The Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse Essay

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An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today (Darness2Light, 2009a ). This figure continues to grow daily as perpetrators of this crime continue in this destructive path. The definition of child sexual abuse is the force, coercion, or cajoling of children into sexual activities by a dominant adult or adolescent. Sexual abuse of children includes touching (physical) sexually including: fondling; penetration (vaginal or anal using fingers, foreign objects or offenders organs; oral sex, or non-physical contact including: sexual comments; indecent exposures; masturbating in a child’s presence; child prostitution or child pornography (Child Welfare, 2009a). However, these sexual acts can occur in…show more content…
It should be noted that statistics show that 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age 18; 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18; 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet (Darkness2light, 2009c). Also children who are ill, disabled, or otherwise perceived as different are more likely targets of abuse(Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2009). The physical sexual abuse of children is a sex crime that carries severe penalties by law. Additionally, a note should be made that over 75% of serial rapists report they were sexually abused as youngsters (Darkness2Light, 2009d). But even though there may be an overstatement of child physical sexual abuse (CPSA), its impact can cause severe psychological, and behavioral problems that threatens the family unit and society in general. Children who are physically sexually abused can experience trauma and impediments in the development of the brain. Additionally, Perry (2009) states that the majority of critical structure and functional organization takes place in childhood, and by the age of three the brain has reached 90% of adult size. During this time any experience the child undergoes will last a lifetime. Among the psychological effects of CPSA are intense fear, depression, and anger. Victims also suffer from the long-term effects of
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