Child Sexual Abuse and its Effects

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Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” (John F. Kennedy, July 25, 1963). This statement is universal truth , nowadays, every activity, research which brings to children a better life is being encouraged by both government and society. However, some people are being taken advantage of children naivety for their illegal purposes, one of them is child sexual abuse. According to a survey carried out by children were victims of sexual abuse.” This situation is becoming the most thorny problem for human beings, or in other words, an arduous reality needs to be solved immediately. This paper, based on secondary research, aimed at raising awareness about child sexual abuse by means of long-term effects as well as helpful solutions to all people identify and prevent pedophile. 

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Discussion of findings

What is child sexual abuse?

Child sexual abuse is commonly understood to mean a type of child abuse which was defined by The World Health Organization [WHO] : “All forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.” (2006).Child sexual abuse comes from two types: contact abuse and non-contact abuse. The former refers to contact abuse entails touching activities with a child such as oral, anal, genital, buttocks, breast contact which the most common form of child sexual abuse, accounted for 69% (Trocme & Wolfe, 2001, p.13).

Another types of contact abuse is forcing children to touch other people’s sex areas or compelling them to have entercourse together, consisted of more than a third, 35%( Trocme & Wolfe, 2001, p.13). The later refers to non-contact abuse have non-touching activities, such as grooming , persuading children to watch sexual acts as well as listen to sexual talk like comment, phone calls, tape ect. Moreover, taking advantage of the child for pornography together with turning them into a prostitute is also a type of child sexual abuse, (Prevent Child Abuse America, 1999).

Effect of child sexual abuse

It can be clarified that child sexual abuse is associated with a number of physical health, psychological problems of victims and their parents along with society. Firstly, it can deniable that CSA impose on victim physical health. Children being injured by sexual abuse can gain vaginal bleeding, genital pain, itching, swelling, or discharge( Fisher, Goldsmith, Hurcombe, Soares, 2017 cited in Heger, 2002). They are also subjects of increased risk of sexually transmitted infections like HIV/AIDS which made up 27% in the number of women with HIV (M Cohen, 2000) or become pregnant even when they are just a teenager. It is one of the main causes of increasing abortion rates. In 2012, the percentage of women ages 15-19 represented 12,2 percent of abortion in the United States (Pazol, Creanga, Jamieson, 2012).

It is worth noting that obesity and disorders often occur in women with a history of sexual abuse, 24 year-old women who were sexually abused as children were four times more likely than their non-abused peers to be diagnosed with an eating disorder (Fuemmeler, Dedert, Beckham ,2009). Meanwhile, in article by McCarthy-Jones (2014), women who had experienced CSA involving intercourse had more than twice the odds of being obese, over 11 kg heavier than those with neither CSA.

Additionally, victims of child sexual abuse can face immediate psychological consequences that can impact their adjustment throughout their development as well as quality of life in future. Children can result in a myriad impacts like emotional disturbances in form of fear, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, low self-esteem,(Browne & Finkelhor 1986; Bentovim et al 1988; Kendall-Tackett et al 1993), sleep disturbance (Noll, Trickett, Susman, Putnam, 2006). They have difficulties in externalizing the abuse, thus thinking negatively about themselves (Hartman, 1987). Among victims and survivors, anxiety made up 37 percent while the proportion of people admitting has Post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) accounted for 73 percent (Health Working Group on Child Sexual Exploitation, 2014).

More recently CSA has also been linked to psychotic disorders embracing schizophrenia, delusional disorder (Bendall, 2008) no less than personality disorder (Cutajar, 2010). Subsequently, they often tend to harm themselves like self-cutting, burning, scaring even suicide (Nelson, 2009) Apart from impacting the life of victims and survivors, CSA also have impact on their family. It is challenging to support a child who copes with the physical pain and psychological effect of CSA.

Some studies has shown that CSA the impact experienced by parent, especially mother can be affected by all of aspect in their children life, including their feeling, health, employment and financial stability (2016) not only in a short term. They also have emotional turmoil and psychological suffering such as guilt, self-blame, shame, powerlessness, failure, anger, anxiety, confusion, shock, disbelief, despair and grief (Fuller, 2016), causing mental health problems, PTSD and depression (Breckenridge and Flax, 2016). This is also one of the factors that increase the divorce rate because of strain involved dealing with CSA. (Jobe-Shields, 2016).

What’s more, if a family have a victim of CSA, it means they have to cope with unemployment along with a huge amount of money to pay for medical treatment (Quadara, 2016). In addition to affecting families, CSA also has serious consequences for wider society on uptake of public services used by both victims and perpetrators such as the criminal justice system, the healthcare system, social services, welfare system and special education provision (One in Four, 2015; Saied-Tessier, 2014; Fergusson,2013; Nelson, 2009).

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Children (NSPCC) estimated that the UK spent 3 billion in 2012 for CSA victims in which 2.7 billion to address employment issues for adulthood survivors. This issue also is the cause for disorder social security, reduction people faith in the government and everyone around them, always feel anxious and frightened. This makes the perpetrators motivated to perform illegal act not only sex abuse but also thefts, beatings, drugs and murders.

Some effective solutions

As written above, the consequences of CSA are serious for individuals solely but also for families and society. Victims and survivors can also be two to four times more likely to become victims. Thus, each individual in community needs to have a sense of and responsibility to minimize child abuse. The first step is raise awareness in community. The situation could be improved if people know CSA is illegal. Children are not subjects to sexual acts. Another way to combat this problem would be for families as well as school to be educated to recognize and protect children from CSA. More broadly, a public education must be transmitted in society, encourage people that prevent CSA is everyone’s responsibility and there is no clemency again the phantom accomplished by avoiding misunderstandings of abusive actions such as proper and normal interaction between adults and children at the same time(Daro, 1994) .

Secondly, launch programs can be improved and widely propagated so that people knows. The main subject of the programs are kindergarten and elementary students who are taught the symptoms of sexual abuse, safety skills together with encouraging victims to address problems with their parent or authorities (Putnam, 2003). Lack of comparison groups, pre-testing on measures of knowledge and skills, inadequate follow-up periods, and small sample size make this way of prevention more ineffective (Ekstrand,1996). It would be a good idea if CSA prevention program be expanded, renewed, enhanced in both quality and quantity. In order to implement effective CSA programs, it is of necessity to regularly research about the situation annually, difficulties and needs of people. Each person should may change their views towards the victims, avoid being sullen, belittling, or slowing down to be alienated and cursed.

It would be much better if victims spoke out their chronic pain, be shared and supports from others. For instance, the hashtag #Metoo, a movement again sexual harassment and sexual assault, was virally swept on social media, especially on Twitter, Facebook and be encouraged by lots of people and celebrity such as Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lawrence, Cara Delevingne, etc. Then, CSA can be eradicated if the government finds a solution to the shortage of good treatment. CSA victims often face to health problems as well as psychological impacts. Nowadays, there are a lots of available treatment but finding a high- quality treatment is still challenging due to its cost, lack of therapist, as a result, health services have to ensure their willingness to take care of the patient prevent from infectious diseases, chronic pain together with discovering a timely treatment.

Last but not least, the law enforcement agencies and organizations must work more aggressively, by having to tighten the law, increasing penalties for perpetrators accomplished by compensating victims and their families. In the US, the lowest sentence for CSA crimes is from 2 years to 15 years in prison, even life imprisonment, and offenders must wear GSP equipment for life. In Vietnam with acts of sexual harassment of children, offenders are punished for between six months and three years. If the victim is “the person whose offender is responsible for care, education and treatment”, the penalty frame is three to seven years (Dat,2018). By increasing the levels of crimes may be is a good way to minimize the figures of CSA.

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Child Sexual Abuse and Its Effects. (2020, Sep 29). Retrieved January 31, 2023 , from

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