Children are allegedly to be the most unlawful victims of sexual abuse. We all have seen various cases of sexual abuse in the form of rape, molestation, assault, and even harassment. And though we try to deny it, it actually becomes relieving to find out that the victim is an adult. But if abuse is carried out against an innocent child, that's another thing.
Sexual abuse is overpoweringly traumatic for such a guilty and fragile mind. Children are born to be vulnerable, that's why they need their parents to be always there by their side until they grow up. They lack the ability to defend themselves and understand their rights. Because of this, they also became very easy targets for sex offenders and pedophiles.
By the time they experience the actual sexual abuse, the negative effects keep coming in. Not only are their bodies subjected to pain, their own lives are also devastated. The level of trauma brought by the abuse will result in different consequences that may not appear immediately. Although we do not realize it, majority of the effects actually appear years after – that's when the survivors reach adulthood. Some of it includes post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, drug addiction, and various types of behavioral / emotional problems.
Nonetheless, this does not mean that there are no immediate consequences. In fact, a lot of child victims of sexual abuse may also manifest signs of it right after it took place. Of course, the most obvious sign would be the physical marks and injuries. Many child offenders hurt their victims. Inflicting pain is a show of dominance. It seeks to impede fear to the child – a way of saying that the offender can hurt her if she tries to fight back or resist. Physical pain is a sign of sexual abuse which is responsible for alleviating the overall trauma suffered by the victim.
Another sign of sexual abuse is theappropriate knowledge and behavior of the child towards sex. This can be detected in two ways. The first one happens when the victim starts to become very elusive and withdrawn from other people, even close friends and family. This child suddenly avoids any form of common physical contact with an adult such as holding hands, hugging mom, or sitting at dad's lap. This may be caused by the memory of the abuse. Someone must have laid their hands to the child that the child felt very awkward, or perhaps painful, that she deems any kind of physical contact from other people as similar to it. The second one is a mysterious outburst of knowledge about sex. If you happen to hear your six-year old talk about sex and related issues, then someone may be feeding him information. You have to hope at this point that he has not had physical contact with the offender yet because teaching children about sex is a grooming process used by offenders in order for them to agree on sexual favors in the future.
Furthermore, child victims of sexual abuse will inevitably become confused right after they are abused. Confusion is built around different forms of emotions such as fear, anger, panic, and self-blame. The victim becomes confused for the simple reason that she does not know what actually happened to her. At one instance, fear consumes her, especially when the pain and the wounds are still fresh. She can not get the face of the offender out of her mind. By the time the physical pain subsides, anger soon gets in. Victims naturally become angry not only to the offender, but to those people who they think did not help them. There have been hundreds of cases where survivors became withdrawn to their families because they blamed them for not being there.
Panic happens when victims feel that they should do something about it but they really do not know how to start. While some try to erase and forget the memories, others try to courageously face it. Unfortunately for them, there's a good chance that they will lose hope, and even sanity, that they begin to use drugs and alcohol in order to temporarily wipe off the painful memory. And in no time they are totally fed up in blaming others while the trauma and pain remain within them. This is the period when self-blame takes place. A victim may think of herself as someone who describes it or someone who was born to be abused.
Finally, we come upon the conclusion that sexual abuse does nothing but harm to the victims. Although many have survived the ordinal, there are still a lot out there that need our help in understanding what should be done in order for them to survive as well. Even if the signs we just mentioned are very troubling to know, there is always a way in order to fight them back.