Each year, official government reports indicate that more than 62,000 children are sexually abused. The numbers are especially staggering for girls aged 14-17, of whom researchers estimate more than 17% have experienced sexual abuse.
Where is the buzz about the fact that sexual violence in conflict continues to be accepted as "collateral damage" in all forms of conflict all over the world? When will the stigma be removed from victims and placed onto their perpetrators?
There are some stories I hear as a therapist I would never repeat. Not only because of confidentiality. Because I don't want someone else, who has not been listening and learning for 20 years, to have to cope with the horror of how parents can abuse their children.
Sexual exploitation and abuse among United Nations peacekeepers and other troops in the Central African Republic (CAR) occasioned another UN resignation. Babacar Gaye, the Secretary General's Special Representative to the CAR, resigned after Ban Ki-Moon asked him to step down.
According to UN Women statistics, 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.
It is an industry that rakes in over $32 billion a year. More than 300,000 people fall prey to it each year in the U.S. alone. More than four million people couldn't stop doing it even if they tried.
Well-intentioned efforts to "cheer me up," reminders to be strong, and curiosity-fueled questions were all unhelpful at that time. What, then, are some helpful responses for someone suffering as a result of trauma, sexual abuse, assault, or other forms of violence?
In a case like Cosby's where we now have an unsealed court document that may act as a corroborating piece of evidence and lend credibility to some of the stories, there should be a remedy for these women to have their day in court.
Too often the initial choice to punish and incarcerate an abused girl sets in motion a vicious cycle of abuse and imprisonment that continues throughout her life. In fact, a girl with a history of sexual abuse is five times more likely to be re-arrested once released.
Those very old childhood feelings were rearing their ugly head, stronger and louder that ever. I remember waking up the morning I wrote it with a feeling of clarity as to why I had the fear, and believed it was simply a fear, and not my actual reality. It turns out I was wrong.
It is certainly perplexing that a teenager who had consensual sex with someone he believed to be of age will have had to register as a sex offender. It is troubling and terrifying that scores of criminals who committed crimes like rape, production of child pornography, and child sexual abuse are not required to register at all and are released into the community without having to register as sex offenders.
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released Broken Places (2015 Honorable Mention Winner, San Francisco Book Festival) and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed.
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