Sexual assault of children by adults is an epidemic that has reached significant proportion. According to Raymond Webster PhD, child sexual abuse “is typically defined as involving either actual physical or nonphysical contact experiences between a child and an adult in which the child is subjected to sexually based exploitation, humiliation, or degradation (Webster, 2004). “The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind’s most basic duty to protect the innocent, James T. Walsh (2011).”
As parents and caregivers it is our most valuable role to always remain proactive when protecting our children’s virtue and purity. This type of harm, inflicted upon a young child, can leave a lasting negative impact on the victim often into their adulthood. When parents are notified of the abuse they should be very sensitive, caring, loving and empathetic towards the child; this will help to minimize self-doubt and devastating psychological effects on the child. “Interviews were conducted with child abuse victims and their victims and their parents, and found that 48% of the children first reported the abuse to their mothers. Only 3% of this sample indicated that making this disclosure to their mother had been a negative experience. These findings suggest that involvement of the mother in the overall therapeutic process is quite important, provided that the mother is the non-abusing parent (Webster, 2011).”
Oddly, in most cases, the victims of sexual abuse knew the perpetrator in some way; this will increase their vulnerability and raises the risk of future sexual revictimization. Furthermore, it increases the risk that the abused will become the abuser when they grow older. It can be extremely difficult for young children to come forward and express to their parents their abuse because of fear, shame, hopelessness, worthlessness and low self-esteem. In an attempt to deter children from disclosing the abuse, predators will threaten harm towards the child or their family members. Over the years these children may repress their feelings and as they grow older the memories can lead to depression and other psychological problems.
According to the DSM-IV-TR, “the paraphilic focus of Pedophilia involves sexual activity with a prepubescent child (generally age 13 years or younger). The individual with Pedophilia must be age 16 years or older and at least 5 years older than the child. (A) Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally 13 years or younger). (B) The person has acted on these sexual urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty. (C) The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than the child or children in criterion A (DSM-IV-TR, 2000).” The most effective treatment...