Saturday, May 04, 2013

Monsters, Predators and child sex abusers.

Monsters, Predators and child sex abusers.
The lurid headlines of last week, has given us the impetus to use them as a springboard to possible discussion about the use of
language regarding abusers.
We cringe when we see or hear the word "Monster" or
"Predator" or other similar terms used to describe people who have sexually abused children. We fear that the media's, legislators',and others' use of these terms help to keep the general public pointed in the wrong direction (e.g. - toward strangers or people who are not more socially mainstream) and not toward where the greatest and most common threat of sexual abuse to children exists -- toward people within the nuclear and extended family and within the family's social circle. Also that violent sexual crime is what happens overshadowing the fact that most often neither is it violent or rare. On the other hand it is the repetitive, pre planned sexual acts across a spectrum, on a child and within the context of grooming. A key to ensuring silence and non disclosure.
We also worry that when parents use these terms in discussions with or in front of their kids to describe abusers, or when kids hear them used on the news, or on TV shows, it may contribute toward their not disclosing abuse or attempted abuse by a relative or friend of the family, or may counteract other positive sexual abuse education they have received that encourages disclosure.
It seems like these terms are emotionally satisfying for adults who
are upset and angry (understandably), and for the media and
legislators who seek publicity and headlines, but are not helpful
toward protecting kids from sexual abuse.
Tulir's perspective is that the more we can calm the language down, the more we can frame it as a mental health and public health issue, the greater success we can have in pointing people in the most protective direction
(with inputs from Wendy Murphy)

1 comment:

aliah said...

There are some shocking report you see in daily newspapers about child abuse. i think as parent you have very important role to play in making aware your child about child sexual abuse.
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