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Better awareness can free the society of child sex abuse

A study shows how the number of children admitted to ERs in the U.S. has considerably risen between 2010 and 2016.In the year 2016, around 8,818 children were rushed to the hospitals that were confirmed to have been sexually abused. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) estimated that these incidents occur in rich and poor countries alike. The predators generally seek out for countries affected by poverty and inflicted by a kind of crisis.

A sexual abuse, often times, is followed by the mental trauma which can be extremely difficult for a child to go through. These kinds of incidents further develop into different kinds of disorders like depression and schizophrenia. They also cause physical ailments like HIV and obesity. Moreover, the staggering numbers of children getting admitted to hospitals are making the authorities question the quality of treatment that the patients receive.

Jesse Helton, a professor of Social Work at the College for Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University, said that “Rates of child sexual abuse have fallen overall since the mid-’90s. We know that sexual abuse cases are hard to measure, but overall with the rates going down, it should be seen as alarming that the rates are going up in the ERs.” An incident of child abuse happens behind closed doors and fails to impact people other than the family and the child. However, Helton wants these incidents to reach all the areas of the society so that the awareness is spread among everyone and victims can be provided with proper health and medical care.

Dr. James E. Crawford-Jubaik, remarks on the high-rate of such incidents, “Maybe not being surprised is the shocking thing. This is a very common paediatric problem that we see, especially for girls.” 85% of the children who came in for getting treated for sexual abuse were girls, but Crawford- Jubaik believes that the number is an undercount. He wants to spread awareness about such happenings in society so that every child and every human being is safe in every community.

Subarna Basu