Breaking Cycles of Generational Shame and Abuse- Statistics and Profiles
Just the other day I was accused (by others and myself!) of being paranoid and looking at the world through the lens of shame and fear. But the more I think about it and the more research I do, I am deciding that I am NOT paranoid, but am working to break the generational cycles of shame and abuse and I am NOT looking at the world through the lens shame and fear but the lens of experience.
Experience can be a thorough teacher. In my case it has taught me that enough is enough-I don't want my children caught up in generational sins, experiences and lifestyles that are contrary to God's Word. I want my family and home to be healthy, happy and informed.
Today let's be informed! :) I wanted to share with you some statistics and profiles of abusers so you too can break or prevent cycles of shame and abuse.
Statistics on Abuse:
(Taken from http://www.darkness2light.org/KnowAbout/statistics_2.asp )
The statistics are shocking
- 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18. (96)
- 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18. (96)
- 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet. (30, 87)
- Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under. (76)
- An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today.(1)
- 30-40% of victims are abused by a family member. (2, 44, 76)
- Another 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust.
- Approximately 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know. (1, 44)
- Therefore, only 10% are abused by strangers.
Most children don't tell even if they have been asked
- Evidence that a child has been sexually abused is not always obvious, and many children do not report that they have been abused.
- Over 30% of victims never disclose the experience to ANYONE.
- Young victims may not recognize their victimization as sexual abuse.
- Almost 80% initially deny abuse or are tentative in disclosing. Of those who do disclose, approximately 75% disclose accidentally. Additionally, of those who do disclose, more than 20% eventually recant even though the abuse occurred.
- Fabricated sexual abuse reports constitute only 1% to 4% of all reported cases. Of these reports, 75% are falsely reported by adults and 25% are reported by children. Children only fabricate ½% of the time.
Profiles of Abusers:
(taken from http://www.childluresprevention.com/pdf/Profile-of-Molester.pdf )
How many victims does a child molester average?
Interviews guaranteeing complete confi dentiality and immunity from prosecution, conducted by Emory
University psychiatrist Dr. Gene Abel, uncovered that:
Male offenders who abused girls had an average of 52 victims each.
Men who molested boys had an astonishing average of 150 victims each.
Only 3% of these crimes had ever been detected.
How do child molesters get into situations where they can exploit children?
Few child molesters are able to resist their powerful urges to initiate contact with children and will go to great
lengths to do so. Common strategies include:
-Befriending parents, particularly single parents, to gain access to their children.
-Offering babysitting services to overextended parents or caregivers.
-Taking jobs and participating in community events that involve children.
-Attending sporting events for children and/or offering to coach children’s sports.
-Volunteering in youth organizations, offering to chaperone overnight trips.
-Loitering in places children frequent - playgrounds, malls, game arcades, etc.
-Spending time in Internet gaming and social communities, learning the online interests and lingo
-Becoming foster parents.
What is the most common method used by child molesters?
Most victims of abuse are groomed over a period of weeks, months, or years. The Affection Lure is used both offline and online to seduce unsuspecting youngsters in need of love and attention. Child molesters have repeatedly told me: When there’s a physically or emotionally absent parent in the picture, it makes the child more vulnerable than ever.
Wouldn’t a vigilant parent be able to detect a child molester, just by their actions?
Not necessarily. Remember, sex offenders who prey on children:
-are notoriously friendly, nice, kind, engaging and likeable.
-target their victims, often insinuating themselves into that child’s life - their family, school, house of worship,
-sports, and hobbies.
-are professional con artists and are expert at getting children and families to trust them.
-will smile at you, look you right in the eye and make you believe they are trustworthy.
Also, keep in mind that 23% of all sexual offenders were under the age of 18.
I also learned from the U.S Department of Justice that the overwhelming majority of sexual abuse incidents occur in the home as opposed to a school, store, outside, etc. (http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/227763.pdf )
Here is what Dr. Phil says about it: (and I am not saying he is a good source for all your problems, but I agree with him and his research here.)
Dr. Frank Lawlis, chairman of the Dr. Phil advisory board and Dr. Phil's mentor, offers some insight into the development of a sexual predator:
"The typical sexual predator is very immature in his or her understanding of intimacy. It is like they really want closeness, but they lack the skills to feel satisfaction and trust. These feelings of frustration erupt into anger many times, and it is in this stage that the individual can become dangerous. Their acts are desperate. They try to find intimacy and caring for themselves, but when they can't find it in appropriate ways, they demand it or find a child who has little resistance," says Dr. Lawlis. "It is common to find parents of sexual predators also weak in skills of affection. Consequently, they cannot train or offer to meet these needs for their child. And then the cycle continues."
There are some common characteristics of sexual predators. If you're worried your teen may be a sexual predator, look for these warning signs:
From the book, Protecting Your Children from Sexual Predators, by Dr. Leigh M. Baker.
Other Tips on Spotting a Sexual Predator:
- Often offend where they won’t get caught — when they have misdirected people’s attention
- Often married or in relationships
- Offend when the victim is handy
- Not always strangers, often family members, family friends and neighbors
- Most attracted to adults
- Good manipulators (seduction is an integral part)
- Overly self-indulgent
- Sexualize, objectify women
- Users of various kinds of pornography
- Typically known as rationalizers, intellectualizers, justifiers
- Great helpers — are there to lend a helping hand — prey on people in need, when they can insinuate themselves in your life
- Use stressful and vulnerable situations to get in — they find a need they can fill and they use that to get next to the victim
Dr. Phil reminds parents they must watch everyone in their child’s life!
In the future we will discuss what makes healthy homes and healthy children. :)
But we do also have to realize that there is a balance between doing what you can to protect your children:
-having a healthy relationship with your children
and trusting God with the matter.
I know of many parents that did their best to protect their children and sexual abuse still happened. You have to trust that even if the unthinkable does happen, it did not escape God's notice and He works all things together for good to them that love Him and are called according to His purpose. It is totally an opportunity for the Lord to produce holiness in your life and the life of your child, and it is an opportunity to experience who God is in a completely different way. Let's not forget Who His Son was and the abuse that He experienced on our behalf.
Let's Break These Cycles! Who is with me????