Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse

  • What is sexual abuse?

Trauma continues with the occurrence of traumatization when the person cannot respond appropriately to this situation that puts him in danger, by confronting the extreme points of helplessness and fear. The loss of one’s dominance over his life by endangerment is defined as traumatic experiences, and it can be said that cases such as rape, abuse and harassment are included in these traumatic experiences as sexual traumas.

The source of the harassment; The person is just an “object” for him, as the only purpose of the abuser is to control and dominate the other person, and therefore to feel “powerful”, as it creates power and control, unlike emotions such as love.

In traumatic situations, individuals become anxious about losing control over their life by losing the balance between the inner self and the external environment.

Abuse means “abuse”. It is the target of a sexual act against a person’s consent. It can be by word, demeanor or contact. This is a universal problem that can be seen in all cultures and social classes. The literature shows that abuse is divided into 2 groups, while in the first group there are situations such as non-touching, slurring, obscene speech, voyeurism, while the second group includes actions that occur with touching.

Forced sexual intercourse even with one’s own spouse, pushing for unwanted deviant behaviors during sexual intercourse, undesirable verbal abuse, and engaging in sexual dialogues that the person does not want are also a type of sexual harassment.

  • What is the soul profile of the abuser?

These people are often antisocial, have impulse control problems, lack empathy, have a tendency to use drugs and alcohol, have a problematic sexual life, and have a lot of preoccupation with sexual issues. It is stated that half of the abusers have also been abused in their past.

  • Sexual Abuse of Children

Child abuse is a comprehensive and complex issue with its physical, emotional, social, moral, cultural and legal dimensions, and in general, the abuser is a person whom the child trusts and regularly sees. The average age of sexual assault against children is 11-12, 1 boy against 10 girls is abused, and one out of every 4 girls and 6 boys is unfortunately exposed to this violence before the age of 18.

Often when children experience sexual abuse, they boldly increase their disclosure step by step according to the reaction from their parents. Especially in the case of abuse by the parent, the support of the non-abusive parent will be very valuable for the child to cope with this trauma, and the most important thing a parent can do is to believe in the child and make him/her feel valuable.

  • Is domestic abuse or external abuse more common?

Sexual abuse is often committed by someone the child knows. Therefore, it can be said that intrafamilial cases are more frequent.

  • Why Doesn’t Child Tell About Sexual Abuse?

The child may be afraid that people will not believe him in such a difficult situation and that he will be in a difficult situation after telling him, especially if he has not been supported throughout his life, to communicate openly with his family, especially if the person causing the trauma is someone he knows and cares about, he may want to protect him, the person may be threatening him not to share the incident. They may feel guilty and wrong, believe that the behavior will not be repeated, may be worried that everyone will find out about the situation, and may not know how to express themselves.

Most of the time, parents overreact in such situations, causing the child to be afraid, feel guilty and shut up. One of the biggest mistakes made is to hide and cover up the mistake of abuse by trying to hide the situation, not to defend the rights of the child and to prepare the ground for the formation of other possible victims in the future.

It will be beneficial to tell your child that you believe him, that what he says is true, that it is a very brave act to open up to him, that he has no fault in the incident, and avoiding accusatory statements such as “why didn’t you shout”, “why didn’t you tell me right away”.

  • Symptoms in Abused Children

It is important not to miss these symptoms, as the child will show symptoms rather than talking about it. The clues include showing more interest in sexual matters than his age, displaying sexual behaviors incompatible with his age, sensitivity to the genital area, and excessive kissing of another person. Even from the pictures they draw, symptoms of the trauma they have experienced can be caught.

Among the physical evidence encountered, disease transmission, risk of infection, vaginal/anus tears, bleeding, bruises, abrasions, difficulty in walking, difficulty in urinating or stool, constipation, diarrhea, itching, recurrent urinary system infections can be seen due to intercourse.

Apart from physical symptoms, showing signs of fear when underwear is removed, differences in mental and emotional responses, and responses may vary depending on the age of the victim. For example, age-related, bed-wetting, thumb sucking, sticking to the mother, etc. Behaviors, such as sleep problems, nightmares, fear of the dark, difficulties in falling asleep, not wanting to go to school, learning difficulties, loss of appetite, hyperactivity, distraction, aggressive behavior, harming animals or self, suicide attempts in later cases, frequent bathing or There are also symptoms of not wanting to do it, etc.

Boys may have doubts about whether they are homosexual or not, while girls often experience the suspicion that they have lost their sexual attractiveness and may engage in excessive sexual behavior compared to their peers. Children who have been sexually abused may face serious problems such as poor sexual response, lack of sexual satisfaction, and other sexual dysfunctions in adulthood.

In the stories of those who have vaginismus problems, it is seen that there are cases of harassment and rape in the past years, that the abused men are more depressed; it is stated that women experience more domestic violence, rape, sexual problems, mental health problems, low self-esteem, and difficulties in establishing close relationships.

In the following periods, insecurity, deterioration in sexual identity development, chronic depression and anxiety disorders, personality disorders, outbursts of anger, forgetfulness, alienation from the social environment, and decreased communication with the family may accompany the process.

  • How should parents behave?

The first thing the parent should do is to ensure the physical and mental safety of the child. Control should not be lost, even when with peers. Children should be explained about body privacy, that they can share everything with their families, and they should be taught how to protect their borders with strangers. If the child has explained the traumatic situation he has experienced to a teacher, the teacher should inform the necessary places and the family. Because sexual abuse is a crime and must be reported to the necessary places.

Children should be taught that respect does not mean unconditional obedience to adults and authority figures.

Children should be given the awareness that “my body is special to me, you can touch it if I allow it”, that there should be no one else but me in the toilet, the principles of loneliness in undressing and dressing, details such as the words that love is not just touching, it can also be indicated by the look, and the child cannot be loved by pinching and biting should be explained.

By expressing your love and support, leave the control to your child, do not ask him to tell the event in detail repeatedly and to other people, state that you protect him, that you will protect him, do not be accusatory, be careful about his privacy and to whom you will tell the event, get expert support so that he can get through the event in a healthy way, maintain the order at home , make your child feel safe, do not increase the share of injustice experienced by your child by making sentences such as “it’s a shame, shame, we have to hide” to the child, cut off communication with the abuser, do not reflect panic and anxiety, do not be afraid to defend their rights by having a voice that they cannot hear, blame yourself for the situation and have difficulties. If you experience any problems, get support from an expert.

  • Sexual Harassment between Children

While protecting the innocence of children and protecting them from the deviant acts of adults used to be the aim of parents, nowadays, unfortunately, the incidence of abuse among children has increased rapidly due to the regression of puberty, the uncontrolled use of increasing technological opportunities, and the rapid and dangerous access of children to harmful information.

Due to the developing hormonal structures of curiosity and interest among children, turning this curiosity into action against their friends means harassment. The models formed in the minds of children with tools such as ipad and telephone, which are visually within their reach, the lack of healthy communication with parents, and the fact that children are left without follow-up and rules cause children to form unhealthy and negative identifications. The most important point is that when they learn the information acquired prematurely at an age when they cannot make moral judgments and have not completed their cognitive development, it is inevitable that it will have devastating effects.

  • Approach to Rape Victims

After rape, which is a great destruction for women, women suffer serious physical harm, can become pregnant, and become infected with HIV. By experiencing physical, social and psychological traumas, it leads to the attack of private and personal space. The risks of encountering sexual release by women are risks for women of all ages, from 15 months to 82 years old, and sexual release is most common between the ages of 16-19 and 20-24, half of the action is performed by a complete stranger and half by a familiar man. While the number of women who were raped in 1993 in our country was 5860, it is estimated that the real cases are much higher.

According to studies, it has been determined that 1/3 of the victims have thought of suicide, and the majority of them have permanent changes in their personalities as a result of the event they have experienced.

“Rape Crisis Centers” have been established in developed countries, providing services with a multidisciplinary approach that can meet all the needs of the victim from the first application to rehabilitation. Since rape crisis centers have not yet been established in our country, the duties of these centers should be carried out by physicians and nurses working in the obstetrics and gynecology and emergency departments, even if only partially.

  • How to Distinguish Dating and Sexual Harassment

For example, when a woman is attracted to a man and invites him to dinner, it should not mean that the man has the right to touch her or to intrude on her during the meal. Any act of a sexual nature that is not approved by the woman and harms the woman can be considered as sexual harassment, and vice versa, and men can also be harassed by women. If your feelings arouse pleasant and moderate feelings in the face of the other person’s attitude, it can be thought that there is no problem in the situation, if there are feelings of discomfort, embarrassment and resentment in the face of their actions, you should consider evaluating this situation within the boundaries of the concept of harassment. Flirting does not usually contain a sexual message, and harassment occurs when the person refuses to accept rejection.

  • Effects of Sexual Trauma on Person

In sexual traumas that deeply shake the emotional world of the victim, cause wounds, radically change his life, and whose effects can last for a long time, the right of the victim not to tell this private information should be respected because he or she is traumatized and suffers with a small reminder, and the person should not be triggered by details that remind him of rape. .

  • Emotional Harassment

Since emotional abuse is a type of abuse that people sometimes cannot distinguish in daily life, it would be useful to include this issue as well. Examples of emotional harassment include ignoring the individual, their existence and value, REJECTING their identity, reputation, insulting and making fun of them, DEATHING, Arousing FEAR with intimidation and threats, ignoring their EMOTIONAL NEEDS by not showing interest in a sensitive and effective way.

  • Treatment

Although it is quite difficult to experience sexual traumas on its own, what makes the situation even more difficult is that individuals cannot share this situation with anyone and cannot receive adequate support and help after traumas.

Since there is no single type of reaction after trauma, mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, psychotic reactions, phobias, obsessions, sleep disorders, substance use, depression, sexual dysfunctions may occur clinically, it will be beneficial to stay under follow-up.

When necessary, therapy support should be applied holistically together with drug support. Medicine and therapy are not alternatives to each other.

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