Sexual assault and abuse among children is an ever increasing epidemic in our society. Not only do we have to work together to prevent these heinous crimes from occurring, but we must also be there for those who are victims. I believe that Herbert Ward really put things into perspective when he said “child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.”
According to the Childhelp organization, child abuse in America occurs at a staggering rate of one report every 10 seconds. On the average there are roughly 3.3 million reports of child abuse each year; of these reports, sexual assault consumes about 9.2 percent (Childhelp). These numbers do a good job of opening our eyes to the seriousness of the issue, but also makes me wonder how many more incidents go unreported. The real tragedy is the lasting effects on these innocent children.
After reading “Deep and Almost Unbearable Suffering: Consequences of Childhood Sexual Abuse for Men’s Health and Well-being,” by Sigrun Sigurdardottir, Sigridur Halldorsdottir, and So'ley S. Bender, I felt a sense of anger not only towards the predators, but also the lack of sense belonging our society puts on these victims. Being male victims of sexual assault, I think society really discourages these men from seeking help and talking about their experiences. Instead these men are supposed to be tough, self reliant, and ignore their emotions. The results from the study conducted in this article are very powerful and shows that these victims feel like they really do not belong:
“The men have lived in repressed silence and along with the feelings of worthlessness have come close to taking their own lives. What stopped them from committing suicide was revealing to others what happened to them and then holding onto life. The consequences of the abuse surfaced either immediately after the shock or many years later and developed into complex PTSD” (691). We must make them feel accepted and important to our...