Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Face of Child Sexual Abuse Is Not What You Think


Recently a young woman summoned up the courage to call her teacher on the phone and confront her for allegedly sexually abusing her when she was just 12 years old. This was a very brave move on her part. According to the young woman, she was aware that due to the statute of limitations her time had run out to press charges on her alleged abuser, so the only way for her to seek justice was to expose her abuser on the internet.

This is, unfortunately, the sad reality for many in this country. Often child sexual abuse victims don't get the chance to seek justice and abusers are left to abuse many more victims and destroy many more lives. Many child abuse victims are now adults who never got an opportunity to report their abuser.

Why?

When children are sexually abused they are usually brainwashed, threatened, or frightened into silence. For many it is so traumatic that their only coping mechanism at such a young age is to push the memories to the back of their heads. These memories can stay dormant for years until something later on in their lives (usually adult life) triggers it and brings it back.

By the time child victims of sexual abuse have the courage enough to speak about what happened to them and seek justice they are usually much older and the American Justice system tells them they are out of time.

This has to change. Some states are considering the Child Victims Act which allows victims to pursue justice against past abusers beyond the statute of limitations deadline of two years. It has already passed in Minnesota state. It should have passed in all 50 states by now.

Please educate yourself on it and support it in your state. Maybe we can then drop the child sexual abuse rate from 1 in 5 children to 0 in 5 children.




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