Why Children Don’t Tell

Posted by on May 2, 2013 | 0 comments

Why Children Don’t Tell

There are many possible reasons why children do not report the sexual abuse. These are some of the reasons why sexually abused children never tell, and in fact the silence is what empowers the abuser.

  • Children don’t have the language for it, they don’t know what is sex, touching, penetration. All this is a completely new thing for them and they just don’t know how to describe it.
  • Children don’t make a difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
  • Children are usually warned by their parents not to trust strangers, but in fact only 5-6% of the sexually abused children are abused by strangers. In all the other cases the abuser is someone who the child knows, a parent, a relative, a family friend, a teacher, a coach, a priest.
  • Children don’t realize this is an abuse and a crime if it does not cause them physical pain.
  • Children feel guilty if they feel physical pleasure, which is just a natural body response to the sexual stimulation, but physiological pleasure does not mean an emotional pleasure, and this is difficult for children to understand.
  • Children are ashamed of the abuse, and of themselves in general.
  • Children are afraid that if they tell everyone will blame them for the abuse.
  • Children believe the abuse was their own fault, because they did not do anything to stop it.
  • Children think this is something that happens to all children.
  • Children think no one will believe their story.
  • Children are afraid of being punished, rejected, or not believed.
  • Children believe they might be hurt even worst by the abuser if they try to resist.
  • Children are afraid for themselves and their families, in case that the abuser is aggressive and threatening.

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