The reasons for my joining a network for preventing Child Sexual Abuse were to know and understand how a child is sexually abused, learn the ways to prevent it, and steps to take if a case like this happens. Whatever I have been learning and experiencing ever since then, completely changed my outlook on life. It was something I could never imagine even in my nightmare.
Unfortunately, many of us are living with this nightmare, many of us have grown up with this nightmare.
The abuse itself is frightful and causes a traumatic effect on the victim. When the victim is a child, it’s all the more terrible. The worst of this is Child Sexual Abuse. The sexual organs of a child are not fully developed which makes it quite difficult for a child to understand the dynamics of sexuality and sexual activities.
Child sexual abuse is rampant all over the world.
In most of these cases, the predators are either parents or older siblings,s or relatives, or those adults who can come into the vicinity of the child like a teacher or a friend’s parent. It’s frightening to even think about what the child goes through or how can the parent or adult torture the little one or what are the things a child is made to see.
The world is not a fairy land anymore. The sweet world of innocence and candies and ‘all that is beautiful’ is destroyed. It haunts them all through their lives; it’s as if they are held responsible for what happened. They can’t be themselves anymore.
The effects of child sexual abuse are enormous. The child loses focus on studies; stops taking interest in something the child enjoyed, perhaps a sport or music. The child starts avoiding friends and peers; that one little corner of the room becomes the only place of solace. It’s something the child fails to express and explain.
No matter what, the child can’t get over it.
They are ashamed of what others will think of them. They feel that they will be bullied as losers if the incident is revealed. They live in constant fear of what society will think of them, of getting abused again.
It’s not the child’s trauma alone. If the parent or the parents come to know about it, or if the family comes to know about it, they too become petrified. Most people are not aware of the measures one should take when a child is sexually abused.
Most people think that if it is kept secret, the child will be safe. But this is absolutely a wrong notion. It actually makes the child more vulnerable and the predator stronger. It helps the predator take advantage of the situation and increases the risk of repeated attacks.
Also, the predator gets the liberty to abuse other children too. It inflicts great damage on the psyche of the child; the trauma stays with the child as the child grows up. As an adult who has been sexually abused as a child, it is a painful thing to live with; the traumatic impact lingers all through the person’s life guiding the person’s professional and personal life.
So, don’t just stay silent. You need to report it and this is the least you can do for stopping child sexual abuse. Here are 5 reasons for you to understand why you should reveal child sexual abuse.
5 Reasons Why Child Sexual Abuse Should Always Be Reported
(1) You are being controlled by your predator if you remain silent.
Remaining silent is not a wise decision if you have been abused. It means you are allowing your predator to control you. If you remain silent, your predator will roam around freely without guilt. This makes you vulnerable and also other children vulnerable.
You must remember that your predator is bound to look for other victims. Speaking out is not a sign of weakness. It’s okay to ask for help when we really need it. So, when you are reporting child sexual abuse, you are actually speaking for a hundred others who might get abused by your predator.
(2) Others will understand that your problems are the effects of the abuse.
How many times have you been blamed for showing a lack of self-confidence? How many times have you been blamed for being an introvert and not socially active? How many times have you been blamed for not trusting someone and for always being judgmental about each and everything?
Apart from these, there might be numerous other problems that might be a result of the abuse you have gone through. Once people know about it, they will stop blaming you. In fact, they will understand well, help you to deal with it, and overcome the trauma.
(3) You will get back your self-confidence.
If you have been sexually abused as a baby, it’s not your fault. It takes years to understand. Once you reveal this, you will get help from your peers and they will know how to boost your self-confidence.
You will also understand that it’s none of your fault. Once you start realizing this fact, you will start understanding your self-worth, and you will start loving yourself. Eventually, you will start healing from within.
(4) Did it happen just once? If yes, then that’s enough.
Wrong is wrong. Nothing can make it right. If you have been abused once, it will remain an abuse. The predator is an adult and child sexual abuse is not at all an act of mistake.
So, don’t get fooled if you are told that it happened once. It’s just another way of shutting you down. Speak up.
(5) There’s no age to heal.
It doesn’t matter if you are a 60-year-old. You can be 75 and still reveal that you have been sexually abused as a child. This will help you liberate yourself and change things in your life.
You will not live with the regret that you could have spoken up earlier. You still can change certain things and enjoy life. It’s not too late for you.
Speak up for yourself. You will not only heal yourself but make others aware too. This will save the lives of other children too. We all need to heal our wounds. While there are people like the predators who abuse children sexually, there are caregivers too, who are there for the survivors, no matter how old or young they are.
“You can recognize survivors of abuse by their courage. When silence is so very inviting, they step forward and share their truth so others know they aren’t alone.”
― Jeanne McElvaney, Healing Insights: Effects of Abuse for Adults Abused as Children