Cultural Attitudes To Child Sexual Abuse

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To Compare Cultural Attitudes To Child Sexual Abuse

To Compare Cultural Attitudes To Child Sexual Abuse

Objective 1: To explore definitions of child sexual abuse

Sexual abuse as defined by the Department of Health, Education and Home Office in their document "Working Together To Safeguard Children" 1999, " involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (rape or sodomy) or non-penetrative acts(Henderson, 2000). They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways." (Henderson, 2000)The increasing popularity of the Internet has given predators a new way to reach potential victims: About one out of every five children online is approached in a sexual way, and of those, only 25 percent tell their parents, according to the center for abused children in Virginia.

These acts can be committed by strangers, but most often is perpetrated by adults or older children in trusting care-taking roles. On TV and in the media abusers are usually portrayed as strangers in the park wearing dirty raincoats, but that is not the case. In fact, incest, or abuse by a person the child perceives as a member of the family, is the most common form of childhood sexual abuse. It is difficult to name one particular thing that causes this social problem since abusers can come from varied social standings. Abusers appear no different than any other man or women; they can be doctors, teachers, religious leaders; they can be poor, middle class, or rich. These varying factors make it difficult to predetermine who will be abusive and who will not(Kandel, 1998). Often times those who abuse have been abused themselves and unconsciously “identify with the abuser” by engaging in behaviors which where once perpetrated against them. People learn by example, or what psychologists call modeling. It is this concept which feeds the ugly cycle of abuse. If a child grows up being molested or raped by those they trust and those individuals are never caught or no intervention is involved, the child grows up thinking it is okay to commit such hanious acts. Often they lash out at society because they are frustrated and broken down emotionally. The only way to stop this cycle is through education and therapy. It is also helpful to the abuse victim if there is some sort of resolution; for example putting the perpetrator behind bars or exposing the abuser for what he/she has done.

Children are vulnerable to sexual abuse because of their age, size and innocence. When a child or youth is molested, she/he learns that adults cannot be trusted for care and protection. As a result of, the child feels as if their well being is disregarded, and there is a lack of support and ...
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