Child abuse: A silent crime

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Recently, the public was made aware of child abuse cases perpetrated by people who were meant to care for children. On the contrary, they were the perpetrators of crimes, including pedophilia, and the production and distribution of child porn. Because of this, it’s important to be aware of the signs that children display when they don’t dare speak of what they are going through. cases were made public of child abuse accusations where people who were supposed to take care of children ended up attacking them.

Crimes against children’s sexual integrity

One of the reasons why this crime is so silent comes from the fact that the criminals behind it are rarely easy to identify as sociopaths. These individuals can integrate society, even becoming esteemed members of it, loved both by their families and peers.

Numbers show that in around 75% of these cases, perpetrators are known by the minors they attack: family members in most cases. In 40% of the studied cases, the aggressor was the father himself.

Currently, child porn –it’s production and distribution- is one of the most profitable businesses in the entire world; a market with a wide variety of consumers. A recent example of this comes from a pediatrician that belonged to an international network of pedophiles that abused children’s trust in order to obtain “material” to upload to porn distribution networks.

In this particular case, the pediatrician also had the parents’ trust, the same way a close family member that regularly cares for a child does.

Parents should be very aware of the signs –verbal, behavioral and even physiological- that point towards a child being a victim of abuse.

Silent pleas for help

When children and teenagers are victim of abuse, they often display non-verbal signs to which parents must pay close attention, such as changes in behavior and displays of emotion:

  • Frequent nightmares.
  • Lower grades.
  • Aggressive behavior, isolation from his or her peers.
  • Refusal to go to specific places.
  • Mimics lewd scenes when playing.
  • Wets the bed.
  • Shares messages in social media expressing anger and depression.
  • Refuses to greet specific family friends or members.

In order to stop this type of abuse, it’s important for children to receive a proper education at home, becoming aware of their bodies and their sexuality from an early age, as well as establishing strong trust bonds with their parents so that they can feel they can go to them at any moment, without fear of being branded liars.

It’s important for children to learn early on what the difference is between a loving caress and those with sexual intentions, as well as the importance of not letting anyone –be it strangers, acquaintances or family – touch them without consent.

Child abuse cases are of public importance; when a child expresses that he or she is being abused, it must be reported at once so that the perpetrator can be stopped.

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