CyberDodo fights against sexual aggression (2-33)

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It is impossible to find one single answer, since the after-effects of sexual aggression for the child are going to depend on the type of abuse, it’s frequency, the perpetrator, the victim’s age, his psychosocial development, information that he will probably have received, as well as support offered by those around him.

To illustrate the paragraph above, specialists estimate that a child who is informed of the subject and is abused just once by a stranger will suffer from less after-effects over a shorter period of time than another child violated regularly by his father or stepfather.

How do we fight against sexual abuse in which children are victims?

In order for sexual abuse to occur, a perpetrator must find a victim, prevention should therefore be carried out in 2 ways. Detection (by, for example, medical and school staff) of risky behaviours and potentially dangerous psychological profiles are not part of the scope of this case file, we will not talk about it any longer, except to point out that it is indispensable.

With regard to children, studies on this subject show that sexual education respectful of a child and his culture is an excellent method to inform and help him be aware about sexual abuse (In this regard, see tome no. 6 of the CyberDodo Edupack focusing on the fight against sexual abuse).

Informing children and making them aware of sexual abuse is fundamental

What to do in the event of sexual abuse?

Firstly don’t close your eyes and listen to a child who has the courage to talk! Let us remember that the sexual aggressor of a child is often her father or stepfather, many mothers cannot believe that such a terrible thing could have happened and that their companion could be the perpetrator.

Often the abused child also can’t talk about it and is eaten up by fear, shame and guilt. It is therefore fundamental that those around him notice changes in his behaviour at home, at school, with his friends, etc. and create the necessary conditions to help him talk about what he is going through.

The authorities also have a lot of responsibility in the handling of sexual abuse complaints where children are concerned. When evidence is collected from the child, it is essential that it be done by a trained professional (psychologist, etc.), so that the process of reporting of abuses is not a new trial that she has to go through. Increasingly countries also have access to video recordings to spare the child from going through the traumatising repetition of what she has gone through.

We would like to point out that at the bottom of each page of the site you can see a child with a red banner bearing the word ‘SOS’; by clicking on the words ‘Find help’ right next to him, anyone can have access to aid services and the help available for children from his country.

If any information is missing, please send it to us by contacting (at); we will immediately update the list.

There is also an instrument available to help you make online reports of abuse committed against children: Virtual Global Task Force

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To see the cartoon on the fight against child sexual abuse, click here

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Unfortunately there are several forms of child sexual abuse, including prostitution, to which millions have been subjected and this is the topic of a CyberDodo case file that you can look at by clicking here.

Child sexual abuse can be defined as involving a child (that is, a human being aged less than 18 years) in sexual activities that he has no desire to be involved in, that he cannot understand, that are incompatible with his development and/or his age, and which he is forced into by an authority figure, through violence or seduction, etc.

The first stage in approaching this painful theme is to give children a definition they can understand. Why? Because, true to its motto:

‘Freedom comes through knowledge!’

The CyberDodo team consisting of psychologists, experts, educators and of course their families has the ambition of informing children, so that they can demand respect for the Rights they are guaranteed by the Convention.

To help a child understand what sexual abuse is, it can be explained to them that their body is a treasure that they must protect and that they only have the right to decide who can see or touch it.

Even more so when it comes to his ‘intimate parts’, which the CyberDodo Edupack explains as follows:

The body of a child is a treasure that must be respected and protected

The basic question remains, however, how to explain to a child that he should protect himself against aggressions which his personal development does not allow him to anticipate, neither to understand?

The CyberDodo Edupack offers games that present daily life situations with several possible attitudes by several adults, which enable the child to visualise behaviours that are acceptable and those that they must refuse.

Daily life situations?

Yes, because in the immense majority of cases (Several studies mention that it is 70 to 80%) a child who is a victim of sexual abuse knows her aggressor, who is usually one of her relatives (family, friends, neighbours, etc.); violence perpetrated by an unknown person is therefore not the rule in this type of matter, contrary to what a lot of people think.

It must always be borne in mind that more than 9 times out of 10, the sexual aggressor is a man and most often her father or father-in-law, in this case we would call it incest.

What types of sexual abuse are children exposed to?

They can be classified into 3 main categories, according to their nature and severity.

a) Exhibitionism, which consists in making the child look at an adult’s body parts or sexual acts.

b) Touching, a practice that can consist of the adult touching the child and/or requiring the child to touch him.

c) Violation, that is, forcing a child to have sexual relations with an adult, which can take several forms.

In all cases, a sexual offence occurs when the child is not at an age where he understands the nature of the acts asked or imposed on him and does not consent to them, when these consist of threats, pressure, blackmail or they are offered in exchange for favours, gifts, or rewards of any kind.

In all cases, the situation that the child is forced to go through does not correspond with his age and/or his mental or physical development. This can also happen when adolescents abuse children who are younger than them.