Why, then, don’t these protective bodies educate parents about child sexual abuse? After all, conservative statistics say 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. The likelihood of being sexually abused as a child is definitely greater than the danger of being injured in a car crash, drowning, suffocating on a plastic bag, or all the other potential disasters that might befall a vulnerable little person.
When I speak with groups about my own history with child sexual abuse, many in the audience are aghast at my statistics. They had no idea. Will they retain that information once they leave the lecture? Who knows? Denial is a powerful force.
Parents need information. They need to know that most perpetrators are not some stranger hiding in the bushes. Perpetrators of child sexual abuse are usually family members or adults whom the family trusts and considers close to the family.
Parents need guidelines to help them evaluate any nursery, daycare or school where they entrust their little ones to others.
The statistics are clearly on the low side because so many don’t have access to their memories of having been sexually abused. Many others keep their secret so close to their chests that they don’t count themselves in on surveys about CSA.
Parents who have dissociated their traumatic memories – or who simply choose to discount what happened to them – are ill-equipped to protect their own children. That’s why credible sources need to educate them about the predators in their midst. Whether or not they deal with their own trauma, they need to prevent their offspring from suffering.
Child Sexual Abuse can be prevented. We need to come in on all sides – government, social agencies, family physicians, to educate parents so they can protect their little ones from this secret crime against children.