Child Sexual Abuse in the United States of America falls underneath the category of maltreatment since 1973 due to congressional hearings. Child Sexual Abuse is illegal in every state as well as under federal law. Perpetrators of these crimes if found guilty are subject to imprisonment, fines and are required to register as a child sex offender. Unfortunately considering that these crimes are against children the majority of children that have been or is currently being abused doesn’t have the courage, tools or strategies to speak up. As a result whether or not the punishment for perpetrators are perceived to be considered harsh, oftentimes they will never be carried out considering the child doesn’t speak up. Although the country has done a tremendous job ensuring that these crimes don’t go unpunished, sadly they haven’t done a good job in making sure the educational system is held accountable in detecting child sexual abuse victims in their classrooms nor holding educators accountable in teaching strategies on child abuse prevention in classrooms.
Child sexual abuse and the long terms psychological effects of it affects our country in a variety of ways. For starters it adds on to the crime of prostitution. According to statistics many women who have become prostitutes have been victims of childhood sexual abuse. A 1995 study found that people who were sexually abused as children are a whopping 27.7 times more likely than others to be arrested for prostitution. Even more alarmingly Almost half of the women and one tenth of the men in the nation’s jails and prisons say they were physically or sexually abused before their imprisonment. Unfortunately these statistics don’t even deal with the impact that child sexual abuse has on those that turn to alcohol and drug addiction.
“There is comfort in knowing that you don’t have to pretend anymore, that you are going to do everything within your power to heal.” Ellen Bass Fortunately due to the Erin’s Law which was named after Erin Merryn and where it originated in her hometown Illinois and has spread nationwide. There is some form of child abuse prevention taking place in at least 31 states in schools by law.
In the United States of America about 234,000 convicted sex offenders are under the care, custody, or control of corrections agencies on an average day. Nearly 60% are under conditional supervision in the community. Our country is working to ensure that the perpetrators of such crimes are receiving consequences for their actions. But it still isn’t enough considering some children won’t speak up.
Child sexual abuse is a crime that leaves lasting long term negative effects on the victims. Lots of individuals that aren’t treated for it end up turning to a lifestyle of drugs and alcohol,prostitution, violence, crime and the list goes on. We end up having individuals that become unproductive members of society because of the trauma of child sexual abuse.
The United States of America are doing a great job in ensuring that those that commit such crimes are punished. However they should be more proactive in putting more demands on educators and schools to ensure that age appropriate child abuse prevention is being taught in schools. Children need to be equipped in knowing what to do and who to tell if they are or have been sexually abused so that they get the help they need and the abuse comes to an end and so more perpetrators are punished.