Understanding and stopping sexual abuse
04 June 2014
Sexual abuse is a real problem today. While many may feel isolated and alone because of what has happened, threatened by the abuser or manipulated into feeling as though they should protect them, speaking out against the abuse is the only way to make sure someone knows what’s happen. Because of the nature of sexual abuse (and sex in general), it’s usually a secret, and one which you might feel ashamed to share.
What is sexual abuse?
Being touched in a way you don’t like when you haven’t given consent, or have been manipulated into agreeing to
Being forced to have sex or to look at sexual imagery
Made to do something sexual such as sending photographs of yourself or taking your clothes off, or sexual acts
There’s lots of different brackets which child sexual abuse falls under. This can include physical abuse, as well as online grooming, sexting, being made to look at images which make you uncomfortable and more. There is no one clear form, and it is often different in every case.
It’s not your fault
When sexual abuse takes place it is more often than not an abuse of trust. 90 percent of all victims are abused by someone who they know. Whatever your abuser says, it is not your fault. You didn’t ask to be treated in this way, and you certainly shouldn’t feel guilty. They are at fault, they have broken your trust, and you will not get in trouble for putting a stop to it.
In general, more men than women are involved with child sex abuse, but this doesn’t mean that women don’t do it, or that no one believe you when you report your abuser. Adults might not be able to spot the signs, so you might need to speak up to have your voice heard. This doesn’t mean that these people don’t want to help you; child sex abuse involves a great deal of secrecy and manipulation, so it’s quite probable that it could go under the radar.
Who can help?
It takes a huge amount of bravery to come forward, especially if the abuse is ongoing. By speaking to someone though, you will be able to get the help and support you need, both through immediate methods to protect you, and ongoing counselling and support to counteract the long term effects.
This means that each case needs to be treated as such, by individuals who can help you. The ROSE Campaign is one of these services.
We know that it can be difficult to talk about, but we’re here to listen. There will be no judgement, and every case will be treated seriously. We’ll involve the relevant authorities when necessary, to make sure that you’re safe, but in large you can talk to us anonymously. If you’re worried about sexual abuse occurring, or you think you’re beginning to find yourself in a situation which you’re just not happy with, don’t wait until it’s too late – speak out now.
You can call us for free on 0808 8001037, or you can chat to us on our website right now. There’s a little box just at the bottom right of your screen right now, and you can chat to someone who’s trained to help by clicking on it. If we’re offline right now don’t worry – just leave us a message and we’ll get back to you.
Remember that you’re not alone, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and speaking to someone can help stop the abuse.