If this subject is troubling or triggering for you, please skip today’s. This is for information purposes and is not meant or hopefully will not increase anyone’s distress.
I am continuing the definitions of child abuse as outlined by state law. Sadly, laws written doesn’t mean children are protected or believed.
I wish I could say this was the first one outlawed, it wasn’t. Also there are parts of the World that buying and selling children for sex is legal. It breaks my heart.
My perspective is that neglect, physical and emotional abuse are all part of sexual abuse. Long lasting effects are well documented but sadly this is still one of the hardest to prosecute. Often a child is groomed to believe they “wanted” the sexual attention. Or threatened with horrible consequences like beatings, unloved, shut out, family will be hurt or killed, heavy consequences for a child to wrap their mind around. Sometimes a child forgets/represses the memories. However, as pointed out in articles and books, the body remembers, eventually the memories return.
I was accused more than once of being over cautious and over protective. Growing up my parents were under cautions and under protective and I suffered the consequences. I learned in counseling about “Grooming” which is a deliberate activities accustoming a child to accept more intimate relations. These behaviors can be special gifts, added attention, escalating to whispered conversations and secrets. Teaching children about not being touched in private places is too late. They are already in too deep. Sad to need to teach children to be aware that not all friendly people are your friend. Saddest of all, most sexually abused children are by someone they know and know well.
For an example as to how things can get out of hand quickly. A neighbor bought us tickets for the circus. We had a wonderful time. I went over and thanked the gentleman. He asked me to send over my oldest son to thank me alone. I told him he would write a thank you note and I declined all other events. I had zero proof but my spidey sense was going wild.
Parents: if you feel your child is getting too much attention from an adult or a much older child stay aware of what is happening. Teach children, “No Secrets” rule for friendships. Keep communication open with the little stuff and when the big stuff happen your children will tell you. Remember boys are just as likely to be sexually abused as girls are. No easy answers. If something does happen, get counseling as soon as possible. Assure the child it is not their fault. Keep reassuring them. Sexual abuse has long lasting affects.
Too often, when a family member is the abuser, families are reluctant to prosecute. Sexual predators attack again and again. Please, stop them and prosecute. Telling authorities is not destroying the family, the sexual predator destroyed the family.
Sexual Abuse/ExploitationAll States include sexual abuse in their definitions ofchild abuse. Some States refer in general terms to sexualabuse, while others specify various acts as sexual abuse.Sexual exploitation is an element of the definition ofsexual abuse in most jurisdictions. Sexual exploitationincludes allowing the child to engage in prostitution orin the production of child pornography. In 21 States, thedefinition of sexual abuse includes human trafficking,including sex trafficking or trafficking of children forsexual purposes