To protect our children, we teach them about stranger danger, valuable lessons because the danger is real.
But the greater threat is much more frightening. One in ten children will be a victim of sexual abuse, the large majority of them girls, victims of an assault they cannot fend off or understand because eighty percent of child sexual abuse perpetrators are someone the child knows and trusts.
Rachel Webster, a survivor of child sexual abuse. She was five years old the first time she was sexually abused by her uncle. Rachel was brave and told her parents, but the response was familiar to many child victims.
“No one ever really talked about it again, other than to say let’s not talk about this,” she said.
That leaves a child alone and confused. The majority of young victims of sexual abuse never report the crime because of fear, feelings of shame or guilt. They believe that somehow they were to blame.
And the long term effects on adult survivors range from physical issues like eating disorders, and chronic pain, to emotional struggles with anxiety and low self-esteem… the haunting feeling that something is wrong but you don’t know what it is.
If you are someone you love is a victim of child sexual abuse, there is help available.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN): 1-800-656-HOPE
Call toll-free 24 hours a day anywhere in the U.S. RAINN provides confidential counseling and support for survivors of sexual assault. The hotline automatically routes calls to the rape crisis center nearest the caller by reading the area code and prefix of the caller’s phone number.
Full article here: http://www.clickondetroit.com/lifestyle/family/help-for-child-sexual-abuse-victims/35944474