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Confessions of an abused child *LINK*

Confessions of an abused child
by Vindra Sinanan

It has been a long time since I have written anything. Today unfortunately I once again put fingers to keyboard. The circumstances of my write are in no means good, further more they are in no means bad either, it has grown to be something worse.

After reading and hearing, first hand, the account of little Hope’s tragic demise and then hearing the comments made by various people in general, I am utterly sick of the attitude in which this crime is being handled. The reaction by the public and officials is the same, cry wolf after the mayhem has already happened.

Since the death of Akeil Chambers, measures should have been outlined by the administration and implemented to protect our children—our future.

As someone who has been molested and sexually abused several times before the age of nine, including at the hands of females, it is mindboggling to hear statements such as, “how come she (the mother) ain’t know about that”; “who tell she leave she child with a man”; “we did not know this was happening”; or, “how this could happen?”

The Signs

Simple, we are often too caught up in our daily lives that we miss the big picture. We miss the simple signs.

The biggest of these signs was the fact that the step-father spent so much time with the girl child and did not want her to leave his side.

There are also physical signs, most of which only someone close to the victim will be able to detect. But, the one that will always stand out is the rate at which the child matures. Most of the times you will find that molested girls will look older than their age. This is simple science, sexual activity in whatever form arouses hormones, which are key elements in the growth of our bodies, thus more hormones means a faster growth rate.

I speak from my own experience, after being molested for some time by my neighbour (who was my same age or a year younger) at probably age five or six; and, at school by older girls who would drop me home. I started to develop breast at age eight and had my first period at age ten.

Up to this day to my recollection I have not told my parents that I fell prey to the many mishap sexual encounters of my young life even though they would always ask. My mother was very diligent about enquiring whether I was “interfered with” having had her own experiences. I grew up with my mom and stepfather and she would always ask if he ever touched me or had sex with me?

And she made sure he knew that she would ask, but there was never the need to.

Yet still it is and was very hard for me to reveal my secrets. Even now as I write this I contemplate the consequences of saying anything, and I am now over the age of 21.

The System

We would have sex education programmes in school and watch the videos about the “No Touch” and still it offered no security.

To help stop these unwanted acts we need to understand one thing—most of the time these acts are perpetrated by someone the child respects or trust, and even thinks of as a friend. Though what is being done is wrong and the child may know this, it is still very confusing because the child also knows if he/she tells, this person will be in trouble and nobody wants to get their friend in trouble.

As a child I battled with feeling as though it was my fault—maybe I was too friendly, I was too pretty, too pushy. So to ward off would-be perpetrators I stayed to myself and as an adult I still do.

As a teenage girl I was thought to be a lesbian because of my abrasive behaviour to boys and boyish styles I dawned. I dressed that way to protect myself.

Much of the incidents of child molestation takes place in schools, from primary to secondary—this I know first hand. What is even more troubling is the boys who perpetrate these advances are often victims of sexual abuse themselves.

We need to be more diligent

While I was in school, there were no counsellors or anyone I felt comfortable talking to. So I spoke to my friends who themselves had experienced the same thing. At our school there was one counsellor, I was told that the counsellor was provided for the entire district of Victoria, so could only come once a week to a school with more than 300 students per shift.

The scary statistics

The fact is incest, child molestation and rape have been going in this country for a very, very long time; its just that no one said anything before. Now, we don’t have to say anything because its in our faces now and we have to deal with it, now.

Just think, I can call about five women I know who have been raped or sexually abused before they were ten and they each can call five—that adds up to 25 women who have been abused. Think of what the bigger picture, on a national scale, holds.

If these 25 women were abused by guys, who themselves have been abused, that adds up to 50 people. Are you getting the pattern now? There is no one hard and fast way of dealing with this situation but as adults we need to be more diligent in looking after our children and the young ones.

The police needs to play a bigger role in providing a sense of security for the parents as well as the children in these situations. The schools also need to work together with child services to detect and help these children.

And, most importantly, as a parent, you need to always have your child’s safety and interest first and foremost in your life.

As a country, we need to also do some studies on the adults who abuse children and find out the root cause in studying them. We can form a pattern and have an idea of what to look for in child abusers.

The incurable scar

I am now 24-years-old and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my experiences. Every time I have sex with my husband I have to talk myself through it so I don’t have a flash back and freak out.

He does not know that I do this and I would not tell him cause I fear it would hurt him too much. He does however know about my abused past and has been very helpful and understanding.

The one thing that has helped me to deal with it is the fact that my pain could have been a whole lot worse and the experiences, however bad they were, have offered me lessons in trust, strength and hope to learn from.

the signs

Signs that your child may be abused (sourced from HELPGUIDE.Org)

Inappropriate interest in or knowledge of sexual acts
Seductive behavior
Reluctance or refusal to undress in front of others
Extra aggression or extra compliance
Fear of a particular person or family member
Performing or attempting to perform sexual acts on younger children

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