Thursday, August 18, 2011

1 in 4 girls victims of sexual assualt, Boys 1 in 7, more prevalent or more reported?

I was reading the stats on sexually assault of children in America that just came out. Is it really shocking or is it just a more accurate reading of what has always been part of children's life.  I think that children are being encouraged to speak up better and are more trusting of being believed and heard than in the past.  40 million Americans are the victims of sexual assault, 1 in 6 a victim in their lifetime.  80% knew their assaulter.  1 in 5 were under 12 and 10% were under 5.  80% of the predators were under 30, the assaults were almost never a one time occurrence and generally happened 1 to 4 years.  Most people find this just shocking, well probably not, 1 in 6 already knew it was happening and generally someone in their life knew as well, so atleast  1 in 3 knew so it isn't shocking.  I think that it is just the same consistent statistic that it has always been but it is just becoming less accepted in our society, in our "families" and quite frankly less politically correct.  I know that I have almost never meant a family that it didn't happen to on some level.  I know that the "dare" program, in our schools in the 90's,  was a complete failure at keeping kids off drugs but it did allow for children to be safe enough to talk to an adult, that listened, and helped them report sexual assault.

I have heard in the past, it was a family problem, so the family dealt with it.  It was generational due to the "families" taking care of it.  They didn't always condone it, per se, but as they took care of it, it got swept under the rug, or they didn't talk about it or at worst they looked the other way.  Every joke has a bases in truth, ever hear the one about "sisters being the best" where do you think it comes from.  I find it interesting when people are so worried about the "sexual offenders" in their community.  Do there children know those offenders? If not the chances are 80% that those offenders are not a danger to their children, but those same people see nothing wrong with leaving "uncle charlie", Uncle Joe, an older brother/sister, stepdad, or the neighbor to babysit their kids.  I am not saying that, any or all of those people are always a danger, but you should think about it, and actually more often than looking at that sexual offenders list. 

I am a victim, the sibling of victims, the friend of victims, and an advocate for victims, and I hate to hear.  It only happened the one time, there was no "real" damage, they are changed and it won't happen again, well it happened to them, etc.... The reality is that it rarely happens just once, if it happened to them and they assault victims, they are no longer the victim they are the predator,  and there was real damage.  It took me 30 years to get over the damage and when I did it was due to talking about it.  I have friends that "have gotten over it" or never had an issues with it and in a crushing moment it comes back 30 years later and devastates them in a heartbeat and then they start all over again the healing process. Ever hear, the predator has changed or they didn't mean to do it, or they aren't really predators, if you have ever said that about the predator you are an enabler, part of the reason it is and has been going on unreported for years.  Can a predator get help, I think there is indication they can. If it happened once, and that means once, not a couple times; and the predator gets help then maybe, like with domestic assault, (you noticed I didn't say domestic violence, it is assault not "violence"), they can be helped.  Some may out grow it and maybe that is the reason it drops of around 30?  I don't know.  It is like beating some one to death, I could never do it, so have no real idea why they do it.  I do know that like being an alcoholic, once you are one, you are always one.  I go back to that sexual offender list, do you know how many convicted predators aren't on it because of their sentence and how it was adjudicated.  Alot of them never have to report to or be on that list in the first place.

1 in 6 are victims, 1 in 7 boys, 1 in 4 girls, the bottom line is sexual assault is wrong, abhorrent and our society needs to stop blaming the victims, stop coddling the predators and start remembering that the victims is the important one in this.  Let's stop and listen to our children, never say "that is not true" when a child says one of your favorite people touched them.  Shut up and listen, your reaction can be more scarring than the predator in their life, you are supposed to love them.  That means taking their side and not the predators.  Are you part of the reasons 1 in 4 little girls don't make it to their 18 birthday with their childhood in tact, and their innocence?..... tomorrow.


  1. well said Debbie. I think it is perhaps one of the oldest crimes in our history. when you study this particular type of child abuse throughout the history of man, your horror only grows. I do think society has come a long way in pulling it out of the closet and at least trying to address it. Many pedophiles now leave the country to other places where it is legal. them having to leave is a sign we are heading in the right direction. Sadly most pedophiles can't be rehabilitated unless they accept and embrace a celibate life. They are incapable of enjoying a relationship with someone most would consider a peer. The recidivism rate is near 100%. Children scarred.....Children killed to cover the crime. When it comes to this issue I don't think I have many liberal thoughts I am afraid to say. We need to take a zero tolerance for this type of assault and I don't mean charging the 18 year old boy with sexual assault because he and his 17 or 16 year old girlfriend had sex.

  2. I totally agree, and I for one think that it should be a capitol crime. But then I am pretty conservative and sometimes right wing, an eye for an eye doesn't come close in most cases.


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