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Dealing With Child Molestation and Child Sexual Abuse

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Dealing With Child Molestation and Sexual Abuse

I. Child Sexual Abuse Statistics
1. Child sexual abuse is much more common than most people realize.
2. The following statistics are from the Darkness to Light organization. (Child Sexual Abuse Statistics, Darkness to Light, www.d2l.org)
3. Magnitude of the Problem
• About one in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
• About one in seven girls and one in 25 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18.
• Identified incidents of child sexual abuse are declining, although there is no clear indication of a cause. The number of identified incidents of child sexual abuse decreased at least 47% from 1993 to 2005-2006.
• Even with declining rates of reported sexual abuse, the public is not fully aware of the magnitude of the problem. The primary reason is that only about 38% of child victims disclose the fact they have been sexually abused. Some never disclose.
• Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children aged 17 and under.
• Youths have higher rates of sexual assault victimization than do adults. In 2000, the rate for youths aged 12 to 17 was 2.3 times higher than for adults.
4. Perpetrators
• About 90% of children who are victims of abuse know their abuser.
• Only 10% of sexually abused children are abused by a stranger.
• Approximately 30% of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members.
• The younger the victim, the more likely it is that the abuser is a family member. Of those molesting a child under six, 50% were family members. Family members also accounted for 23% of those abusing children ages 12 to 17.
• About 60% of children who are sexually abused are abused by the people the family trusts.
• 70% of child sexual offenders have between one and 9 victims, while 20% have 10 to 40 victims.
• As many as 40% of children who are sexually abused are abused by older, or more powerful children.
• The younger the child victim, the more likely it is that the perpetrator is a juvenile. Juveniles are the offenders in 43% of assaults on children under age six. Of these offenders, 14% are under age 12.
• The number of youth coming to the attention of police for sex offenses increases sharply at age 12 and plateaus after age 14. Early adolescence is the peak age for youth offenses against younger children.
5. Circumstances
• One in seven incidents of sexual assault perpetrated by juveniles occurs on school days in the after-school hours between 3 and 7 p.m., with a peak from 3 to 4 pm.
o This is the time between the children getting home from school and the parents getting home. (My comment)
o This problem could be mitigated by mothers being homemakers and not working outside the home. More statistics on this in the next section. (My comment)
6. Risk Factors
• Family structure is the most important risk factor in child sexual abuse. Children who live with two married biological parents are at a low risk for abuse. The risk increases where children live with step-parents or a single parent.
• Children living without either parent (foster children) are 10 times more likely to be sexually abused than children that live with both biological parents. Children who live with a single parent that has a live-in partner are at the highest risk; they are 20 times more likely to be victims of child sexual abuse than children living with both biological parents.
• Gender is also a major factor in sexual abuse. Females are five times more likely to be abused than males. The age of the male being abused also plays a part. 8% of victims aged 12-17 are male. 26% of victims under the age of 12 are male.
• Age is a significant factor in sexual abuse. While there is risk for children of all ages, children are most vulnerable to abuse between the ages of 7 and 13. The median age for reported abuse is 9 years old. However, of children who are sexually abused, more than 20% are abused before the age of 8.
• Race and ethnicity are an important factor in identified sexual abuse. African American children have almost twice the risk of sexual abuse than white children. Children of Hispanic ethnicity have a slightly greater risk than non-Hispanic white children.
• The risk for sexual abuse is tripled for children whose parent(s) are not in the labor force.
• Children in low socioeconomic status households are three times as likely to be identified as a victims of child abuse.
• Children who live in rural areas are almost two times more likely to be identified as victims of child sexual abuse.
• Children who witness or are the victim of other crimes are significantly more likely to be sexually abused.
• Perpetrators report that they look for passive, quiet, troubled, lonely children from single parent or broken homes.
• Perpetrators frequently seek out children who are particularly trusting, ... and work proactively to establish a trusting relationship before abusing them. Not infrequently, this extends to establishing a trusting relationship with the victim’s family as well.
7. Consequences
• Emotional and mental health problems are often the first consequence and sign of child sexual abuse.
• Children who are sexually abused are at significantly greater risk for later posttraumatic stress and other anxiety symptoms, depression and suicide attempts.
• These psychological problems can lead to significant disruptions in normal development and often have a lasting impact, leading to dysfunction and distress well into adulthood.
• Behavioral problems, including physical aggression, noncompliance, and oppositionality occur frequently among sexually abused children and adolescents.
• Child sexual abuse has been linked to higher levels of risk behaviors.
• Substance abuse problems beginning in childhood or adolescence are some of the most common consequences of child sexual abuse.
• A number of studies have found that adolescents with a history of child sexual abuse demonstrate a three to fourfold increase in rates of substance abuse/dependence.
• Adolescents were 2 to 3 times more likely to have an alcohol use/dependence problem than nonvictims.
• Adolescents who were sexually abused have a 3 to 5-fold risk of delinquency.
• Sexual behavior problems and oversexualized behavior are a very common consequence of child sexual abuse.
• Age-inappropriate behavior can be a very important and telling sign that abuse is occurring.
• Children who have been sexually abused have over three times as many sexual behavior problems as children who have not been sexually abused.
• Victims of child sexual abuse are more likely to be sexually promiscuous.
• Substance abuse problems are a common consequence for adult survivors of child sexual abuse.
• Female adult survivors of child sexual abuse are nearly three times more likely to report substance use problems (40.5% versus 14% in general population).
• Mental health problems are a common long-term consequence of child sexual abuse.
• Adult women who were sexually abused as a child are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression as women who were not sexually abused.
• Adults with a history of child sexual abuse are more than twice as likely to report a suicide attempt.
A. It leads to homosexuality.
i. This fact is largely not reported because of the politically correct sodomite agenda.
ii. "One study indicated that fully 30 percent of homosexuals say they were exploited sexually as a child, many of them repeatedly." (James Dobson, Bringing Up Boys, p. 124)
8. Reporting Abuse
• Researchers estimate that 38% of child victims disclose the fact that they have been sexually abused. Of these, 40% tell a close friend, rather than an adult or authority. These “friend-to-friend” disclosures do not always result in reports. This means that the vast majority of child sexual abuse incidents are never reported to authorities, though research suggests that disclosure rates to authorities may be increasing.
• Released rapists have a 10.5 times higher likelihood to rape than the general population.
• Research suggests that incest offenders re-offend at approximately half the rate of “acquaintance” child molesters.
9. Signs of Child Sexual Abuse
• Child sexual abuse victims often exhibit indirect physical signs, such as anxiety, chronic stomach pain and headaches.
• Emotional and behavioral signals are common among sexually abused children. Some of these are “too perfect” behavior, withdrawal, fear, depression, unexplained anger and rebellion.
• Some common consequences of trauma include nightmares, bedwetting, falling grades, cruelty to animals, bullying, being bullied, fire setting, runaway, and self-harm of any kind.
• One of the most telling signs that sexual abuse is occurring is sexual behavior and language that is not age-appropriate.

II. Child abuse is a damnable sin which merits death.
1. Those that would offend little children deserve to have a millstone hanged on their neck and be drowned in the sea (Mat 18:6-10).
2. Incest is forbidden by the law of God (Lev 18:6-18).
3. The punishment for rape, incest, and sodomy in the OT was death (Deu 22:25; Lev 20:12-13).
4. If we had Biblical punishment for heinous crimes, there would be no repeat sexual abusers.

III. Overcoming the emotional scars left by child molestation or sexual abuse
1. Know that it's not your fault - never blame yourself.
A. If you were molested as a child or an adolescent, you were the victim of a sick person.
B. You did nothing to provoke or instigate your abuse.
C. You bear no responsibility for it.
D. Don't ever believe anyone to tries to tell you that you caused or welcomed it.
E. You're not alone, these same afflictions have happened to your brethren in the world (1Pe 5:8-9).
2. Know that it's not God's fault - never blame God.
A. God knows all things that will happen (Psa 147:5).
B. God sometimes allows men to sin (Act 13:18; Act 14:16).
C. But God doesn't ever cause men to sin.
i. People who sin and say that they were predestined to do so are liars (Jer 7:8-10).
ii. God has never commanded people to sin, nor has the thought of it ever come into His heart (Jer 7:31), nor has it come into His mind (Jer 19:5; Jer 32:35).
iii. Therefore, God doesn't cause sin.
D. God always has a reason and a higher purpose for allowing bad things to happen to us (Gen 50:20; Jam 5:11).
3. Know that God cares and has compassion on you.
A. God is a refuge for the oppressed (Psa 9:9).
B. God doesn't despise your affliction and He hears your cries (Psa 22:24).
C. God executes judgment for the oppressed against their abusers (Psa 146:7-9).
D. Your affliction doesn't separate you from the love of God and you will be more than a conqueror through Christ who loves you (Rom 8:35-39).
4. Go to the scriptures for comfort.
A. God's word will comfort you in your affliction (Psa 119:50).
B. You can't endure your affliction without the comfort of the scriptures (Psa 119:92).
C. God will consider your affliction and deliver you when you remember His law (Psa 119:153).
5. Tell someone. Don't let the abuse continue.
A. Children: don't ever let anyone touch your private parts and don't ever touch the private parts of another person until you're married.
i. If this ever happens to you, run away and tell your parents immediately.
ii. If your parents do it to you, tell an adult that you trust immediately.
B. If you are currently the victim of child molestation or sexual abuse, tell an adult immediately and report it to the police.
C. Don't ever let your abuser tell you that you don't love them if you resist their advances.
D. Always tell someone and don't let your abuser convince you that what he or she is doing is normal. It's not normal.
6. Don't make excuses for, or try to rationalize, the wicked actions of your abuser.
A. What that person did was evil.
B. It doesn't matter if it was your father, mother, grandpa, grandma, uncle, aunt, brother, sister, cousin, etc.
C. There is no excuse for it.
D. Don't allow yourself to be a victim of Stockholm Syndrome, which is the strange affection the victims of kidnappings and sieges come to feel for the men who hold them prisoner.
7. Don't harbor hatred, bitterness, or wrath in your heart towards your abuser.
A. Give it to God and let Him deal with the person
i. Vengeance belongs to God; He will repay (Rom 12:19; Pro 24:29; Psa 94:1-10).
ii. Don't worry about making sure your abuser is punished for their crime; they will get theirs, either in this life or in the next (1Ti 5:24).
iii. God will recompense tribulation to them that troubled you (2Th 1:6-9).
B. Forgive your abuser in your heart.
i. Forgiveness - 1. The action of forgiving; pardon of a fault, remission of a debt, etc.
ii. Forgive v. - 1. trans. To give, grant. Obs. (went out of use in 1400s) 2. To give up, cease to harbour (resentment, wrath). Also, to give up one's resolve (to do something). 4. To give up resentment against, pardon (an offender).
C. There are two types of forgiveness: unconditional and conditional.
i. Unconditional forgiveness
a. Jesus taught God's unconditional forgiveness in a story of a man who frankly forgave his debtors (Luk 7:41-42,47).
(i) Frankly - 1. Freely; unrestrictedly, without restraint or constraint.
(ii) Unconditional forgiveness is not dependent on your offender's repentance or his request for forgiveness.
b. Unconditional forgiveness is always required (Eph 4:32; Col 3:13).
c. Unconditional forgiveness is for you, not necessarily for your abuser.
(i) This type of forgiveness allows you to give up the wrath and resentment that you have towards a person and give it to God.
(ii) This type of forgiveness frees you from the control of your abuser.
ii. Conditional forgiveness
a. Conditional forgiveness is required of you only if the transgressor repents and asks for forgiveness (Luk 17:3-4).
b. Conditional forgiveness is more for your abuser than you (Mat 18:21-27).
c. Forgiving your abuser is not easy, but it's necessary.
d. If we don't forgive others, then God will not forgive us temporally (Mat 6:14-15; Mat 18:35).
e. This doesn't mean that you need to maintain a close relationship with him, nor should you (more on this later).
8. Leave your abuse in the past and always keep looking forward.
A. If you have not done so, allow yourself some time to mourn, lament, and be angry over your scars (Ecc 3:4,8).
B. You might even consider going back to the place where your abuse occurred so that you can let all those feelings of anger, wrath, hatred, and mourning come out.
C. But after letting all those feelings come to the surface and facing them, don't continue to dwell on those haunting memories (Php 3:13-14).
D. Train your mind to not think of those things, but rather to think of good things (Phi 4:8).
E. Remember Joseph who was horribly mistreated, but he didn't let it get him down.
F. Draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto you (Jam 4:8).
G. Cast your care upon God and ask Him to take it from you (Php 4:6-7; 1Pe 5:7).
H. Keep your mind stayed on God and He will give you perfect peace (Isa 26:3).
I. You may have been afflicted by a wicked person many times from your youth, but by God's grace they will not prevail against you (Psa 129:1-2).
J. Your affliction is but for a moment, but your reward is eternal (2Co 4:17).

IV. Be prudent when dealing with your abuser in the future.
1. If you were abused as a child by a family member, make sure to NEVER allow your children to be alone with that person.
2. Statistically, child molesters are repeat offenders.
3. If possible, avoid that person entirely (Pro 4:14-15).
4. The prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself from it (Pro 22:3).

V. What do you do if you find out your child was sexually abused?
1. As a parent, you must provide for your children which includes their safety and well being (1Ti 5:8).
A. If you find out that your child was sexually abused, you must keep your child away from that person to ensure he/she is protected.
B. To allow your child to be alone with that person after you know that he/she was molested by him/her, even if they are a close family member, is to be complicit in that vile abuse (Pro 24:11-12).
C. It has been said that there is no rehabilitation for a child molester.
D. Even if this can't be proven, it is not worth the risk to give the abuser another chance.
2. If sexual abuse happened to your child, you owe it to them to pursue justice and press charges against the abuser.
A. A good leader will plead the cause of the needy (Pro 31:8-9).
B. Conversely, the wicked refuse to do judgment (Pro 21:7).
3. Make sure to get your child Christian counseling to help them get over their trauma.

VI. How to prevent your child from being sexually abused
1. As the statistics cited above show, the most effective measure that you can take to ensure that your children don't become victims of sexual abuse is to do the following:
A. Get married before you have kids and stay married.
i. Remember that children in single parent homes have a higher risk of being sexually abused (see statistics above).
ii. Children in homes with step-parents or live-in boyfriends are also much more likely to be sexually abused (see statistics above).
B. Have your wife stay at home with the kids so that they are not being raised by babysitters or daycares.
i. If your children go to public or private school, make sure your wife is at home to meet the kids when they get home from school.
ii. Remember that the peak time for child molestation happens between 3-4pm when the kids get home from school and the parents aren't around (see statistics above).
iii. If you leave your children to themselves (and by themselves) they will bring you to shame (Pro 29:15).
2. Be wise and prudent and be very careful with whom you leave your children alone.
A. Remember, 90% of children who are sexually abused were abused by a person they know (see statistics above).
B. Beware of the nice family friend who is always offering to take your children to events or have them over for sleepovers.
C. If you're a single parent, make sure you know what's going on when your child is at their other parent's home, especially if a third party is present.
D. Beware of the coach, teacher, or other leader who is quick to offer to spend one-on-one time with your child.
E. Be wise and prudent and trust your gut if someone or something doesn't seem right.
F. Don't take this to a ridiculous extreme though to the point that you trust nobody.
3. Teach your children to never let anyone (adult or older child) touch their private parts and teach them to never touch another person's private parts until they are married.
4. Maintain good communication with your children and tell them to never go anywhere with strangers without you knowing it.
A. Having good communication with your children will help you to pick up on signs of abuse or potential abuse.
B. Make sure your children know that they can talk with you about anything.

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