When does Sexual abuse occur?
Sexual abuse occurs all over the world to girls of all ages. We know that it can happen anywhere from infancy through and into the teenage years. A series of different sexual acts (which we will learn about later) usually through manipulation will be imposed on a clueless victim that all too often has no real knowledge of what is happening. In most cases they are completely innocent of what is occurring. However, depending on the victims age they may be aware that what is being done with them is not proper behavior. If the victim is very young they most likely have no idea what is happening.
In fact in cases of the very young victims they may mistakenly think that some form of a game is being played with them. They have no concrete knowledge of what is happening as they do not know what sex is. Of course, once they are older and have knowledge of sex they are very aware something wrong is happening that they should not be a part of it. This sadly can cause many psychological and emotional problems which may last for years or even a lifetime.
What is sexual abuse?
Sexual abuse occurs when a perputrator (molester) engauges in a sex act wothout the permission of the other party. It can be expressed in many ways. We will investigate some of the most common here.
- Sexually specific photo sessions
- Forcing someone to remove all clothing
- Unwanted and inappropriate touching
All that is indicated here may occur in a non-violent or violent form. When the victim is young the predator has a distinct advantage; the innocence of the victim. They will usually try to befriend the victim and lure them into a trap before illuding to a sexual encounter. Often the molester is an adult, and children tend to listen to and believe in their elders. Also if the molester is a trusted family member or has a respected position ( a doctor, clergyman, or teacher) a victim will not be suspicious (depending on their age) that any wrongdoing is about to occur. Even if the victim knows that they are being sexualy abused most of the time they will remain silent and not tell anyone. This reaction is one of guilt and the fact that they believe that is they who have orchestrated the abuse.
This creates a very complex issue for the victim. Severe psychological and emotional (sometimes even physical) issues arise. We will explain some and how it is possible to heal the victim.
What can be done to heal a young female victim of sexual abuse?
Today sexual abuse has been rigirously studied, and there are many ways we can help these victims. You must keep in mind that the age and type of sexual abuse differs for each individual. It is also important to know if the abuse was violent or nonviolent and if it occurs once, several times or over a period of months or even years.
The most important element for healing is to get the victim to admit what happened, and to speak about what happened and to accept it. This is very easily said, but in most cases the victims out of fear will not do this. Most of the time the victim remains silent and never speaks to anyone about it. It could take years or never be discussed at all.
This causes many problems because often parents suspect that something is not right, but they can only guess about what is troubling their child. It is for this reason that the child should see a professionally trained therapist regularly. Once the therapist gains the trust of their patient speaking about things becomes easier, and in time the patient will often confide in the therapist. At this point the treatment for the victim will be decided according to the specific abuse circumstance.
What treatments are there to help heal abused girls?
Today we have many avenues that can be pursued to help abused girls. However, again we must stress the fact that the victim must first admit and accept the fact that they have been abused. Once this is understood we are able to start to assist the victim.
- One On One Individual Therapy. Once a victim agrees to see a therapist regularly we are able to start treatment. The therapist will guide the victim through the process and do what is possible to gain the trust of the patient. Once this trust is established concrete work on understanding what has occurred can be brought out fully into the open, and a higher level of understanding the abuse situation and discussing it will lead the victim onto the road of healing. They will often slowly be able to reconcile their guilt and continue on to different levels of forgiveness. They will no longer be burdened and overwhelmed by the abuse incident and experience a new sense of freedom.
- Family Therapy. This often takes on a series of visits with the victim and family members sometimes individually and sometimes together. This affords the therapist to gather important information about the specific abuse situation and its relationship to the dynamics of a family. Perhaps in some cases the attitude of the family may impose on a victim more of a series of problems than with the actual abuse situation itself. It is essential to bring this out into the open so that the victim as well as the family members can heal.
- Group Therapy. This is the treatment that is the most favored by all victims. The familiarity and security of being with individuals that have experienced similar abuse trauma seems to help those abused the best. Seeing, hearing and sharing common experiences of others appears to open many channels that a victim can easily relate to. The victims relate well to this understanding that it is not only they who carry the burden of abuse, but so do many others. Listening to others stories of abuse helps victims to outwardly express their feelings and emotions, and to receive feedback on them from their peers. In most cases it creates a helpful environment for all concerned that are a part of the group. This method of treatment often brings to most victims a better sense of understanding that can lead to forgiveness on many levels and thus promote their healing.
- Pharmaceuticals. Depending on the individual and their reaction to abuse the above mentioned treatments may not be enough. In certain of these situations the victim may have medications prescribed by psychiatrists. The idea here is to help certain victims attain a more suitable frame of mind in order to better comprehend what is going on in the individual or group therapy sessions.