Stand Up To Sexual Abuse

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"1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will experience some sort of sexual abuse
  by the time they turn 18."

Those are the long-standing and widely accepted statistics on sexual abuse in the United States. Other sites may quote different statistics and that's fine. The reality is that any numbers are simply an estimate because many abused don't come forward or disclose their abuse for a variety of reasons, none of those reasons of their own doing or fault. It's simply the potential tailspin their life takes after the abuse... a tailspin that many don't even realize they're in at the time. Children and teens (and adults for that matter) are simply not equipped,  psychologically or emotionally, to deal with and process sexual abuse especially when the abuse is coming from someone who is supposed to be taking care of them. 

Just to get a glimpse into just how unreported sexual abuse is, in Marilee Strongs' book, "A Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain", she dedicates an entire chapter (20 pages) to the subject of sexual abuse. In it, she cites a long-term study of 170 girls, half of them sexually abused and the other half "a demographically matched control group of nonabused girls."

     "Ironically, twelve of the control
       girls were discovered to have
       also been sexually abused but
       had kept it secret even from the
       researchers -- proving just how
       prevalent and underreported
       sexual abuse is."

             - Chapter 4, "The Unkindest Cut of All: The Legacy of
               Childhood Sexual Abuse" (pg. 83)

We will never know the true numbers but that's not the point. All we can know for sure is that sexual abuse is prevalent -- and in some viewpoints rampant -- in society today and the myriad of effects (runaways, drug abuse, etc.) are even more prevalent than the abuse itself.

This has got to change.
 

Questions, comments, concerns or suggestions? E-mail.

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NOTE: In the preface to "A Bright Red Scream," Miss Strong points out that, "One of the many disturbing aspects of cutting is the strong link it appears to have with childhood sexual abuse. Study after study now shows the extremely high correlation..."
 

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