Just the other day someone made the statement that child sexual abuse is normal because it happens so oft en. Maybe it’s only a problem because we (society) make such a big deal out of it.

Well, that was quite a challenge that turned quickly into a heated discussion. I can understand though, how people can come to the conclusion given that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before they reach adulthood. One can come to think that it’s happening everywhere … so it must be normal.

Of course Child Sexual Abuse is not normal! I am using ‘normal’ here in the sense of “as nature intended”. What are you thinking? It may be very common, but it’s not normal. Obesity is very common too, but it’s not normal either. Let me give you some reasons why sexual abuse is not normal!

1. If it were normal child sexual abuse would not have to be kept secret. We could openly talk about it and discuss the benefits of such sexual practice.

2. It child sexual abuse were normal and is only a problem because of how it is dealt with in society, children would not show the severe physical and psychological problems. The legacies of sexual abuse are a direct response to the abusive act because most sexual abuse of children takes place before the child is aware of and influenced by the public stance towards sexual abuse.

3. Children would not end up showing severe behavioural problems such as social withdrawal, erratic school performances, lack of self-confidence, self-respect, and self-esteem, dissociation, bedwetting, and anxiety.

4. Children would not have problems with setting appropriate boundaries if their own boundaries would have been respected by the important adults in their lives.

5. Children would not have problems with being autonomous appropriate to their age. They would not show overly dependency out of fear, insecurity, and a lack of basic trust or swing to the other extreme of vehement independence because they have learnt already that nobody is to be trusted.

If child sexual abuse were normal, children would not be affected by it. However, social workers, therapists, doctors, teachers, and family members witness every day how badly children are affected by being subjected to sexual acts on an adults timetable - way before they are sexually mature and way before they are able to give informed consent.

That sexual abuse happens at such a grand scale and that the majority of society is not more outraged about it is a tragedy. Let’s wake people up to keep our children safe!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Gudrun Frerichs is a trainer, psychotherapist, and researcher who has investigated for the last 20 years how people recover from the impact of abuse. For more information go to www.gudrunfrerichs.com. Are you interested in the field of DID (formerly multiple personalities)? Then go to her website www.multiplevoices.com .
Gudrun has dedicated herself to assisting survivors of sexual abuse to grow strong and fulfil their potential and their dreams. For information about the recovery from sexual abuse and about courses for healing, self-awareness, effective communication, and successful relationships go to www.gfrerichs.typepad.com/gudrunfrerichs/the-shop.html