Children advocacy strategies are ways through which the society can use to elevate the voice of young people. In the current social settings, the voice of the young people and particularly children has been occasionally neglected. This happens in the political echelons and at home. Children, just like any other living thing, have rights and it is imperative for their needs to be addressed. This paper will summarize the issues of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation to explain its importance and define the risk-factors involved.
A brief summary of the issues
Analyzing the current social status, one can correctly presume that sexual violence is a difficult menace to curb. However, its prevalence is not among grownups only. Cases of sexual offences committed on children have been on rise. While such hostilities are regularly being committed, the authorities are doing very little to address the issues. Sexual violence occurs when an actual physical intrusion of a sexual nature is committed by force or coercive conditions (Ryan, Leversee & Lane, 2011).
The prevalence of sexual abuse and sexual violence on children is a clear indication that the authorities are not fully committed to protecting young children. Sexual violence and ill-treatment occurs in many different forms especially against school kids. Some of the most common forms of sexual abuse include exchange of sexual favors for food and money or other forms of support (Edinburgh, Harpin, Garcia & Saewyc, 2013). This tactic is mostly used to trick vulnerable children especially girls from poor families.
The tactic is very effective because the victims cannot report the indecent behaviors committed on them fearing they may lose the support. In some worse scenarios, some families have engaged in the practice of selling-off their children to sex buyers so as to raise money and receive favors for survival. This crime has been under cover due to its underreporting and for fear of victimization and isolation (Stoltenborgh, Van IJzendoorn, Euser & Bakermans-Kranenburg, 2011). Children who fall victims to this indecent behaviors are afraid to report or expose their molesters for fear of being be stigmatized or isolated by their peers.
In other cases, deterrence to report such atrocities is caused by threats or retaliation from the perpetrators (Stoltenborgh et al. 2011). Sexual abusers threaten their victims with death and other scary consequences. Some children are so afraid that their parents will beat them up for tarnishing the family’s name especially if the abuser is a family member. Sexual abuse and violence have been on the rise especially in the informal settlements and poverty-stricken regions of the world.
One of the main reasons why sexual offenses go unpunished in many occasions is because the victims feel powerless and lack the confidence to report. Children sometimes fear that the authorities will not believe their story. Lack of an effective legal system that addresses the issue of sexual abuse and sexual violence is also a contributing factor (Slesnick, Erdem, Bartle-Haring & Brigham, 2013)
Importance of child sex abuse and sex violence advocacy
Kids are vulnerable, and their safety greatly depends on their guardians. However, it is time to create other avenues that are discrete, safe and confidential for kids to report such atrocities. It is very important to create a worldwide awareness of sexual crimes that are silently taking place in the villages, schools and rural areas (Tavkar & Hansen, 2011).
Through advocacy and national protests, the voice of vulnerable kids can be heard, and proper measures taken to curb the violence. Another significant reason that justifies child advocacy for sexual abuse and sexual violence is to give children the political power that they have lacked over the years. Children do not have a say in the issues that affect them (Wolak, Finkelhor, Mitchell & Ybarra, 2010). Politically, children and the youth are not adequately represented in the echelons of leadership.
Consequently, they remain to be the most powerless groups in the society. Lack of political power exposes them to sexual violence (Singh, Thornton & Tonmyr, 2011). Child advocacy for sexual violence can help in building awareness about the crime and ultimately make it global felony. This will scare away perpetrators as well as helping the authorities in persecuting them. The crime is still on the rise because no one is speaking against it and condemning it in public (Wolak et al. 2010).
Risk factors of sexual abuse and sexual violence against children
Sexual violence and ill-treatment of school children is a dreadful experience for the victims. There are several implications that can affect a child who fall victims to this offense. Engaging in unprotected sexual activities has hazardous effects on the health of a child (Tucker, Edelen, Ellickson & Klein, 2011). This includes damaging of tissues in the child’s genitals hence causing far-reaching fertility problems. Besides, there is the looming fear of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (Wolak et al. 2010). Such conditions can cause dreadful implications on a Childs ability to learn and achieve his or her goals academically.
Early pregnancies have been on the rise in the recent past and this is mainly attributed to sexual violence and abuse against children. Early pregnancies have far-reaching effects such as dropping out of school, starting family life in an ill-equipped stage among other issues. In addition to early pregnancies, sexual violence poses a risk of rejection to its victims. Many of sexual violence victims face rejection and discrimination even in their family. Sexual abuse can cause significant problems in the family. For instance, in rare cases where a child is sexual molested by a close member of the family, the relationship between the members of that family will be substantially destroyed.
The United Nations has been a vanguard in fighting and advocating for child protection globally. There are other non-governmental organizations that have engaged in the advocacy of children protection around the world. The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence is one of these institutions.
This essay has identified sexual abuse and sexual violence as its child advocacy issue. The papers have defined child advocacy to help the reader to understand its range. A summary of the advocacy issue in this essay has also been outlined in a very succinct manner. In the summary, the paper has described the different forms through which sexual abuse and sexual violence against children occur. A number of factors that make sexual abuse and sexual violence advocacy an important issue are presented in this essay.
Kids’ vulnerability has been mentioned as one of the major reasons why the advocacy against sexual abuse and sexual violence is very crucial in the society. The paper also gives a critical analysis of the risk-factors that are imminent if the occurrence of sexual abuse and sexual violence continues to prevail. This document therefore is a succinct outline of the prevalence of Sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children.
Edinburgh, L. D., Harpin, S. B., Garcia, C. M., & Saewyc, E. (2013). Differences in abuse and related risk and protective factors by runaway status for adolescents seen at a US Child Advocacy Center. Internati Tucker, J. S., Edelen, M. O., Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience, 1(1), 4-16.
Ryan, G., Leversee, T. F., & Lane, S. (2011). Juvenile sexual offending: Causes, consequences, and correction. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Singh, V. A. S., Thornton, T., & Tonmyr, L. (2011). Determinants of substance abuse in a population of children and adolescents involved with the child welfare system. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 9(4), 382-397.
Slesnick, N., Erdem, G., Bartle-Haring, S., & Brigham, G. S. (2013). Intervention with substance-abusing runaway adolescents and their families: Results of a randomized clinical trial. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 81(4), 600.
Stoltenborgh, M., Van IJzendoorn, M. H., Euser, E. M., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. (2011). A global perspective on child sexual abuse: Meta-analysis of prevalence around the world. Child Maltreatment, 16(2), 79-101.
Tavkar, P., & Hansen, D. J. (2011). Interventions for families victimized by child sexual abuse: Clinical issues and approaches for child advocacy center-based services. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 16(3), 188-199.
Tucker, J. S., Edelen, M. O., Ellickson, P. L., & Klein, D. J. (2011). Running away from home: A longitudinal study of adolescent risk factors and young adult outcomes. Journal of youth and adolescence, 40(5), 507-518.
Wolak, J., Finkelhor, D., Mitchell, K. J., & Ybarra, M. L. (2010). Online “predators” and their victims. Psychology of violence, 1(1) 13-35.