April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is an opportunity to raise awareness about child abuse that happens in countries worldwide and the United States.
Sexual child abuse is a growing problem in communities in America. Experts estimate 25% of girls and 16% of boys will be sexually abused before they turn eighteen. This issue continues to grow, but is not widely publicized. Less than 10% of the victims will report the abuse.
What Adults Need to Know
The difficult truth is that most of the sexual abusers know their victims personally. The sexual abuse is not random, but specifically targets certain individuals. Of the sexual abusers, 34% are a family member of their targets. Between all the sexually abused victims, 67% are of nine years old, which is the median age of the sexually abused.
As a parent and guardian of youth, safety constantly remains important. If you are suspicious that a person with access to your child may be dangerous, do not be afraid to take precautions to protect your child. Being overly cautious is worth it if you prevent sexual abuse and the damage that it causes.
The Pain of Sexual Abuse
Individuals with a history of sexual abuse are three times more likely to become depressed or suicidal. Women of all ages who have a history of childhood abuse report a greater number of physical and psychological issues.
People sexually abused during childhood are more likely to drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. Reports have found they are more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors.
Duty to Protect
The problem of sexual abuse continues, but as parents, we must be aware so we can know how to protect our children. Many parents do not even realize how much of a problem sexual abuse has become. Since children are young and unaware, we must protect them from these situations.