Good Research Paper About Child Sexual Abuse
The issue of child sexual abuse has become the common place in the society. The emotional trauma of the experience impacts the child more often than not. A child should have childhood memories of happiness and laughter, but this is not a reality for many children as their past comes in horrifying torrents that create suffering many children. These children today suffer at the hands of the cruel adults who they know, but cannot avoid and this increases the trauma in the sexual abuse. The tears and the heartrending silence form the foundation of many childhood memories because childhood sexual abuse has become an epidemic throughout the lives of these children. The childhood years are supposed to be the best years of a child’s life, but what happens when these years are marred by the tears and the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness that leaves lifelong scars on children? The harsh reality is that child sexual abuse is a common horror in the society and children suffer through the ordeal that impacts their social and academic lives.
A child becomes sexually abused if they are persuaded or forced to partake in sexual activities, (Sexual Abuse at a Glance, 2015). The abuse does not have to be the actual physical sexual contact, but it can occur online, (Sexual Abuse at a Glance, 2015). The 2002 report from the World Health Organization suggests that child sexual abuse is the involvement of any child in sexual activities that the child does not comprehend completely and where the child is not capable of giving informed consent to such activities, (Child Sexual Abuse and Its Devastating Effects, 2014). Odhayani, Watson and Watson postulates that when children are victims of sexual abuse, they generally “display disturbed forms of attachment and abnormal patterns of emotional response toward their caregivers,” (Odhayani, Watson and Watson, 2013).
Child sexual abusers prey on the weak and the innocent children in the society even as parents and educators try to protect their children from the horrors that come with the abuse. Many victims are aware that the sexual abuse is wrong, but the fear of turning on the abuser becomes so great that the child is left to act violently towards their peers or fail in their academic performance in schools. While a number of child sexual abuse cases have been reported, there are a number of children who do not report the cases and the only suspected cases of abuse comes to the forefront when educators recognize the different changes in the pattern of the child’s academic performance. Often when this abuse is realized, it is late and the child has to live with the emotional trauma for years to come.
Whittier writes: “While it may seem easier to live in denial, child abuse happens everywhere,” (Whittier, 2011) and has no barriers as there are no racial or religious boundaries, (Wittier, 2011). The high number of child sexual abuse cases is horrifying and the statistics shows that for every six minutes a child is sexually molested in the United States, (Whittier, 2011). In other words, there are two hundred and forty children each day who suffer at the hands of sexual abusers, (Whittier, 2011). Nonetheless, the real problem in child sexual abuse cases is that no one wants to talk openly about the issue, and would rather put it out of their minds. But, the issue is one that needs special care and attention so that the epidemic can be removed from the society and children can be free to excel academically.
For a number of victims, the impact of child sexual abuse is quite devastating as the victims have “immediate and long-term effects that span across an individual’s physical, cognitive, interpersonal, and emotional functioning,” (Cruise, 2004). Some children who suffer short term psychological problems are aggressive, wet beds, have trouble eating or they display problems at school. They are unwilling to participate in school activities and often their academic performances decline. The long-term effects of the abuse lead to self-destructive behaviors in school. Kendall-Tackett and Eckenrode looks at the impact of child sexual abuse on the academic achievement of children at the elementary level and found that these children performed at a lower level of performance than their counterparts, (Kendall-Tackett & Eckenrode, 1996) and repeated grades more frequently, (Kendall-Tackett & Eckenrode, 1996). These findings clearly support the belief that the academic performance of the child is affected by cases of sexual abuse.
Although Keuhn,Vericker, and Capps suggest that “child sexual abuse rates have fallen dramatically in the United States since the early 1990s,” (Keuhn, Vericker, & Capps, 2007), the children who continue to suffer from these abuses create pedagogical challenges for teachers and schools. In fact, educators find it difficult to deal with the adverse effect on the academic performance of the child, (Matthews, 2011). Additionally, child sexual abuse has an adverse impact on the learning disabilities in abused children such as auditory, perceptual and processing problems, (Matthews, 2011). The harsh reality that a toddler or a preschool child can be sexually abused is real in many parts of the world and the Southern States in America are not immune to this scourge in the society. The educational distress that comes with child sexual abuse gives additional problems in the learning process as children cannot cope with the trauma of being abused.
There are a number of educational problems that comes with child sexual abuse. The survivors of child sexual abuse are not the beneficiaries of the academic arena, (Child Sexual Abuse and Its Devastating Effects, 2014) as these children are often absent from school and lack the intrinsic motivation that is needed in learning, (Child Sexual Abuse and Its Devastating Effects, 2014). These children see school as a challenge and the lessons that are taught present an even greater challenge for the child. Sexually abused children misbehave in classes and often cause disturbance as they become aggressive towards everyone else. On the other hand, there are those sexually abused children who do not participate in classes and they become withdrawn. Despite the outward reaction to child sexual abuse, the abused children often have a low academic achievement and many of these children drop-out of school.
The causes of child sexual abuse vary depending on the families and the communities in which these children live, but the most common cases of child sexual abuses comes from the people that these children know. Clearly, the structure of the family is important to the risk factor of sexual abuse of the child. Arguably, children who live with married biological parents are less likely to become abused. But, there are those cases of incestuous child sexual abuses that lead to an even greater negative impact on the academic performance of the child. The abused child loses trust in the adults who are expected to protect them from harm. Consequently, these children display even greater withdrawal symptoms in the classroom. Teachers become the threatening factor in the lives of elementary school abused children as the children connect them to the adults who abuse them in their homes.
There is no difference in the regions where child sexual abuse occurs as the perpetrators come in many forms, sizes and shapes. But, children who live with step-parents are often more likely to be sexually abused than those who live with both biological parents and siblings. Additionally, children who live with foster parents are at an even greater risk of being abused. The emotional scars are even greater as the children find that they cannot trust the adults they encounter on a daily basis. An elementary school child often cannot retaliate with physical aggression as the adults who abuse them are known to them and have bigger body weight. Therefore, the academic performance of the child falls drastically as the trust that they should have for all adults is shattered as they lose trust in their abusers. Children who live with single parents find that they are at a greater risk of being abused as the many partners that their parents have increases the likelihood of the sexual abuse occurring in the homes.
Race and ethnicity play an important role in the recorded statistics of sexually abused children. The African – American children in the southern states are almost twice at risk of sexual abuse than their white counterparts. The lower the socioeconomic status of the child, the higher the risk of sexual abuse as these children are sometimes sold as sex slaves to adult sex predators. While the idea is past revolting, the reality is that parents force their children into early sexual activities for monetary gains. Of course this will have a serious impact on the development of the child. The sexually abused child will automatically have negative feelings towards self and hide from school as they cannot face the shame of being abused. The result is that these children, when they do attend school, lose concentration in classes and are withdrawn.
In concluding, child sexual abuse is one of the most negative and immoral act that a child can endure. The teachers face the additional problem of serving as counselors even as they try to educate the abused child. In most cases, the abused child finds he or she has difficulty concentrating in classes as the emotional trauma of being sexually abused overrides the need to learn. Additionally, the trauma of sexual abuse is difficult for adults to deal with and therefore it must be more difficult for the child to cope with on a daily basis. Of course, the child automatically loses concentration in school and the result is poor academic performance on the part of the child.
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