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Things you should know about Child Molestation

What If Your Child is Being Molested?
Young children rarely lie about these things. Ask open ended questions, not leading questions. If something inappropriate is happening, you will hear about it. Keep close control on who has one on one access with your child. Just because someone is a Sunday School teacher or coach, doesn’t mean they’re automatically safe. Don’t be afraid to do a background check on everyone who interacts with your child. Here’s a link for an easy background check. If you have a teenager or preteen, you have to make it expressly clear that if something bad is happening to them, you will not blame them or...
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  • Child molestation can be perpetrated by parents, family members, family friends or acquaintance molesters (i.e. teachers, coaches, etc.)
  • Acquaintance molesters begin as strangers and then “groom” the child in a process that gains their trust
  • Acquaintance molesters also find jobs that give them access to children and a position of authority, such as coaches, teachers, clergy, etc.
  • Molesters use gifts, threats and lies to control their victims. Once they are exposed they lose all their control and power.
  • Molestation can happen to anyone, but in the U.S. it disproportionately affects our youth. In the span of a year of sexual assault cases, 67 % of female victims and 88% male victims were under 18 years (Office of Juvenile Justice)
  • Sexual assaults account for more than half of all violent crimes committed against kids and teens.
  •  A large number of those committing the crimes are teenagers themselves.

In some cases, the child or teen was an active participant in their own abuse. This can often be confusing. Many people think that if one is molested, the molester must have forced himself on his victim. Many times, that is true, but not always. First of all, remember that victims are psychologically manipulated before being victimized. Second of all, people under the age of 18 cannot give legal consent to sex with an adult for a good reason - in the eyes of the law they are not old enough to understand the consequences and implications of that consent. This is true. Teenagers may like to think they know everything and that they know exactly what they want in life, but as many adults know, one’s teen years are fraught with confusion, uncertainty and awkwardness. A victim that acquiesces to a molester is no less a victim.

 

There tends to be lighter punishments given to those who molest teenagers as opposed to those who molest younger children. This inherently places some of the blame for the crime on the victim. Ever since the days of “say no, yell and tell” children and teens have been given the responsibility of protecting themselves rather than being protected. Of course, parents do want to protect their kids, and as children mature, they do have to learn how to protect themselves. However, in cases like this, a teenage victim is deceived and manipulated to feel helpless and guilty. This softer punishment for a molester can only add to the feeling of guilt. The victim is left to say “It’s my own fault this happened to me”  We as a society need to take a second look at how we treat the older victims of child molestation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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