Societies are afflicted with the trauma of child abuse where the fear increases when the offender stands and laughs amongst the families of the child. It is said that children are not to be allowed to communicate with any strangers as these can be the abusers, this is just a myth. The following paper will attempt to prove that most of the children are abused by the people they already know. Introduction It is a well-known fact that child sexual abuse is a daily recurrence and the numbers and statistics that are presented are not the true depicters of reality of child abuse as there are many cases that go unreported (Bolen, 2001, p. 78).
Many myths are associated with child abuse blurring the reality of child abuse. One of the most important myths that surround the issue of child abuse relates to strangers being held as frequent child abusers. Many authentic statistical figures prove otherwise. It has been generally highlighted that children should be watched for any communication and contacts with the strangers as most often the strangers are involved in abusing children sexually. Figures have highlighted that more than 85% of the children are sexually abused by the people they know and these usually include family members, fathers, family friends, and neighbors.
These people being closer to the families and thus, the children, are more aware of the psychologies of the children that are exploited to approach the children in unethical ways (Cossins, 2000, p. 34). It is important to note that sex offenders look for a chance and an opportunity to abuse children. Strangers do not have the chance to explore the psychologies of the children as it is generally seen that children generally do not open up too well with the strangers as compared to the affections that they share with people they know.
These affections make it much easier for the offenders to control the children before and after abuse (Richardson, and Bacon, 2003, p. 49). A study was carried out in three American states and it was found that more than 96% of children abused were under the age of 12 and were abused by the people they knew. The study has divided the children in two main categories, boys and girls. In case of boys under the age of 12, the study highlighted the percentages of offenders.
Only 4% of the offenders were strangers, 20% of the offenders were fathers, 17% were family members and relatives while the rest of 50% offenders belonged to the category of friends. In the case of girls under the age of 12, 12% were abused by the family members, 33% were found to be abused by the strangers and 55% were offended by acquaintances (Itzin, 2000, p, 67). Another important fact that has been highlighted by the studies indicates the development of a relationship between the victim and abuser, and these relationships continue for an average of four years.
Moreover, offenders and potential child abusers develop a relationship with the children and in some cases with the families of the children, in order to be acquaintances with the target children (Bolen, 2001, p. 40). Boston Globe published a report in 2000 that highlighted the findings of a group of psychologists treating sex offenders. It was mentioned that the case of child abuse by the strangers is very rare; still parents more often focus on strangers as the potential danger for their child while the threat comes from the families and even spouses.
A report has been published by National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 2005 highlighting the dimensions and percentages of child abusers. The report indicated that 94% of abused children knew the abusers, 59% of the abusers were from the families, 35% of the abusers were acquaintances, only 3% were complete strangers, and on an average 22% of the children, boys and girls were abused by their fathers (Cossins, 2000, p. 89). Conclusion There is a need to realize that people from within the families are much more on a chance to be the offenders as compared to the strangers.
Parents need to look inside their houses for offenders rather than looking on the roads and in parks for the potential dangers. References Bolen, M. R. (2001). Child sexual abuse: its scope and our failure. Springer. Cossins, A. (2000). Masculinities, sexualities, and child sexual abuse. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Itzin, C. (2000). Home truths about child sexual abuse: a reader. Routledge. Richardson, S. , and Bacon, H. (2003). Creative Response to Child Sexual Abuse: Challenges and Dilemmas. Edition 2. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.