Abuse of a woman, man, or child by a man, woman, or child sexually is called sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse is a form of violence committed by an assailant against someone they perceive to be weaker than themselves.
It is not the result of an uncontrollable sex urge, but rather of a crime done with the intent of causing harm to the victim.
In the twenty-first century, women were regarded as inferior to men. In a patriarchal culture, sexual abuse is another technique of oppressing women.
Sexual violence is a societal issue in any society that tolerates violent behavior and gender imbalance.
Thousands of women seek treatment from rape crisis centers following an attack.
Statistics suggest that one in every three women will be sexually abused at some point in their lives.
Warning signs of sexual abuse
It’s not always easy to recognize sexual abuse.
The perpetrator can be someone you’ve known for a long time or someone you trust, making it even more difficult to notice.
Take a look at the following warning signs:
- Bleeding, bruises, or swelling in the genital area
- Bloody, torn, or stained underclothes
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Frequent urinary or yeast infections
- Pain, itching, or burning in the genital area
- Changes in hygiene, such as refusing to bathe or bathing excessively
- Develops phobias
- Displaying signs of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Expresses suicidal thoughts, especially in adolescents
- Has trouble in schools, such as absences or drops in grades or work
- Inappropriate sexual knowledge or behaviors
- Nightmares or bed-wetting
- Overly protective and concerned for siblings, or assumes a caretaker role
- Returns to regressive behaviors, such as thumb sucking
- Runs away from home or school
- Shrinks away or seems threatened by physical contact
- Sexual harassment in the workplace
Types of sexual abuse
- Sexual assault: This includes sexual acts or statements carried out without the consent of both parties.
- Rape: This involves the introduction of a body organ or an object into a woman’s sex organ without her permission.
- Sodomy: Unauthorized insertion of a body organ or object into a person’s anal region or mouth.
- Attempted rape: Attempting to insert a body organ or object into a woman’s sex organ without her consent.
- Gang rape: This is rape carried out by more than one person.
- Serial rape: This is a repeated occurrence of rape carried out by the same person over a long period.
- Incest: This occurs when a person is sexually abused or assaulted by a family member.
Prevention of sexual abuse
1. Talk about body parts early
It helps to sit your child down and have a heart-to-heart discussion about body parts and how important they are.
Use proper names for body parts, or at the very least teach your child what their body parts’ actual names are.
If a child feels comfortable using these words and understands what they mean, they will be able to express themselves more effectively if something wrong occurs.
2. Teach them that some body parts are private
If you can, explain to your child why their sexual organs are where they are and why they should remain private until a specific period.
Explain to them that while mummy, daddy, doctor, or other specialists can see them naked, people outside the house should only see them dressed.
3. Teach your children body boundaries
Your children should also understand that they aren’t supposed to allow anyone to touch their private parts.
Also, they aren’t supposed to touch the private parts of someone else. The second half of this line is frequently forgotten by parents; but it is also very important.
4. Tell your children that no one should take pictures of their private parts
This aspect is also frequently overlooked by parents. Since there are very sick individuals out there, you can’t be so sure of what gives them pleasure.
There is a whole nasty world of pedophiles out there that enjoy taking and trading photographs of naked children on the internet.
This is a pandemic, and your child is at higher risk if you aren’t watchful. Tell your children that no one should ever photograph their intimate areas, no matter how close to the family they are.
5. Teach your children how to get out of scary or uncomfortable situations
Some children, particularly older peers or adults, find it difficult to say “no.” Tell them it’s appropriate to tell an adult they want to leave if anything feels wrong.
You should also teach them effective words and sentences that can help them get out of awkward situations.
6. Tell your children they can trust you with their secrets
Children frequently don’t tell their parents the sensitive things that bother them because they are afraid of getting in trouble.
Many abusers are aware of this fact and would use it at will.
They would generally let the children they are either about to abuse or are abusing believe they would get in trouble the moment they tell their parents.
It is your duty as a parent to earn your child’s trust, no matter how insane the facts are.
Tell your children that no matter what occurs, they will never get in trouble if they tell you anything concerning body safety or body secrets.
7. Tell your children that a body touch might tickle or feel good
Many parents and books discuss “good touch” and “bad touch,” but this can be misleading because many of these touches are not painful or unpleasant.
Your children should know that even inappropriate touches can be arousing.
9. Tell your children that these rules apply even to people they know or even children of the same age group
This is something you should talk about with your children. When you ask a young child to describe an “evil guy,” they will almost always describe a cartoonish villain.
You could start with statements like “mommy and daddy can touch you here and here (pointing to their private areas) when we clean you or if you need creaming — but no one else should touch you there”.
They include friends, aunts and uncles, teachers, and coaches. They should not touch your intimate areas, even if you admire them or believe they are in charge.”
Also, sexual abuse isn’t restricted to kids only.
Older adults equally suffer this terrible act from the people around them, especially in working environments.
However, employers are legally responsible for the prevention of sexual harassment in any workplace with more than ten employees.
If you have experienced sexual harassment at work or have been subjected to maltreatment because of sexual harassment.
You should notify your supervisor and file a report, which will be handled through disciplinary action following your workplace’s sexual harassment policies.
You can file a police report or take civil action in labor court instead, or in addition to filing a report with the police.
It’s not certain that these conversations can completely prevent sexual abuse, but awareness is a powerful deterrent, especially for young children who are targeted because of their innocence and lack of knowledge in this area.