Child sexual abuse has been breaking news long before the recent conviction of Jerry Sandusky, who is guilty on 45 counts of child sexual abuse to 10 young males. This conviction renders an exploration of this social evil known as child sexual abuse. These 10 boys have been exposed to the devastation of sexual maltreatment that could cause both short and long term detriments to their overall well-being. This story may be just breaking news to many, but it breaks so much more within the victims.
Children who are victims of sexual abuse may be susceptible to emotional, psychological, behavioral, and physiological brokenness. This brokenness could manifest in disorders such as depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder. Disturbances such as, anger, insecurity, shame, guilt, and numbing are also likely to develop. Victims’ normal pattern of behavior could breakand re-route to patterns of impulsivity, sexual acting out, withdrawal, or rage. Their brains may break away from normal functioning and become hijacked; increasing experiences of nightmares, memory disturbances, and hyper-arousal. Their relationships may become broken due to failure to trust, poor boundaries, impaired social and sexual intelligence, and commitment and attachment issues.
Because of these devastating effects, it is important for parents and caretakers to become aware of the impact that sexual abuse creates. The statistics of sexual abuse (one in three girls; one in six boys) in children is proof that inadequate preventative measures are being taken due to the lack of understanding and/or judgment on the part of parents and caretakers. To break the cycle of sexual victimization of children, here are a few helpful considerations.
Warning Signs of Current or Imminent Extra-familial Sexual Abuse:
- Child spending time alone or communicating excessively (via phone, email, social media) with authority figure(s).
- Authority figure sponsoring activities with child without other adult supervision.
- Authority figure displaying inappropriate affection (i.e. nicknames, hugs, kisses).
- Authority figure offering gifts or special privileges to child.
- Authority figure asking child to keep secrets.
- Authority figure does not have age appropriate relationships or social network.
For more information on child sexual abuse, please visit:
Identical twin sisters Lanelle and Leatisher Jackson, affectionately known as Nell and Tish, are both licensed professional counselors in the State of Ohio; treating children, adolescents, adults and families. For additional information, contact email@example.com