Sexual relations have become very important in the modern world. People pay too much attention to them as the pubescence of youth begins earlier than it was before. Youth can get information about sex everywhere. The problem is not in the issue of youth speaking about sex and the desire to have the first attempts to receive satisfaction from it, but in the sexual abuse, which is often directed on children. The problem of sexual children abuse is a universal problem that has brought a lot of pain to families all over the world. It is impossible to explain and justify the reasons and actions of children sexual abusers. The cases should be considered in order to prevent further abuses and to consider the universality of the disaster in order to provide stricter measures to prevent these cases.
Before focusing on the cases of childhood sexual abuse, it is important to give the definition of what child sexual abuse means. Bissada and Briere, considering the cases of child sexual abuse, tried to create the definition of this notion. According to her words, sexual abuse has two categories. The first one, sexual assault, comprises “acts imposed on a child by an adult or significantly older child, which may include fondling, masturbation in a child’s presence, oral copulation, incest, rape, sodomy, or penetration of a genital or anal opening with a foreign object or a penis” (Bissada and Briere 2001-225). The second category is sexual exploitation, which “includes conduct or activities related to pornography depicting children, promoting prostitution of children, or exposing a child to sexual acts or sexual material” (Bissada and Briere, 2001-225).
Different states of the USA have different laws and punitive measures for sexual childhood abuse. The law articles of the states comprise the definitions of the childhood sexual abuse notions as it is very important to identify this very action of the criminal as sexual abuse. It is crucial for the courts and when the decision is made, which kind of punishment and for what period to impart on this very person in this very case (Kinnear, 2007).
The cases of child sexual abuse appear very frequently, and it frightens. The cruelty and the anger with which the abuse is committed, and the frequency, with which it appears horrified. It is impossible to imagine how a person should think in order to provide such actions, especially on children who are defenseless. The most terrible cases are when the sexual abuse is committed by the relative. Where the humanism? Where are the moral notions? Who brings up these people if they can commit such actions? Where do the society and government look? Where do such cruel people come from as we live in the same society? There are a lot of questions which impossible to answer for a normal person. Watching the news or reading newspapers about the cases of sexual childhood abuse, it is impossible to watch all the disasters which occur without being terrified.
Children’s sexual abuse is not so simple to identify as children are either shame or afraid to tell about the fact of abuse. Psychologists and doctors identify a lot of signs according to which parents may guess about the cases of sexual abuse of their children. Kinnear names such symptoms as urinary and bowel problems, flat affect, fear of being abandoned, fretful behavior, bleeding, discharge or odors from sex organs, sleep disturbances, failure to thrive, lacerations of sex organs, inappropriate fear of adults, excessive clinging behavior or the opposite, excessive crying, extreme behavior change. Kinnear insists that these symptoms may have a different nature, but still, if they occur in the child’s behavior, the trusty conversation and the visit to the doctor should not be shifted for later (Kinnear, 2007-194).
The listed above symptoms are not enough to punish the abuser. A lot of others procedures should be maintained to prove the case of sexual abuse. The specific features, which show that sexual abuse took place, are acute trauma, forensic laboratory evidence, or certain sexually transmitted infection (Hay et al, 2006-211). Only the existence of these pieces of evidence may be taken in the court procedure for granted.
One of the main roles in the situation plays the sexual behavior. Children should be taught to protect themselves if they feel some inconveniences. They should understand that sexual abuse is law punished and do not be afraid to call for help in cases when they are abused. The trust of the parents or other relatives is one of the causes for quick reaction and, if not the prevention of the abuse but at least the catching of the criminal on a hot trail.
The cases and the problem of child sexual abuse remain the main sphere of the work of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This Convention works hard in order to guarantee children to be able to use their right to free and careless childhood. Nevertheless, the field of sexual children abuse remains new, and there are a lot of treatments and methods in this sphere that is not investigated. The problem is that it is impossible to provide the universal rules and methods in the fighting with sexual children abusers as different countries have different “level of education, rate of urbanization and cultural approaches to human rights in general” (Arnaldo and Unesco, 2001-7).
Different types of mass media announced about the horrifying cases of sexual children abuse by priests of the Catholic Church; how disgusting it may sound, but it is true. A damning report about the Catholic Church in Ireland’s awareness about the long-term cases of sexual childhood abuse was released on May 20, 2009 (Catholic Church in Ireland turned a blind eye to child sex abuse says report, 2009). The newspaper released the information about disgusting chronic cases of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse of children from disadvantaged families, simply abandoned and neglected. They believed in people they lived with, and when the cases of sexual abuse appeared, there was no person to who they could turn for help (Catholic Church in Ireland turned a blind eye to child sex abuse says report, 2009).
The investigations which occurred showed that children were badly looked for; their everyday live contained hard work on the farm. They were not protected from anything, and there was no help. The safety and conveniences of children were not followed. The reports about the cases of sexual abuse appeared in the hands of state authorities, but they quickly colluded, and no punishment for abusers was provided (Catholic Church in Ireland turned a blind eye to child sex abuse says report, 2009).
Dawkin’s investigation was more specified. He managed to interview the forty years old woman who was brought up in the Roman Catholic Church. She was sexually abused by her priest in his car when she was seven. Her further life was like hell. She was afraid to stay alone with priests, she was afraid to sleep, and a lot of other fears supported her childhood (Dawkins, 2002).
The problem of sexual children abuse in the Churches will always be a problem as children believe in their educators, and they have nobody else who can help them to cope with the problems. The priests’ dwelling upon the hell and the possibility to get there is very high if the child is going to refuse to obey. Children’s mind is very quick on the uptake, and it is very easy to influence their minds and to insert the information which is suitable for adult.
Under the circumstances described above, it is very important to talk to children and to explain to them that life can happen to be very dangerous. Sexual education is very important, as it is better that parents impart their ideas about the sexual abuse crime than somebody else will impart his/her ideas about this case. Children’s mind is very perceptive, and it is easy to frighten them in such a way that they can agree on the case of sexual abuse themselves. Hay et al write that the prevention of sexual abuse is the most difficult task in the modern world and that the whole responsibility should be placed on those who are responsible for children’s supervision and on the medical providers (Hay et al, 2006-224).
Considering closer the cases of sexual child abuse, it appears in the mind that people who commit these cases live with normal people. The problem is that psychological health and moral one are two different notions. Absolute defenselessness, physical weakness, and the feeling of impunity are the factors that push people for crimes. The impunity of the sexual children abuse promotes people’s careless attitude to what happens on the other side of the street. People are usually immersed in their own business and do not want to care about other problems.
The sexual abuse in the family is the most dangerous as relatives often cover up the abusers in order to avoid the scandal and the feeling of impunity encourages the abuser to continue his/her disgusting actions. The consequences of childhood sexual abuse may be different, but the most horrible is the impunity of the crime.
Focusing on the consequences of childhood sexual abuse, a lot of problems may appear in the future. Children’s psychological system suffers, and it is very difficult to provide a normal perception of life for those who suffered the sexual abuse in childhood. A lot of psychological disturbances may occur in the future, and the most dangerous consequence is that sexually abused in their childhood, people may become abusers of themselves, as their disgust and the feeling of revenge may never calm down.
So, the problem of sexual children abuse is the greatest problem of the modern world. There are no specific methods to cope with it, and as the children are involved, the work which is provided should be very careful. Children are very impressive, and sometimes irremediable consequences may occur while the wrong treatment of the problem. Relatives and religious members are a great danger for children as these people are trusted, and if they betray, children do not have anybody to turn to with their problem. The fear of being punished and shame are the main reasons why children are silent if sexual abuse is committed against them. The problem is universal, so the work should be provided on the global level to find the solution of how to stop sexual children abusers.
- Arnaldo, Carlos A., and Unesco. Child abuse on the internet: ending the silence. Berghahn Books, 2001: pp. 5-7
- Bissada, Angela, and Briere, John. Child abuse: Physical and Sexual in Encyclopedia of women and gender by Judith Worell. Elsevier, 2001: pp. 219-231
- Catholic Church in Ireland turned a blind eye to child sex abuse, says the report. Daily Record. 2009.
- Dawkins, Richard. “Religion’s Real Child Abuse.” Free Inquiry. 2002: 9+
- Hay, William W., Levin, Myron J., Sondheimer, Judith, and Deterding, Robin R. M.D. Current pediatric diagnosis & treatment. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2006: pp.219-224
- Kinnear, Karen L. Childhood sexual abuse: a reference handbook. ABC-CLIO, 2007: pp. 194-218