Child sexual abuse also called child molestation is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation. There is an illusion in our society that boys do not have sexual assault, but the truth is quite the opposite. Sexual assault can happen to anyone no matter what's your age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The global prevalence of child sexual abuse has been estimated at 19.7% among girls and 7.9% among boys. Boys can be sexually abused by straight, gay men and women.
Children constitute 40% of India's total population, but according to a study, India is at number 6 in the series of countries unsafe for children. In 2007, the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, supported by the United Nations Children's Fund, conducted a study to understand the magnitude of child abuse in India, they found that 53.22% of children have gone through one or more forms of child abuse, including The percentage of boys who were abused was 52.94% and that of girls was 47.06%.
As per a report, 17% of the sexual abuse cases reported in Kerala were boys.
The study also stated that boys did not open up about their plight due to stigmatization and lack of trust.
Dr.Kumar Kamble is a professional sexologist and also a de-addiction specialist. Dr.Kamble has special expertise and experience in working with the King Edward Memorial Hospital in the Deaddiction center for 4 years.
Shamim Deshmukh is a Clinical and Counseling Psychologist and Hypnotherapist for 17 Years. She is currently the founder and director of Oorja Counseling Centre, Mumbai.
Know about child sexual abuse
Dr.Kumar Kamble informs, “Child sexual abuse means not respecting privacy in terms of the sexual aspect of a person at any age group. This can be expressed in the following ways-
Directly- Physical expression by touching the private parts inappropriately. Indirectly-Verbal communications like Not respecting the privacy of others. Visual communication by disturbing the privacy of others.
All this causes a negative impact on the individual who is addressed inappropriately like
Feeling uncomfortable Feeling shy Feeling humiliated Fear Guilt
Such kind of sexual abuse happening with particular age group is called child sexual abuse.”
Risk factors of age group vulnerable to child sexual abuse
Dr.Kumar Kamble informs, “Upto adolescence, all children are vulnerable to child sexual abuse. The following age group is at high-risk factors due to these reasons-
Parents spending less quality time with children Being unaware about their children day and out Children staying at other person’s house Knowing the background for the children attending various events Parents who are working in an office Children staying with caretakers and maids alone in the house Children traveling in a bus with an unknown person.”
Psychological problems due to child abuse
Shamin Deshmukh says, “The most common problem and reason for child abuse is “Incest.“ Incest is a situation where child abuse occurs by close relation members in families like uncles etc. The other reasons are-
Witnessing child abuse Abuse by male and female caretakers and servants
Psychological problems may occur like-
Low self-esteem Problems in having future trust in relationships Ignoring the sexual abuse problem Dismissing the child abuse problem
This may engrave a problem in the child's mind who has gone through abuse.”
Warning Signals for child abuse
Shamin Deshmukh says, “The warning signals for child abuse are-
Disinterested in social activities Fear and shyness Does not feel like taking interest in the study Drug abuse Stress Alcohol Find out the reason behind this.”
Sexual assault affects the sexual orientation
Shamin Deshmukh says, “Sexual assault affects the sexual orientation by the following ways-
Supporting victims for child sexual abuse
Shamin Deshmukh says, “We can support the victims of child sexual abuse by -
Knowing the problem in-depth Deal with the problems superficial and then the depth Dealing the right way Impact on child’s mind Personality development Different counseling techniques Balancing their personal life Balancing social life A correct intervention like psychological, social and biological Awareness in society.”
Dealing with child sexual abuse
Shamin Deshmukh says, “There are many techniques to deal with sexual abuse like-
Counseling Drawing analysis Handwriting analysis Ask questions without judgment Deal with sensitivity Rapport building takes time.”
Impact of male child abuse in adulthood
Shamin Deshmukh informs, “ There is great impact of the past male child abuse in adulthood-
Trust issues Negativity with parents and family members Many people do not disclose the problem of past abuse Mental numbness about child mental abuse.”
Helping the victim of child abuse
Shamin Deshmukh informs, “ Deal with the victim of child abuse sensitively-
Play therapy Give them parents love to Be sensitive with child Protect him.”
Message from expert
Prevention of Child Sexual Offence PCSO
Dr.Kumar Kamble informs, “Prevention of Child Sexual Offence PCSO is one of the legal aspects in case of sexual abuse.
Shamin Deshmukh informs, “The abuser is abused most of the time in the past. The statistics show the same in most of the cases. Take care of the child’s mental well-being and take care of their health. Children should have faith in their parents. Spend quality time with children and with responsibility.”
(Edited by Dr.Rati Parwani)