Child Molestation is All Too Common

According to a 2006 National Institute of Justice report, 3.6% of women and 1.3% of men were raped when they were age 11 or younger. In 2010, there were 63,527 reported instances of child sexual abuse in the U.S, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Compare this to 9,100 deaths in car wrecks in 2009 for those 19 and younger, according to the CDC. You make sure your kid buckles up, but are you worried about who is watching them?

Child molestation is blight upon our society, and should be dealt with swiftly and justly. But what is left for the victims who must put the pieces back together? These events follow people for the rest of their lives, and getting over the incident is an ongoing struggle. Depression, self-loathing, flashbacks, selective memory loss and dissociation are all symptoms of a past child molestation experience. Repression, emotional insulation, rationalization, and intellectualization are common coping mechanisms.

The act of even admitting that abuse occurred is an extremely traumatic experience. Using the example of the Sandusky trial, it took years for the alleged victims to come forward, and testifying was a terrible experience. However, talking about it with a counselor or other trusted individual is crucial to the healing process. Even speaking with your general practitioner is important, as the diagnosis of other ailments such as migraines can change.

You also need to recognize poor coping habits, such as addictive behavior, drinking and fear of intimacy. Admitting both the incident and its effects are an important step toward recovery. Seeking psychiatric help is a good option for making sure the tragic events of childhood don’t ruin an entire life.

Additional Resources

HHS Child Abuse 2010: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm10/cm10.pdf#page=61

RAINN Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse: http://rainn.org/get-info/effects-of-sexual-assault/adult-survivors-of-childhood-sexual-abuse

National Institute of Justice National Violence Against Women Survey: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/210346.pdf

University of Nebraska Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1027&context=psychfacpub

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