The betrayal of innocence, the lost childhood and a lifetime of mental anguish are too much for any child to bear.
You may never think about sexual abuse unless it happens to you or someone you know, but it may become an issue you do not want to ignore when it happens to a child. What ideas do you have about childhood sexual abuse? Do you know if they are true? Here are three myths and their realities.
1. Only strangers or unknown adults sexually abuse children
As a parent, your concern may only consist of how your child encounters strangers, teaching them not to talk to them or go with them. Unfortunately, strangers may not be the problem. The reality is that a family member or acquaintance is more likely to commit the offense than a stranger. According to RAINN, over 90% of children know their abusers.
2. Only adults commit sexual offenses
It may be surprising to know that people under the age of 18 commit sexual abuse. This can happen in one of two ways. First, a teenager forces another teenager into a sexual situation. Second, an older child may molest a younger child.
3. Children lie about sexual abuse to gain attention
The opposite is true. Children do not come forward because they believe they will get in trouble. If a child comes to you, it may mean they trust you to help them.
It is sobering to realize that what you may believe about childhood sexual abuse is not true. These myths can help open your eyes to how best to protect your child in the future.