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For all intensive purposes, my paper considers the use of the masculine pronoun with offenders, and the feminine pronoun with victims, though I recognize that it happens either way. Imagine Think back to third grade. Think of the classroom you sat in at school, and think of the clothes you were wearing, the teacher at the front of the room. Think of every detail you can remember. Now try and fathom that same teacher, who you have grown to trust and admire touching you or other children in inappropriate ways.
Its disturbing, but it is entirely possible. It is a fact, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that one in four females, and one in five males between the ages of 7 and 12 will become victims of sexual abuse. More disturbing is that the abuse will more likely than not, be perpetrated by someone close to that child (Reinert, 17). Defined Child sexual abuse is defined as sexual exploitation or sexual activities with a child under circumstances which indicate that the childs health or welfare is harmed or threatened. Intrafamilial sexual abuse includes incest and refers to any type of exploitative sexual contact occurring between relatives. Extra familial sexual abuse refers to exploitative sexual contact with perpetrators who may be known to the child (neighbors, babysitters, live-in partners) or unknown to the child (Wallace, 64).
The problem generally with identifying abuse is the standard by which abuse is considered. Davis Finkelhor, author and researcher describes three standards to determine if a particular action a person takes is abusive. The first standard is Consent. A consent standard says that a act or a series of acts is abusive if a child or adolescent does not give his or her consent, which is permission while understanding the potential consequences of making a choice. Second is the age of the victim standard. Obviously the older and more mature the child, the more capable they are of giving consent.
The third standard is that of community, for example, what are the state and local laws where the abuse occurred? Clearly not legal definitions, It is actually impossible legally, for any child has the right to consent to an adult for sexual activities. Legally, there are several varying degrees of sexual assault; first degree, which is sexual contact or intercourse with anyone younger than thirteen. Second degree is intercourse or contact with anyone younger than sixteen but at least thirteen. Also considered under these legal degrees are Failure to act, by withholding information, Incest with a child, and sexual exploitation of a child.
All of these, unfortunately hold a statute of limitations, from three to six years (Reinert, 68). History Child sexual abuse is not a new emerging problem. Historically, it dates all the way back to Ancient times. It was completely acceptable to abandon children, and attitudes about the status of children differed greatly. The virginity of girls was extremely important in biblical times, although a girl under three legally retained her virginity no matter ho often she was sexually penetrated by a male. Intercourse with a female baby was not illegal.
If a daughter was raped, her father could demand monetary compensation from the offender and could hire her out for sex again. A girls consent to sex was of no value, since she was considered the property of her father. Males and females growing up in Greece and Rome were often used sexually. Boy brothels existed there from sixth to the fourth centuries.
Before the sixteenth century, sexual activity with a very young person was not legally considered rape. Sex play between adults and children was common even in the middle ages. Sexual abuse, whipping, and battering of the young by their caretakers were considered acceptable behavior (Hyde, 14). It was not until the sixteenth century that childhood began to be considered a distinct phase of human development. The invention of the printing press, the increase in adult literacy, and the educational and social work of the Jesuit priests all helped to develop the idea of the innocence of children and the need to protect them (Hyde, 15). The Victim Who is it that is being abused?
By all standards of my research, it is mainly females that are being abused, though there are also many reports of males as the victims, it is more common to see it with females. As I stated earlier, according to the FBI, one in four girls, and one in five boys between the ages of 7 and 12 will be sexually abused, though the numbers vary from resource to resource. From class lecture, it is said that girls between the ages of four and nine are at greatest risk. It is estimated that there are 60 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today. It is estimated that hat children with disabilities are 4 to 10 times more vulnerable to sexual abuse than their non-disabled peers. Also interesting to note is that approximately 95 % of teenage prostitutes have been sexually abused (pandorasbox.
com). No child should have to be the victim of a crime that lives within them for an eternity. The Perpetrator Ninety percent of perpetrators, according to lecture are male. On average they are 33 years old, and they are often broken into two categories; pedophiles, and incest offenders (Hyde, 23). Only about 10 % of the offenders are actually strangers, and the rest are family members or acquaintances. Children are warned to stay away from strangers, but little is usually said about abuse within a family.
Few are comfortable talking about such a difficult subject. It is hard enough to think about the possibility of strangers molesting children, but incest is unthinkable for most adults. Abusers spend a great deal of time grooming their victims, helping to reduce the risk that they will get caught. They are often considered family men who are well liked and active in the community.
They may even choose career fields that bring them into contact with a large number of children. The selection of the victim is no accident. Abusers seek someone who is vulnerable, gender is of little importance to many abusers, with the exception of homosexual abusers. Abusers try to spend a great deal of time with the potential victims because they need to determine where and when they and the child are least likely to be interrupted (Reinert, 22). Also according to Reinert, Abusers begin touching the potential victim in appropriate ways like horseplay, and then gradually begin to confuse and shift the boundaries of physical space until the child is unaware of whats really going on. Sexual abusers are planners and thinkers; they are constantly running the situation through heir minds, increasing the chance that they get away with the sexual abuse.
There is no one reason that truly explains why abusers abuse. It is an issue that as long been looked at, and seldom understood. Motivation According to Reinert, a number of things can motivate sexual abusers, including having been abused as children, low self-esteem, poor boundary development, extreme feelings of loneliness, and a need to feel control and power over others (as with any type of abuse). When a child has been abused himself at a young age, it is hard to break the cycle of violence.
Often they do not draw a clear line between what most common people would consider appropriate and inappropriate. When sexually abused children grow into adult, he or she may actually look for dating and life partners who are sexually, physically or mentally abusive. People who have been sexually abused, especially by a family member, learn that the abusive behavior is an acceptable way to be treated by those who supposedly care for them (Reinert, 26). Prevention As concerned adults, we want to protect children from sexual abuse, but we cant always be there to do that.
We can, however, teach children about sexual abuse in order to increase their awareness and coping skills. Although even the best educated ch...
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