Friday, October 28, 2011
MORE ABOUT CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
You may be facing one of the most difficult crisis in your life. The news is terrible. Your child has been sexually abused, perhaps by a close family member or a family friend or a trusted adult or a complete stranger. You re angry with your self for not being able to protect your child. You re also greatly worried about the health or marriage prospects of our child. Yes, it is terrible but you can still support your child in this very difficult moment ad also ensure other children are protected too.
Fighting child sexual abuse and exploitation is not an easy work, but with the help of the brochure and other resources, and with the support of the family and members of the society, we would be able to protect a lot of children.
WHAT IS IT? WHAT CAN YOU DO? TAKE A LOOK INSIDE
WHAT IS IT? WHO DOES IT? WHAT IS CHILD SEXAUL ABUSE?
Child sexual abuse is any sexual exploitation of a child under the age of eighteen years for the sexual pleasure or profit of an adult or much older person.
Child sexual abuse includes penetration or attempted penetration of the child’s vagina or anus, encouraging a child to witness sexual intercourse, exposing genitals to a child, fondling a child’s genitals, masturbating the child or the child masturbating the adult, exposing children to pornography or allowing children to be used for pornographic purposes, taking indecent photographs of children, or encouraging children to become prostitutes. It may e a single incident or may occur over a number of years.
WHO SEXUALLY ABUSES CHIDREN?
It is not just strangers who sexually abuse children. Most children who are abused know their abuser. Abusers include parents, uncles, aunt grandparents, teachers, family friends, brothers and sisters, careers and minders.
HOW COMMON IS CHILD SEXUAL ABUSED?
Due to various factors, cases of child sexual abuse are not often reported. How ever, child sexual abuse does exist and many children need help and protection. Children do not often report sexual abuse against them because they may have been threatened, asked to keep silent or made to feel ashamed and guilty. They may also be afraid of what may happen to their family, or that no one will believe them.
WHAT CAN I DO?
IS CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AN OFFENCE?
Child sexual abuse is a criminal offence and the abuser should be prosecuted ad imprisoned. Laws such as the children’s Act, Tourism Offences Act 3, and the Criminal Code have stiff penalties for anyone who sexually abuse or exploit a child in the Gambia
IS IT OKAY NOT TO REPORT CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE?
To keep silent about child abuse is illegal and wrong. Reporting cases of child abuse is the surest way of ensuring that our children grow up in an atmosphere of love and safety.
WHO SHOULD PROTECT CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL ABUSE?
It is the obligation of all of us to protect children from abuse and exploitation. Primarily it is the duty of the parents ad those in authority over the child. The State will intervene to protect children if parents and adults fail in their duty.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE ON A CHILD?
Sexual abuse sometimes causes physical injury and often leaves emotional scars on the child. People who have been sexually abused can feel worthless, unlovable, betrayed, powerless, confused, frightened and mistrusted of others. They might feel that the abuse is their fault. Talking to somebody who can be trusted can help children feel better.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A CHILD TELLS SOMEONE ABOUT BEING ABUSED?
Children, often finds it difficult to tell an adult that they are being abused. They may feel that it is their fault, and may be worried about the consequences of telling, they may not be believed ad trusted, the family may be given a bad name; or their parents may get into trouble. However, the child may feel able to talk to another member of their family, or an adult who is caring, sportive and friendly. Often families can protect and help children themselves. Children may choose to speak to someone outside their family, for example a teacher or youth leader or a friend. They can also ring the department of Social Welfare (DSW or the child Protection Alliance (CPA.
Talking to a Social Worker at the department of Social Welfare can help children feel lonely and isolated, feel better about themselves, feel more confident and able to think about ways of seeking help.