Psychological Aspects of Child Sexual Abuse

By Rus, Mihaela; Galbeaza, Alina Buzarna-Tihenea | Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice, July 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Psychological Aspects of Child Sexual Abuse


Rus, Mihaela, Galbeaza, Alina Buzarna-Tihenea, Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice


ABSTRACT.

According to statistics, about 90% of people were emotionally abused in childhood, but many do not realize, deny or, worse, abuse their own children or others, considering that their treatment of childhood was "natural and normal." Emotional abuse is a form of aggression, but the law can not penalize it. Most parents believe that child abuse means physical or sexual violence and / or child neglect. But they do not know that they can hurt the child simply by their excessive attitude. The emotional abuse is any behavior that is intended to control, subjugate, submit other beings through fear, intimidation, humiliation, blaming, and "growing" guilt, coercion, manipulation, invalidation etc. The consequences of emotional abuse are multiple, varied, extremely serious; they leave marks for life, affecting child development at various levels - emotionally, intellectually and even physically. Moreover, it will affect the future adult's social and professional life, relationships and physical and mental health, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the type of the emotional abuse, and on its frequency and intensity.

Keywords: behavior, emotional abuse, violence, control, sexual abuse

1. Introduction

Abuse means the use of force in order to try to dominate a child, to compel him/her to do dangerous things that he/she does not want to do, expose him/her to hazardous situations or to situations perceived by him/her as dangerous. Any action that causes injury or psycho-emotional disorders is an abuse.

The abuse can be of several types:

Physical abuse - involves the use of physical force against children and subjecting them to hard work that exceed their capabilities, actions that result in damage of their body integrity.

Emotional abuse - is the inappropriate behavior of adults towards children, behavior that adversely affects a child's personality in development. Child rejection, forced isolation, terrorization, ignoration, humiliation and corruption are manifestations of child abuse.

Sexual abuse - consists in exposing the child to watching pornography, seduction (advances, caresses and promises) or involvement in sexual acts of any kind.

Economic abuse - implies attracting, persuading or forcing the child to do income generating activities, the adults close to the child at least partially or indirectly benefiting from this revenue. The economic abuse leads to removing the child from school, thus depriving him of the chance to access superior social and cultural levels.

Neglection - is the adult's inability or refusal to appropriately communicate with the child, and the limited access to education.

The term "sexual abuse" refers to the sexual exploitation of a child whose age does not allow him/her to understand the nature of the contact and to adequately resist it. This sexual exploitation may be done by a child's friend whom he/she is psychologically dependent on.

The sexual abuse can have different aspects:

- sexual evocation (phones, exhibitionism, pornography, the sexual content of the adult's language etc.)

- sexual stimulation (erotic contact, masturbation, incomplete genital contact, forced participation in the sexuality of a couple etc.)

- making sex (rape or attempted rape).

1.2 Issues of Abuse

a) Children may be abused since very young.

Children may be abused from a very early age. They are often seduced by games in a sexual- abusive situation. The abuser often establishes positive relationships with both parents and the child.

The child is encouraged or forced to engage in the abusive relationship. This is achieved through rewards and / or threats. The sexual activity is presented as something special, and the child should be considered lucky because he/she has "a chance" to participate in it. The child is unable to understand what is happening. Just when he/she is told that "the game is secret" he/she begins to understand that something is wrong.

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