What causes child sexual abuse?
Like many other social problems, child sexual abuse cases is not getting better. This is because the reasons why they happen are a bit complex, and not easy to deal with.
Child sexual abuse is a very secret crime, and unless the victim is bold to tell someone about it, it can be hidden for a lifetime. Children are often scared to tell anyone about the abuse. Many cases of abuse are not reported.
Let us see some characteristics of both abusers (offenders) and victims:
Many abusers are people that their vicims trust. 'In 90% of child sexual abuse cases, the child knows and trusts the person who sexually abuses them'. It is known from research that some child abusers were abuse as children. 'Although having been abused as a child heightens the risk for becoming someone who sexually abuses children, the vast majority of sexual abuse victims live their lives without ever sexually abusing others'
Some abusers have mental problems and see themselves as kids too. They tend to have a strong desire for sexual things with kids. This mental condition is called pedophilia. A person suffering from that is a pedophile.
Sexual abusers are usually men, who abuse kids they know. This makes it even more sad because the kids usually have a lot of respect and trust for them.
Sexually abused kids are often vulnerable children (e.g.. kids with learning disabilities or isolated kids).
Many abused kids do not tell anyone because they think:
— it was nobody else’s business
— it was serious or wrong
— it would be serious for parents to find out, especially if the abuser is know to the family
— didn't want their friends to know
— the offender will kill or hurt them, especially if they were threatened
— none would trust their story
Poverty and needy kids can also fall victim to adult abusers, who pretend to help them, but take advantage of them. This is more true with teenagers from poor or broken homes.