Why is abuse so common?
Why is abuse by both men and women so often covered up?
What can be done about it?
This is a Practical ... Response to Child Abuse
by Kevin Brown
Examples of Sexual Abuse
- A girl who was sexually abused by her father until
her teens when she eventually reported what was happening with the
result that her father was tried and imprisoned.
- A boy who was abused by his football coach and
thought he was alone with the experience until a number of boys
reported being similarly abused several years later.
- A young girl whose teenage step-brother used to
play games with her at an early age which she realised when she
reached puberty had been sexually intrusive.
- A boy who was regularly abused by a trusted uncle
and aunt with whom he was often sent to stay. This abuse took place
over a number of years during which he was unable to say why he did
not wish to visit these relatives.
- Two sisters who both suffered abuse at the hands of
a grandfather but who never spoke about it until many years later.
The experience of abuse is not restricted to one sex
and indeed abusers are not invariably male. Most recent estimates in
Britain suggest at least 10% of children suffer sexual abuse at some
time, with two thirds of the victims being girls. In over 90% of the
cases the perpetrator of the abuse is male.
The Victim’s Experience at the
Time of Abuse
- Victims report feeling very alone with the
experience of abuse. Often they are afraid of telling, because of
fear of retribution or the consequences for the family.
- Victims frequently feel they will not be believed
or taken seriously if they tell of what has happened, and this fear
can be confirmed when they do try to raise the matter.
- Victims frequently feel guilty. The abuser may
suggest they are to blame for the abuse or they may take
responsibility upon themselves. Children naturally tend to assume
responsibility for events that are not of their making, and this is
particularly true in the case of abuse. The guilt is increased if
the child has found any aspect of the abuse gratifying.
- Victims commonly report feeling extremely scared
and confused by the abusive experience.
The author writes not only as an
experienced social worker, but as a father of three children, two of
whom suffered violent sexual abuse inflicted by adults they trusted. He
describes movingly his horror and despair when abuse comes to light, and
his concern that he might have played an unwitting part himself. He
therefore writes with both professional understanding and personal
|A team of professionals
address the issue of sexual abuse, providing insight and help.
Paperback Booklet, Pages: 48 Published by: Review & Herald