Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Scourge of Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse is not a curse that afflicts a certain section of society, or country or race or group. Everywhere there are cases reported of children who have either suffered sexual abuse or came within a hair's breadth of being abused. But then there are so many cases that are not reported, and the child goes through life bearing this dark secret and the trauma associated with it.

In studying and analyzing cases of child sexual abuse, I have come across two major findings. Although, I am well aware of the fact, that a number of people who have researched on this social stigma have also come to the same conclusions. The first is that in more than 90 percent of cases involving child sexual abuse; the molester has been someone whom the child trusted, like a family member, a family friend, teacher, neighbor, etc. The other fact is that the child molested has been either neglected by the family, especially the parents, before they were molested and tried to confide in them. It's the child who has been told not to make accusations, and been told very strictly not to mention or repeat this story. This makes a child live in fear and lose confidence in their parents. Especially the parent they feel closer too.

This neglect by parents to actually listen to the child and protect them and punish the molester is one of the major causes of child sexual abuse. Parents must realize that listening to a child in stress, believing what they are telling them and making sure they don’t get abused is their first and foremost duty. 'Oh your uncle is not like this', 'don’t talk nonsense your cousin is only showing his affection for you'. Such platitudes from parents just make the child look for other people to confide their feeling with. Parents who worry more about face saving among relatives and friends at the cost of their children living in fear of being molested are utter fools, and shows they know nothing about parenting. If a parent feels that the child is lying; who is to blame? It’s the parents fault if they have taught the child to lie.

Parents are responsible for every action of their off springs and just feeding and clothing and educating them is not enough. Their physical well-being is also the duty of parents. 

By Zafar Ihsan

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