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A study of Child Abuse and Acquaintance Rape Victims - Term Paper Example

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A Study of Child Abuse and Acquaintance Rape Victims University Name A Study of Child Abuse and Acquaintance Rape Victims Introduction Victims need to be understood. Their pain truly needs to be felt by others in society in an effort to begin the healing process for all involved…
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A study of Child Abuse and Acquaintance Rape Victims
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Download file to see previous pages By then, the scars may be too deep to fix. Offenders of child abuse are often family members or close acquaintances, which makes this particular crime even worse. Children who suffer abuse at the hands of such people often find it difficult, even impossible, to let anyone get them close to them again. They fail to trust others because they have been let down so many times before. In a similar fashion, victims of acquaintance rape suffer emotionally as well. Someone they deeply trusted did horrible things to them. Rape should never be condoned. When someone is close to you emotionally, however, and they force sexual action upon another person, then the crime becomes even more difficult to fathom. Couple that with the fact that many in society are still skeptical of any claim of acquaintance rape, and victims may become likely to not report the crime out of fear that others will not believe them. When this happens, the victim often becomes leery of getting too close again to a member of the opposite sex and develops severe relationship problems. There are numerous advocacy groups in existence to help both victims of child abuse and acquaintance rape. Many members of these groups are former victims themselves, so they can truly understand what the people are going through. Until you ‘walk in a victim’s shoes’, it is quite difficult to counsel them on how to overcome their fears and anxiety and begin to trust others once again. Both groups of victims need to be served by the community that has let them down and much research is to be done. Following in an in-depth review of current studies and a comparison of both types of victims. Literature Review It is difficult for many members of our civilized society to even comprehend how an adult can abuse and victimize a child. Nonetheless, this is exactly what occurs in communities around the country and the world. There is a great deal of literature dealing with child victims and their reactions to the crime. How we expect them to behave, however, is often quite different from the actual behavior exhibited. Shackel (2009) states, “There is some evidence which suggests that children may behave in a way that is contrary to such stereotypical expectations” (p. 65). It is important, then, to understand how certain behaviors can be used to identify particular victims. This is especially important for any professional tasked with the responsibility of caring for children. As a child enters into adulthood, professionals can often sense a history of childhood abuse based on numerous factors that may be present. This can include anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, interpersonal, sexual dysfunction, and a host of other issues (Zinzow, 2010, p. 80). It is a shame that these behaviors only point to the signs of abuse after the fact. It is critical that we begin to help move children away from abusive situations as early as possible. As Mansor (2011) points out, “This distressing and inhumane behavior towards children seems to be on the rise” (p. 229). Part of the issue with child abuse, and the reason it goes undetected for so long, is that the victim often possesses strong positive feelings towards the abuser (Shackel, 2009, p. 56). Research, and perhaps common sense, suggests that the public expects the child to have negative feelings towa ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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