity
* Making a child take their clothes off, touching someone else genitals or masturbate.
Non-contact abuse involves non-touching activities, such as grooming, exploitation, persuading children to perform sexual acts over the internet and flashing. Under non-contact type of abuse, the child is abused when
* Encouraged to watch or hear sexual acts
* Exposed to sexual activities by others
* Exposed to online abuse which includes making, viewing or distributing child abuse images
* Made to view or distribute child abuse images
* Sexually exploited for money, power or status (child exploitation).
* Told sexually explicit words
What can you do as an adult? How do you know when to speak up? Do you know most of the sexually child abuses recorded happened by someone they knew?
Our roles as Adults
As an adult, speak up or confront a child when you notice the following traits:
* Low self-esteem
* Bed-wetting at a certain age
* Drug and alcohol abuse
* Rude or aggressive behavior towards other adults
* Having difficulty concentrating in school
* Being reluctant to go home or school
* Feeling suicidal or attempting suicide
* Showing distrust for adults
Once you have approached the child and they open up to you, it is your responsibility to take the matter to relevant authorities. As an adult, your discretion and maturity is very crucial.
The mental state of a child is being affected and if the case is not handled in an appropriate manner, it would have a bigger effect on the child eventually.