Whenlooking at the news now and days, what is constantly seen? Hatred, violence,loss in lives, tragedy and etc. I don’t think there has been a day withouthearing tragic loss happening somewhere. But what is usually associated withthese disasters? Usually it’s the search for someone to blame, victim blaming.Whenever something tragic happens, people, especially media, are quick to “try”to find what was the cause of the event. Then they try to justify the act bysimply blaming mental illness and/or traumatic experience in the past.
Whenlooking at people who are spouse abusers, have domestic violence withinrelationships, and act upon molestation and rape, it is easy for media to blamethese actions on past experiences because they (abusers), themselves wereabused at a young age. It is easy to simply blame their actions on their “past”but nothing is being done to decrease their chance of being potential abusersin the future. If the correct help was provided to the troubled kids after suchexperiences, their chance of being abusers would and could be contained to asmaller portion of the population. “Adultretrospective studies show that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexuallyabused before the age of 18,… This means there are more than 42 million adultsurvivors of child sexual abuse in the U.S” (Child Sexual Abuse, 2016). Manyaccusers do have a specific link to how they were treated when they wereyounger, but that is not the case for everyone. In a study done to identify thepercentage of females and males falling victims to abuse, 46% of men and 67% offemales abused as children, fell for adult domestic violence, and 22% of menand 62% of females fell into adulthood sexual violence (Anderson, 2016).
Becausethere are many situations in which are extreme, not a lot of these cases are reportedor talked about. Not every person whowas a victim would become an abuser such as not every adult that was victimizedwould be victimized in the future. Help is not provided for every person andfor every case and I believe that is where situations get worse. Whena person is liberated from such a toxic relationship, that person would notknow how they should be treated or act towards others since psychologicallythey were broken down and tormented, now imagine how a child would react whenthey lived in this kind of environment and know no other way of being treated.
This is when it is the most critical forchildren to receive help. “Child maltreatment is associated with adverse healthand mental health outcomes in children and families, and those negative effectscan last a lifetime” (Child Welfare…). Since damage was done to these kids atsuch an early age, not being treated could lead to a spiral act of delinquenciessince the child does not know how to act differently.
A child who was abused isat the most critical point in their lives since that moment is what determineshow they could potentially end as in the future. Thereis a difference in neglect and abuse, when I thought they were the same thing.Abuse (maltreatment) is the physical and mental mistreatmenttowards a person and neglect is the inability to provide a child with theproper resources needed to strive (Definition of Child abuse and neglect, 2010).In an article named, Childhood Sexual Abuse and its criminal consequences,the main focus was to find out if children who were victims of sexual abusewere prone to commit sexual crimes in the future than other delinquents. Basedon the reports found, it was found that kids that were sexually abuse would runaway, become delinquents and commit other sexual crimes as adults (Widom,1996). Thefactor of outbreak that a child who was abused sexually tends to show is duringthe juvenile stage. I believe that this is the stage in a child’s life where outbreaksand tantrums would be more noticeable since they are dealing the most troublingphase in their childhood, puberty. Kids are dealing with hormones changing andthe way their bodies are reacting so it can be pretty uncomfortable.
A childwho was abused would experience the same thing but the way the react towards itcould be different due to the situation they were in as children. “PennsylvaniaState University investigators discovered young girls who are exposed to sexualabuse are likely to physically mature and hit puberty earlier than non-abusedpeers” (Nauert, 2017). Malesand females differ from each other in the aspect of child abuse even thoughboth genders are equally targeted. In the article Gender Differences, ittalks about the connection between childhood sexual abuse and crimes as an adolescent.
What was so important about this article was on how it identified the differentvariety of crimes there were depending on the differences of their gender. Itwas found that female delinquents were often victims of sexual and physicalabuse than males and they also had a history of maltreatment than men (Asscher,2015). This article sounds like it only targets women, but that’s not the case,they do encounter these same experiences just as women but they are less likelyto make claims out of embarrassment. Throughresearch, it is evident how male juvenile offenders were more likely to commitmore sexual offences such as rape and molestation as well as other felonies,and women were found of committing more misdemeanors (Asscher, 2015). Althoughthis article is showing just how differently the genders are affects because oftheir abusive pasts, it is putting into perspective just how much pain anddamage a victim is left with. It speaks on how childhood abuse could lead achild to a dark future of committing crimes related to those they fell victimsto.Thereare many services that are available to children and parents of children whohave been abused. Seeking out for help may seem like a hard thing to do and maybeeven impossible but there are services provided to help the child move on andaccept the fact that what was done was wrong but it was not their fault and thatthere is light and happiness for what they endured for a while.
When a parentor a guardian finds out what was done to a child, the immediate response is towant to tear that person apart and while that feeling maybe the answer to theparents or guardians feeling of despair, it does not comfort the child who hasexperienced the situation. It is important they have the child’s feelings amain priority and let legal action be taken for the abuser. “Children areresilient by nature and have the potential to heal and recover if offered help andsupport in a timely fashion” (Stop It Now).To sum up, justbecause someone was completely taken advantage of or has been a victim of childabuse, that does not mean that they will automatically become abusersthemselves or lead a path of delinquencies in the future. Although many factsdo have the upper hand on that majority of people who encounter child abuse doend up in juvenile detention or jail, this could be because of the lack of helpthat is being given to the kids. I believe that the only way these numberscould decrease would be with the willingness of seeking for help and for helpto be more accessible.
Therapy could be provided for cases which are extremeand it is also beneficial when the victim has a support group with them. When someoneis supported, it becomes easier to accept help and let the process of movingforward. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where we wouldn’t have to livein fear? I know it’s a longshot but shouldn’t we start by providing the helpneeded to those who are desperate for help, especially the most vulnerable likethe children, who will be the future of this world.