By: Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
Why Doesn’t the Child Tell Someone?
(4th of 7 posts on child sexual abuse prevention)
73% of child victims do not tell anyone about the abuse for at least a year. 45% of victims do not tell anyone for at least 5 years. Some never disclose (Smith et al., 2000; Broman-Fulks et al., 2007).
Ø The child was “groomed” so well that they didn’t even know that they were being sexually abused.
(see last week’s post about “grooming.”)
Ø The boundaries are so loose in the child’s life that things were allowed to happen without the child realizing it wasn’t appropriate; showering together, witnessing adults having sex, being exposed to pornography
or even milder sexual images.
Ø More often, sexual abuse does not physically hurt the child. If the offender caused physical pain child would be more likely to have observable symptoms and the child would be less likely
to come near the offender.
Ø Parents are busy and even very good parents can leave their child with someone who gives them a “gut feeling” that something isn’t right, whether that is a relative or paid provider.
Ø It is hard for parents to speak up about things that are wrong. How much harder can it be for a child?
Ø As parents may fear that others will see their concerns as ridiculous, children fear that they might be wrong, get in trouble, or not be believed and even worry that the offender might get in trouble.
Ø When abuse has occurred more than a few times, the child might feel guilty. Since they didn’t say something the first time, they must have wanted to do it and feel they have to keep the secret now.
These are just some of the reasons that children do not tell.
Remember, most offenders are “Tricky People.” Most offenders know that in order to get what they want, they need to play their cards right by choosing the right family, the right child, the right words,
the right locations, the right times, the right tricks.
Next week I will address the epidemic of juvenile offenders.
Please, if these informational posts are triggering you because sexual abuse has touched your life in a personal way, now is the time to seek assistance. “IT IS THE SILENCE THAT POISONS OUR FAMILIES” (Former Miss America, Marilyn van Derbur, Stewards of Children)
I urge every parent to take this training or call me directly for assistance. Between my services, other qualified professionals, Children’s Cove, Independence House, and others, every adult; parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle….should be trained, along with EVERY person providing any level of care to a minor.
This is an empowerment program, not a paranoia or scare based program. Even given the numbers of 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys being sexually abused before their 18th birthday, it is important to keep a sense of perspective. While we have to keep in mind that there are offenders in the local community, the vast majority of people do not sexually abuse children. Our #1 defense and method to keepchildren safe in our community is to begin to talk about CSA and educate ourselves about CSA.
It is an adult responsibility to protect children from sexual abuse!
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from Cape Cod parents and professionals who took this training
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Thursday, May 9th, 6-9pm
$25 per person
to be announced – central to Orleans
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