Refocusing on Victims of Sexual Abuse: Teens and Children, and How You Can Help

By Janice Barlow


All the media attention that has resulted from teenagers being sexually assaulted has once again put the topic in the limelight. This article is not about the innocence or guilt of any one person, but instead about an issue that needs more focus because our children are the future of this country, and as potential victims, they are facing some serious challenges.

We have lost sight of who these victims are. They are children and teens everywhere, from all races and socioeconomic backgrounds.

We know that in the past, there have been countless victims of molestation among teens and children. Some have been reported. Many more have never been. The trusted adults who committed these atrocities are either now dead or are very old, right? That’s what we would like to believe.

However that is not the case. Statistically, one in every six boys and one in every four girls is the victim of a sexual assault before they become an adult. And most never tell. Sadly, many believe that it is their own fault that it happened because of several key points. One in particular is that the assaulter is a person they know and trust and the incident is not a one time occurrence.

According to Jim Hopper, who has a doctorate clinical psychology and specializes in child abuse,

guilt can stem from several responses to molestation:

  • Not saying ‘no’ or physically resisting.
  • ‘Letting’ another person take advantage of one’s vulnerability, including ignorance and curiosity of sex.
  • Becoming sexually aroused or experiencing sexual pleasure, even when they didn’t want or like what was happening.
  • Having engaged in sexual activity with other children, even if due to manipulation or force by others.
  • Not protecting a brother, sister, friend, or other child from someone doing the same harmful sexual, physical and/or emotional things to them.

Children who have been sexually abused often exhibit certain behaviors that parents, teachers, and other caretakers must watch for. When a teacher believes abuse has occurred, he or she should report it through the proper channels prescribed by the school system. Ignoring the signs can lead to devastating results, even suicide.

Signs of sexual abuse in children and teens can include:

  • Acting out in an inappropriate sexual way with toys or objects
  • Nightmares, sleeping problems
  • Becoming withdrawn or very clingy
  • Becoming unusually secretive
  • Sudden unexplained personality changes, mood swings and seeming insecure
  • Regressing to younger behaviors, e.g. bed wetting
  • Unaccountable fear of particular places or people
  • Outburst of anger
  • Changes in eating habits
  • New adult words for body parts and no obvious source
  • Talk of a new, older friend and unexplained money or gifts
  • Self-harm (cutting, burning or other harmful activities)
  • Physical signs, such as, unexplained soreness or bruises around genitals or mouth, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy
  • Running away
  • Not wanting to be alone with a particular child or young person

 

This topic may seem distant to many readers, but it is relevant and it is happening to kids right now who are in our schools, neighborhoods, and churches. They just may not want to talk about it. How can you help without accusing?

Radio Talk Show personality, Phil Williams, (you may know him as the Lil Jimmy Tablets & Teddy Bears guy) has written some songs to reach out to kids who may have been abused. One in particular called, “Is it My Fault?” goes straight to the heart of the matter. It is a video too, and Lil Jimmy sings the song and performs in the video, reaching out to kids to let them know it’s not their fault if they get caught up in sexual abuse. Abuse can also result in sex trafficking of teens into the prostitution trade, so it’s important for them to see information like this as early as possible, before they get caught up in a life of drugs, sex, and prison.

The video is here, and can be distributed to kids to watch. https://youtu.be/mvpy0TsobTE

I strongly encourage you to watch it as well. Come back to it after you finish the article.

But more importantly, Phil Williams needs help getting this information out to schools and churches to youth groups and in neighborhoods, along with his Tablets & Teddy Bears project to reach youth and instill positive values and character. It is his goal to personally travel to as many locations as possible and get the word out.

Please consider a giving even a small donation to support Phil in his efforts to empower these kids and their families. The website is  liljimmydjpoz.jimdo.com The donation is tax deductible.

I can’t think of a better way to help give a voice to children and teens and help to break this horrible cycle of sexual abuse and silence.

If everyone who reads this article gave just $10, based on averages, over $3,000 would be donated by Christmas, and will go toward helping change children’s lives forever for the better. And that’s just ten bucks! Imagine how you could play a part in changing things for these children and teens with a larger donation. Phil is the only one with videos and a project like this and it’s imperative to get it out there. We don’t want them to be afraid any longer.

Please help.

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