Children, porno and sexual abuse

July 29, 2012 21:04 0 comments

Children are constantly obtaining easier access to pornographic websites, a risk that is even more dangerous when the child has a computer in their room, or if they receive a mobile phone as a gift.

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Edith Tacusi Oblitas


According to an investigation carried out by Maree Crabbe and Corlett David in London, on average the age of children who view pornography is 11 years old.

This is because pornography has become a cultural intermediary and a virtual school of sex.  In fact children who took part in the investigation consider the sexual acts that they see in pornography to be normal characteristics of sexual activities.

Children say it is very easy to access pornographic websites due to the fact that it is increasingly more common that they have a computer in their bedroom and their own mobile phone.

According to a survey that was carried out by 2,000 children aged under 10 years old, three out of ten said they had their own mobile phone. They claim to have seen the images as they did their school work.

“We must raise public awareness that images of child pornography are not fictitious but are real images of torture and humiliation of children,” said Dirk Depover, a spokesman for Child Focus Communications.

Child abusers

According to psychologists, sexual abuse is one of the most intense psychic traumas – one that hinders the development of both self-esteem and personality. The alarming facts are the increase in the number of cases, and that 80% of perpetrators are an acquaintance, a relative or family friend.

What is even worse than already mentioned is the subject regarding boys who rape girls. To take an example, a 14 year old boy raped a 9 year old girl, but due to his young age he was spared a prison sentence. It seemed unjust compared to another child under 12 years who recently was sentenced to 4 years in prison for raping two children under 7 years old when he was 11.

On the other hand, two children under 10 years old raped a girl of just 8 years old in a park in West London.

They now have a type of curfew under supervision for three years whereby their mothers must always notify the authorities of the whereabouts of their children.

Another case that occurred was in a school toilet where a young boy sexually abused a girl, although the young abuser simply denied everything.

Cases like these are a concern to political authorities in the UK. The British government plans to draft a law that allows a block to be placed upon pornographic content. Thus, anyone who wants to use these websites will have to register. However, internet freedom organisations have expressed disagreement.

Why are people abusers?

In a study conducted by Colin Hawkes, a sample was taken of 27 children who began to cause sexual harm before the age of 10 years old.

Referring to each of these children’s family environments it was discovered that that one-third of the sample were abused or neglected and a quarter of these cases are related to drug-addicted parents.

With regards to research into these families, it is shown that physical or verbal expressions carried out by their children were not seen or heard and the children were not reprimanded.  Instead, they intentionally or consciously ignore their children.

In teenage gangs, young people rape the new members as part of the rules and it is estimated that these rapists are responsible for one in seven cases of abuse.

From a sociological view, the media – especially television – conveys a lifestyle focused on sex.

According to psychologist, Jose Luis Gonzalo, these types of media strongly influence the pattern of behaviour, but they are not the cause of abnormal behaviour among some children.

The problem is that some parents have trouble exercising authority.

Children who grow up in a hostile or indifferent environment, and that does not have a standard criteria of conduct can develop a narcissistic and egocentric lifestyle that leads them to think they can get anything that they want.

He further adds that giving gifts to children is not enough. A family should be a democratic space where children are listened to and in turn receive guidance on the risks of using the Internet and their mobile phones.

The harmful effects

Sexual abuse is both a social and a health problem that has devastating consequences on the body and personality of a child.

The short term effects are shown in different ways: sleep problems, loss of appetite, bed-wetting, withdrawal, with possible suicide attempt, disinterest in school, depression, internal conflicts that are expressed through screaming or silence, and a tendency to take drugs and drink alcohol.

However it also raises attitudes of fear, aggression, guilt, low self-esteem, sexual identity problems and compulsive masturbation.

The role of the family is extremely necessarily to help children otherwise, the long-term effects can become pathological: psychosomatic disorders, sleep disturbances and nightmares, gastrointestinal problems, attempted suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, identity disorder, depression, decreased self-esteem, fear, insecurity, difficulty in establishing relationships, improper sexual behaviour and a possible chance of being abused.  Furthermore, looking to the future, they could face difficulty bonding with their children.

Further facts

In England one child was sexually abused every 20 minutes in 2011.

Using statistics from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), one in ten children between the ages of 11 and 17 have had a sexual experience. However two-thirds have been sexually abused by young people aged 18 years and four out of five of these children never said anything.

The truth is that children know the perpetrator through the Internet and young abusers use their phones to harass their friends.

In sexual harassment online a grooming strategy is often adopted, consisting of a prior approach through deception to gain the victim’s confidence and then applying aggression or blackmail.  In recent years the increase of online child pornography and paedophilia is alarming.

Protection

The police in England and Wales receive over 60 reports of child abuse daily. However, less than 10% are convicted.

That is to say, from a legal perspective, children do not receive adequate protection. As for the families, there are parents who do not believe their children.

Faced with this problem, there are organisations that provide support for children, which are available 24 hours a day to listen and provide guidance.

Meanwhile, the NSPCC, through its Child Protection Line offers information and guidance to anyone who wants to change their life. And Save the Children, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), which has over 120 offices in the world, has been working on a program of protection from violence in human development. Their approach is based on the non-negotiable right of all children to be protected and nurtured.

Finally, the European Union is preparing legal sanctions against child abuse, sex tourism and child pornography.

These sanctions would be equivalent to at least ten years in prison for forcing children into prostitution and no less than three years in prison for making ‘child porn’ movies.   The sentence given for watching any ‘child porn’ movies would be one year or more behind bars. Sex tourism is a crime if practised in a Union Country or, as in many cases, by Europeans elsewhere.

(Translated by Amanda Flanaghan – aflanaghan@hotmail.com)

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