Many people often ask why a child does not report that they’ve been sexually abused. Also, some people have a hard time understanding why a teenager doesn’t report that they’ve been sexually abused.
The reality is that for children young and old, it may take years, or well into adulthood to come to grips with sexual abuse. There are two main reasons for this.
Why Child Sex Abuse Victims Wait to Come Forward
1. Child sex abuse often leaves a child with immense feelings of guilt, shame, fear, anger, frustration, etc. This is true for young children as well as older children such as teenagers. Those who abuse children often groom their victims first, gaining their trust and love before perpetrating acts of sexual abuse. Oftentimes, children are tricked into believing that sexual abuse is ok. This sick, twisted relationship is the main reason why children struggle with reporting the abuse, even into adulthood.
2. Another reason children may wait has to do with family dynamics. Children are often abused by a family member or someone close to the family, like a priest or teacher. Fear of upsetting the family, parents, friends, neighbors, etc. make it extremely difficult for children to come forward. Also, in cases where the abuser has status in the community, children often believe that no one will believe the abuse occurred.
Coming to grips with child sex abuse takes tremendous courage, and sadly, many victims live their whole lives in silence. However, healing often comes with talking about the abuse with a trusted loved one or a therapist. In addition, there are many anonymous national hotlines. Below are two 24 hour sex abuse hotlines:
- RAINN: 800.656.HOPE (800.656.4673) or visit www.RAINN.org
- Darkness to Light: 866.FOR.LIGHT (866.367.5444) or visit www.d2l.org
Related Child Sex Abuse Legal Articles:
- The Repressed Memory Theory in Pennsylvania Priest and Child Sex Abuse Cases
- Rights of Victims of Priest/Clergy Child Sex Abuse in Pennsylvania
- The Devastating Effects of Child Sexual Abuse by a Priest or Church Member
- Rights of Sexual Abuse Victims in Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania & New Jersey Child Sex Abuse Lawyer
Former sex crimes unit prosecutor, Brian Kent, has devoted his entire career to helping victims of sex abuse find justice.
For a free, confidential consultation about a Pennsylvania or New Jersey child sex abuse case, call Click To Call. Mr. Kent’s law firm has the resources and experience to handle matters outside the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area, and the firm’s sex abuse lawyers can be admitted into other states such as New York.
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.