Today's children and youth have become very vulnerable to Abuse both physically, sexually. Theionships, building trust children/youth when they grow up suffer from personality problems or psychological problems and face difficulty in building and maintaining relationship.
Child sexual abuse is defined as the physical or mental violation of a child with sexual intent, usually by an older person, who is in some position of power and/or trust vis-à-vis the child.
The term child sexual exploitation covers:
- The silent, hidden, sexual abuse that the children (both boys and girls) face at home or outside, usually in the hands of trusted adults
- The organised trafficking (buying/selling) of children into prostitution involving a complicated network of procurers, brothel keepers, pimps.
Who are the abused?
Any child (any person under 18 years) can be abused. The economic/social/educational background of the child’s family is not a factor that impacts on child abuse. Both male and female children are sexually abused. Girls however are abused more frequently and over a longer period of time. At least two out of four girls and one out of six boys are victims of sexual abuse.
Who are the abusers?
A child may be abused by his/her father, uncle, grandparents, cousins, older siblings, friends of the family, neighbours, teacher, employer- in fact any trusted adult who has access to the child. Though both men and women can sexually abuse a child, most abusers are male.
Child Sexual Abuse- Warning Signs
- Children who are too frightened to talk about sexual abuse may exhibit a variety of physical and behavioural signals.
- Changes in behaviour such as withdrawal, fearfulness, crying without provocation
- Appetite disturbances
- Recurrent nightmares, disturbed sleep patterns, fear of the dark
- Regression to more infantile behaviour such as bedwetting, thumb sucking, or excessive crying.
- Torn or stained underclothing Vaginal or rectal bleeding, pain, itching, swollen genitals, vaginal discharge, or sexually transmitted diseases.
- Unusual interest in or knowledge of sexual matters, expressing affection in ways inappropriate for a child of that age.
- Fear of a person or an intense dislike at being left somewhere or with someone
- Other behavioural signals such as aggressive or disruptive behaviour, running away, failing in school, or delinquent behaviour.