Sadly, the American society fails to make its’ children a priority. For example, a number of professionals believe that teaching children awareness of child sexual abuse is sexually abusive. Proponents to this delusional theory compare it to teaching children to look both ways before crossing the street, which does not create excessive fear about roads and traffic.
Typically, when kids report inappropriate touching, they are not believed, told to quit making up stories, and generally ignored. It would not be crazy for a child to think that, in order to actually get adults to believe they have been molested, they actually have to have seen molestation occur. By that time it is, obviously, too late for the victim, and the adult has let the safety of a child go to the back burner once again.
Here is Dr. Carla van Dam’s take:
“In no other area of child safety do adults put the onus of responsibility on children. Children are expected to look both ways before crossing the street, but adults take on the task of establishing traffic laws and ensuring that they are enforced. When traffic laws are violated, the adult community assumes responsibility for ending these violations, Yet, in the case of child sexual abuse, adults unthinkingly and unintentionally abdicate responsibility and even seem blind to improprieties that should alert them. Then, when children or their supporters describe problems, the adult community will typically blame the messenger and strongly defend the accused.”
It may seem strange, but it is true that societal responses to reports of child sexual abuse often include blaming the victim. This creates a potentially dangerous social climate that enables abusers now and in the future, and further implicates and endangers potential victims.
The gap between the responsibility the adult community has to protect children needs to bridge closer with the responsibility children have to protect themselves. We cannot expect one group to protect the other. Both groups need to do their part and that is essential to a conscious effort of overall protection in society.
Think of it this way: Were child sexual abuse a physical disease such as cancer, then the prevalence of data alone would classify it as an epidemic. Child sexual abuse may not be a contagious disease, but it spreads and flourishes when coupled with secrecy, isolation, and confusion.