Thursday, June 21, 2012

More Common Than You Think

It was good to hear that authorities are not pressing charges on a Shiner, Texas father who killed his daughter's molester this week.  He heard his five-year-old daughter screaming, to find her behind a shed being sexually assaulted.

He put matters in his own hands, literally, and beat him off her.  He then called 911 and later the perpetrator died.

Then, my stomach turned when I read today that Jerry Sandusky's adopted son was also a victim.  This is 10 victims now that have surfaced.  Sexual abuse is very disturbing and almost unthinkable.  But indeed it happens, much more than one might realize.  

With the recent news and my experience as a rape counselor, I decided to write a blog about sexual abuse.  To realize that it happens in even the smallest of communities, just cruise the sex offender registries that are provided on the the internet. 

Just our local sex offenders.
Find PA's Meagan's Law site here, a national listing can be found at this link.

You may be alarmed that even a neighbor might be on the site. I realized that even my small home town have several dozen perpetrators.  Thanks to Megan's Law, it is one defense that parents and the community have.  I did some research and I have found that:

  •  1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by the age of 18.                                                                                               Statistics," Sexual Violence. Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape)  

  • The typical child sex offender molests an average of 117 children.                                                                   (National Institute of Mental Health, 1988) 

  • About 95% of victims know their perpetrators.                                                                                  ( CCPCA, 1992)
If you are like me, you probably are sick to your stomach.  But the only thing parents can do is be educated to try to protect our children.  As mention before, I would cruise your local sex offender registry.  Know what lives beside you.  Second, talk, talk, talk to your children.  Tell them what is appropriate touch and what is not.  Make them feel comfortable that they can come and talk to you if something is happening.  Third, know the possible signs of sexual abuse.  Be cognizant of the possible signs of sexual abuse, such as:

Nightmares or sleep problems.
Bed wetting
Difficulty walking or sitting
Demonstrates bizarre, sophisticated, unusual sexual knowledge/behavior
Low performance in school (especially if they were not prior)
Genital or rectal symptoms, such as pain during a bowel movement or urinating.
Withdrawal or depression
unusual aggressiveness or suicidal behavior
Refuses to change in front of others.

Remember we can't always prevent something bad to happen to our children but education is the best defense.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this! So many times people are afraid to talk about sexual abuse, molestation, rape and so on. It's like the topic is shoved under the carpet with dust, and bits of popcorn. It takes a strong person to write about this. It sickens me to think about how this man got away with this??? Sandusky is 68 years old. Ten more men were coming forward and the prosecutors were saving them in case a "not guilty" verdict is reached. If the not guilty verdict is reached by the jurors, justice will not be served. I feel badly the eight men were brought forth to testify against their sexual abuser during court. Up until now, I have not heard of this, usually when a crime has been committed it's then the knowledge is brought forth by the victims. No crimes were logged in, because even the police and detectives, "let this go". But, then again this case has been treated differently from day one. From the intern who saw Sandusky in the shower with a boy, rubbing him down with soap?? Why wasn't 911 used then? Because we live in the "good ole boy society" and especially at one of Big Ten colleges, this was all put first, first before a human wonder this was suppressed by many of the men, deeply in their thoughts. Sandusky, needs to found guilty. If not then our society must fight for a guilty verdict. swm 2012