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What is Child Sexual Abuse

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The prevalence of reported child sexual abuse cases is at an all-time high today than it has ever been before. Could it be the case of social media bringing to light its awareness and prominence or simply the case that it is really at an alarming rate?What is child sexual abuse?

The subtleties of sexual abuse involving children or minors vary significantly from that of their adult counterparts who have experienced forms of sexual abuse. Notably, children seldom reveal sexual abuse so ostensibly —at least not soon after it transpires. 

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Besides, oftentimes divulgence tend to appear in stages rather than a single episode and is often sparked following a physical complaint or a change in their behavioral patterns.This is devised by the 1999 WHO Consultation on Child Abuse Prevention , which provides for the definition of child sexual abuse:“Child sexual abuse is the involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or for which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent, or that violates the laws or social taboos of society. Child sexual abuse is evidenced by this activity between a child and an adult or another child who by age or development is in a relationship of responsibility, trust or power, the activity being intended to gratify or satisfy the needs of the other person. 

This may include but is not limited to:— the inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity;— the exploitative use of a child in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices;— the exploitative use of children in pornographic performance and materials”.Pointing out that child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse that involves sexual activity with a child. A child is neither under the liberty nor mental capacity to consent to any type of sexual activity. Should a perpetrator engage with a child in this this manner, they are committing a crime that can leave permanently damaging scars, if not, lasting effects on the victim for years on end. Child sexual abuse does not necessitate physical contact between a perpetrator and a child, so to speak.Assessing and examining the children.

The examiner in question is required to be able to assess children — equipped with distinct skills and procedures from the jotting down of history leading up to the sexual encounter to the forensic examination and interrogation processes. The examiner bears the intrinsic task needed to address specific issues concerning areas of consent when a report on child sexual abuse has been made.Tell-tale signs of genital trauma are rarely seen in cases of child sexual abuse, as physical force is seldom involved. The precise interpretation of genital findings in children requires professional subject matter training and wherever possible, experts in this area should be referred to at all times.

The Widespread of Child Sexual Abuse today closer to home, a friend who had volunteered locally for the Yayasan Chow Kit once shared with me on the truly grueling (to say the least) atrocities involved with kids and even infants, who are prone to these sexual predators in that area that was truly a humbling albeit disturbing story to me as far as I can remember, painfully.In the 2006 Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Children revealed that there is a special representative of the Secretary General’s, a United Nations(UN)-appointed officer, whose specific role is to report on violence against children. There’s also the instance when religious leaders get involved in female mutilation and cutting is seen as a ‘right of passage’ by some cultures. This concern later caused the public to ask for legal frameworks brought forth to cull such practices.

According to the officer, it took thirty years to address the norm. It was thanks to public discourse which created a kind of movement and conversation surrounding the outcry. Statistics reflect how so deeply embedded it is in our societies, that it’s become the ‘new norm’. The UN today has systems in place for monitoring 1billion children who experience sexual violence around the world.The Aftermath of the Unspoken TraumaFirst comes the trauma followed by the realization of the damage which then leads to the long road to recovery. Victims and survivors of child sexual assault perpetrators require on-going and regular counseling sessions in support of their recovery process. 

Until today, much of them still fear they would not be heard, and even worse, believed if they spoke up, and worse, not always certain who they can trust or speak to. Thanks to the advent of media and social media today, more victims are seen to be willing to come forth, in light of high profile cases highlighted by news media. 

More and more concerted efforts are being made to educate schools, religious organizations and other communities that serve and bear children.If society sees the willingness of people to have this discussion openly — that we’re talking about it, and that we are having an unforbidden discussion of what it is like inherently and what calls to help are out there, how more likely is that child willing to share an episode with their parents?

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