Coping with Sexual Abuse: Common Occurrences of Sexual Abuse in Children
As we all saw when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses and borders across the world, many people were forced to stay indoors for extended periods of time. This was largely from quarantine or due to becoming a remote employee, or from being unemployed.
What you might not realize is that being isolated from others for extended periods of time can ultimately take a toll on your mental health. Depression can set in, along with anxiety and a host of other conditions.
But, of all the conditions that isolation can cause, one major cause of poor mental health can be traced to sexual abuse and molestation. Unfortunately, this is a sad reality for many Americans, and it comes in many forms.
Here, we’ll explore instances where sexual abuse is common to be found in the lives of children.
Abuse From Religious Leaders
While it is true that many children are the victims of sexual abuse from their parents or immediate family members, often this happens due to the actions of our elders, or those who hold respected religious positions within our communities.
Sexual abuse from religious leaders is, unfortunately, an all too common theme, particularly in the Catholic church. These allegations of abuse are often brought by young men, though many women have come forward as well.
Additionally, Jehovah’s witnesses also have a deep-seated history of allegations of sexual abuse of a religious organization. Though these cases are sometimes difficult to prove, many have sought legal counsel when abused by religious leaders.
Abuse From Educators
When we send our children to school in the morning, most of us ultimately believe that they’re being cared for and that they’re safe while in the classroom. Though this is relatively true on a large scale, there have been numerous incidents where abuse has happened at the hands of a teacher or school official.
Often this occurs during school sports at the hands of a coach, but it has also occurred at the hands of teachers, principals, and other school officials as well. Sometimes, however, inappropriate relationships form between a student and a teacher, and though this relationship might be considered consensual in some context, it is absolutely prohibited.
Adults have the responsibility of guiding young children to make the right choices in life. When a teacher takes advantage of this, and of the young, underdeveloped minds of students, this is nothing more than committing a serious crime.
Though inappropriate relationships often include statutory rape, some of these relationships are also physically and mentally abusive, even with instances of molestation.
Relatives & Family
Though you may not ever want to believe it, let alone hear of it, many cases of abuse come from parents and close family relatives.
Often, some of our closest family members are guilty of harboring lustful thoughts regarding children. While many may never act on these thoughts, there are far too many times when the action takes place, and abuse or molestation begins. Sometimes, this form of abuse continues on throughout adolescence and even into adulthood.
In the cases of long-term sexual abuse, children can develop serious mental illnesses that will sometimes only manifest later in life as an adult. This can range from suicidal tendencies to depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.
And, while many children, teens, and young adults might seek counseling due to sexual abuse, many take the scars and pain with them throughout life and it can drastically affect their intimate and interpersonal relationships.
Abuse of any type is nothing to ignore or put on the backburner hoping that it simply goes away. Many parents find it difficult to deal with abuse, and what steps to take to end such abuse, especially if this abuse is found to be from a close relative.
No matter who is abusing your child, it’s your job as a parent to protect your children, and see to it that they’re able to go throughout life without having to cope with this form of mental agony.
Watch out for signs of sexual abuse and molestation. And, if you do suspect that your child is being abused, contact the proper authorities immediately.