Child Abuse is a very hard topic to discuss, but it is even harder to live with, beloved. Multiple abuses of this nature can have lifelong mental and physical ramifications for the victims. Whatever statatistics you ever read about abuse, please understand that those are conservative numbers because these type of crimes are the most underreported. No matter the source you will hear numbers like 1 of every 4 girls will be molested by the time she is 18 years old. That mean at least) 25% of our girls are molested. Hurt girls grow up to be hurt women. The numbers say 1 out 6 boys will be molested before the age of 18. FOR REAL??? We must understand in a hyper-masculine society, boys will suffer in silence before exposing anything that reduces their manhood. For example, look at the number of boys from the Catholic church that disclosed past molestations when they were well into their 40’s. Hurt boys grow into dangerous and violent men. Another shock to most people is that the victims know the people who hurt them, at a clip of 90%. We need to keep up the “stranger danger” dialogue, but we also need to introduce the term “Friendly Enemy.”
What can be done? Parents, Teachers and caregivers please do not ignore the cries of the babies. If a child states they have been abused, please know there is a problem. From my years of counseling with this population I only know three reasons why children state abuse: 1) They were coached to say it; 2) They saw (on television or in-person) a sexual act being performed and falsely projected it unto themselves; 3) it REALLY happened. The first option is usually exposed easily, because the language is not that of the child’s, and the story develops holes after multiple tellings. The second option can also be unearth with good questioning. Also, preventative and proactive discussions with parents and children can help eliminate these sad false positives. The third option is usually true, and if we fail to respond effectively and swiftly, we risk putting the child at multiple risks for future violations. The key to this is to be proactive and talk to your children before anything happens. Predators tend to stay away from children who are educated on how to stay protected.
What do predators look like? Everybody. When you work in a hospital milieu, they cannot disclose all of the patients HIV status, so they tell you to treat each patient as though they have the virus, to protect yourself. I offer the same advice. Understand anybody can be a child molester, predator or pedophile. When we say anybody, we mean biological parents, grandparents, uncles, siblings, pastors, priest, teachers, counselors, coaches, neighbors, and friends of the family. ANYBODY. Predators are quiet monsters with dual personalities (See Penn State). These people are the definition of the SUBLIME. They are mad scientist, the perfect storm because they fool us by their charming personalities, charitable good deeds, selfless and altrustic acts. The average pedophile will molest hundreds of children in their lifetime.
Your child may give you hints of molestation: listen. First, they overtly tell you. Do not ignore, minimize or condemn the child. Second, they may give suttle hints, such as, but not limited to, physical illness that do not have any medical validation; non-age related sexual speech or acts. Third, they may make sudden and sharp changes with wanting to participate in certain activities or go away with certain people. Lastly, the key thing to look for is change… change in appetite, behavior, sleep (e.g., insomnia, night terrors), speech, and overall disposition. This list is not an exhaustive list, but some prevelant RED FLAGS.
This is an issue that affects all races, religious affiliations, geographical regions, gender, and orientations. This is truly a bi-partisan issue and families and communities all need to work together to help the current and past victims and to help prevent future victims. The blessing of the curse at Penn State has made us talk about a topic we did not want to discuss. Let’s not stop talking about it and let’s do something about it.
Asque the BLAQUESMITH was joined by Andre Powell of Urban Sports VIP and former standout Linebacker from Penn State University. During this discussion we talk about the tragedy at Penn State and how to help the healing with victims of child sexual abuse. Watch us on MIlwaukee MATA TV on Channel 14 (Wednesdays at 7:00pm) and Channel 96 (Saturdays at 11:30am).
The best way to heal yourself is help others!