How Children Cope with Being Sexually Abused

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How Children cope with being Sexually Abused.
Amanda Hope Reynolds
Lee University

Abstract
Every year 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States. According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services the definition of child abuse is “Fondling a child’s genitals, intercourse, incest, sodomy, exhibitionism, and sexual exploitation to be considered child abuse, these have to be committed by a person responsible for the care of the child.” (Lowenstein, L. (2011) “The Complexity of Investigating Possible Sexual Abuse of a Child”) Everyday around the world children are learning how to cope with being sexually abused. Coping with this type of abuse can be emotionally, physically, and legally difficult.

How Children Cope with being Sexually Abused
Every year 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States. According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services the definition of child abuse is “Fondling a child’s genitals, intercourse, incest, sodomy, exhibitionism, and sexual exploitation to be considered child abuse, these have to be committed by a person responsible for the care of the child.” (Lowenstein, L. (2011) “The Complexity of Investigating Possible Sexual Abuse of a Child”) Everyday around the world children are learning how to cope with being sexually abused. Coping with this type of abuse can be emotionally, physically, and legally difficult. Emotionally

One who is sexually abuse at a younger age can be affected emotionally. It can eventually cause permanent damage. According to Lowenstein “The effect on a child who has been sexually abused depends on several important aspects: whether the child is coerced and aggression and force is used, whether the child has been penetrated vaginally or anally, who the person is who carried out the abuse. Weather it is a stranger, a member of the family, or a close friend, the affect of the abuse perpetrated is much worse. In a case of older children, including adolescents, depression, self-harming, educational problem, hyperactivity, and suicidal ideations can occur emotionally. (Lowenstein, L. (2011) “The Complexity of Investigating Possible Sexual Abuse of a Child”)

Sometimes disclosure of sexual abuse is delayed and this is often due to feelings of guilt, self-blame, helplessness, and being closely attached to the perpetrator. Physically
The outcome of a child when physically abused differs within different age groups. In today’s society children of various age groups are being physically abused. According to Lowenstein these age groups differ in many ways. “For example, the ages of a child from two to six tend to kiss nonfamily members voluntarily. They also undress in front of others without feeling shame; they sit with their crotch exposed and are aware of doing so. They touch their sex parts in public without feeling shame, they have sexual play with dolls, place objects in anus or vagina and request sexual stimulation from adults or from other children. Children of age’s seven to twelve tend to fondle nongenital areas, such as back and stomach, they are interested in engaging in sexual activities, they have age-inappropriate sexual knowledge, and there is overt sexual behavior.” (Lowenstein, L. (2011) “The Complexity of Investigating Possible Sexual Abuse of a Child”) Although these age groups have different behaviors they also have similarities such as having the tendency to look at people undressing or looking at such an act surreptitiously, touching sexual parts at home, masturbating or stimulating one’s self even when company is present, and showing sexual parts to adults and children regularly.

Legally
When a child is sexually abused they and the family go through a legal process to put the perpetrator away. When one goes to court the court will do anything it can to protect the family and child’s privacy. According to National Child Traumatic Stress Network “Frequently when the victim is a...
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