The sexual molestation of minors is considered by many people to be one of the most egregious crimes a person can commit. The sexual molestation of minors includes a wide variety of situations and acts and is not limited to physical contact. If an adult uses a minor for any kind of sexual stimulation, it is considered molestation or abuse. This can include the exposure of ones genitals or other private and sexual areas as well as using language that pressures a minor into conversations of a sexual nature. The intent to gratify the perpetrator’s sexual desire is a sure sign of abuse and can be used as a motive in most cases. Any of these acts that are intended for use in the production of child pornography will also be considered abuse and is against the law.
The long term emotional and psychological damage that comes from sexual abuse can ruin a child’s life. Children are not emotionally equipped to deal with the kind of over-stimulations that is cause by sexual activity. This even applies to very young children of only 2 or 3 years. Often, children who do not understand that the acts are wrong, will willingly go along with the perpetrator. They are frequently already close to their abusers. Sexual abuse can occur within families, outside the home by teachers, neighbors, babysitters, or even strangers.
Another common result of child abuse is that the abused child can feel very conflicted between their feelings for the person and the inner knowledge that the acts are wrong. If the abuse is long-term, the child will often develop low self-esteem. They may also be developing a very distorted view of sex that can and will effect any healthy relationships that person may enter later in life. Some even become suicidal.
A very common result that the victim will become an abuser themselves. The abuse becomes a learned behavior and spreads to the people around them.
In order to help a child who is being sexually abused, they have to feel safe from the retribution of the abuser. It is very important to help a child realize that is it not their fault in any way. If they feel that it is their fault, the result can cause far more damage and significantly increase the effects of low self-esteem and other depressing states of being. Parents should remain calm and get medical attention. Sometimes it is necessary to seek medical attention for both physical and mental injuries.
Parents can help children to avoid sexual abuse by helping them to understand that it is never okay for anyone to touch their bodies without permission and that they have a right to say NO to anyone. Helping them to understand how to respect adults without falling into blind obedience is key. There are many programs and services that assist parents and children through schools and church programs. Obtaining the correct knowledge can help a parent teach their children to properly respect themselves.
If a child is abused, it is almost essential that help is found to assist that child in dealing with the consequences. Many good professionals have dedicated their lives to the art of healing and are wonderful assets to a parent dealing with a very difficult and often misunderstood situation.
These considerations are primary. After they are attended to, it is then essential to pursue any and all legal action against the perpetrator(s). Protecting future victims is vital to society as a whole and is a precious gift to would-be victims.