At one time I thought about how child sexual abuse was growing
concern in our society. Stories and interviews on TV and in the paper
would keep me aware, but I always thought about how it was always
happening to everyone else. One figure that lingered around in my mind
was that one in six children would be a victim of sexual abuse. Having six
children of my own I thought of these statistics. Knocking on wood so to
speak, until it happened in our family.
Sexual abuse can destroy a family, especially when the perpetrator is
considered a member of the family. It is frustrating when someone that is
trusted betrays that trust. Family members become angry , divided and
deny that anything is wrong. The effects on the victim is the toughest
thing to deal with.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines
child abuse and neglect as "at a minimum, any recent act or failure to act
on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious
physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or
failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm." Some
states have exceptions, but the term child refers to someone not yet 18.
Then CAPTA defines "sexual abuse" as: the employment, use, persuasion,
inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist
any other person to engage in, any sexual explicit conduct or simulation
of such conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such
conduct; or the rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-familial
relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or any other form
of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children."
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