Imagine a child who doesn’t like being around adults and is afraid of a particular type of people, like men of a particular age or women with long hair. This child has started hating being hugged all of a sudden. He or she has started wetting the bed again. Can the child be a victim of Child Sexual Abuse?
What is Pedophilia and Child Sexual Abuse?
Pedophilia is a phenomenon that exists everywhere. It is a disorder in which a person feels intense sexual attraction and fantasies about pre-teen children. These wishes must be fulfilled to avoid distress. This is one of the main causes of child sexual abuse, in which a child is used by an adult or an adolescent for their pleasure and sexual gratification.
Child Sexual Abuse is an issue that was present even in ancient India. Around 18-50% of the nation’s children have experienced it in some form. Half of the molesters were family members. In fact, someone from the family knew about it in 80% of the cases. Nevertheless, Andy Beckett reports that the first responses of most people range between paranoia and denial.
Cases of male child sex abuse victims’ cases are not reported as much, but they happen. Researchers have often reported finding little or no difference in the actual occurrence of Child Sexual Abuse of both these gender’s children all over the world.
The scenario might be changing to a great extent now. However, we’re pretty much unable to catch up. It is difficult to even imagine that our beloved friends, siblings, relatives, and children to have experienced something so cruel. However, we just cannot let the child suffer more by not acknowledging their problems.
Symptoms of Child Sexual Abuse
A few ways which should make any parent cautious are:-
- The child becoming very cranky all of a sudden.
- He or she seems to be afraid of a certain kind of people, like adults of a certain age, people who have a particular haircut, etc.
- The child goes back to a habit he or she had at a younger age, like bedwetting.
- Disturbance in the child’s sleeping pattern can also be a signal.
- If the child has become extremely quiet, even that may be a cry for help.
Effects of Child Sexual Abuse on the Victim:-
As you must have figured out by now, Child Sexual Abuse has a deadly effect on the rest of the victim’s life:-
- First of all, such experiences can lead to anxiety disorders, low self-esteem, and self-destructive behaviors like alcoholism.
- The victims may continue to be afraid of anyone who looks similar to their abuser. This creates difficulties in their social relationships.
- They may also face difficulties in forming adult relationships. The problems increase when it comes to physical intimacy.
- Such children tend to have faulty ideas about their sexual identity and the process of intercourse.
- In fact, they might even face difficulties in trusting adults and withdraw into their own shells.
- Furthermore, these victims would naturally feel anger towards their abuser. It’s also very likely for them to lose trust in the adults who were unable to protect them!
- They’d feel helpless and weak because of repeated violation of their personal space.
- The victims are 13.7 times more likely to be raped, molested or sexually assaulted again and again (re-victimization).
- They might also develop suicidal tendencies and attempt to end their own lives.
We may thus conclude that pedophilia and childhood sexual abuse are more common than they seem to be. The sad truth is that it can easily happen to your child as well!
Click here to help a child overcome this trauma with the help of a Psychologist.