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Summer Social Media Educational Series July 8th – July 14th

Voice Found’s ultimate goal is to see an end to child sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation. In order to achieve this goal we know that education is a key factor and so over the summer we will be using our social media to dispel myths and provide information on these crimes. While you may be knowledgeable about this issue it is our hope you will share this information with others who may not.
This post contains our postings from July 8th to the 16th. Missed the earlier ones? You can find them here.

July 8th – Pedophiles vs Situational Offenders

Many continue to think that all who sexually abuse children are pedophiles and we think it is important to correct this inaccuracy. Why? Because it tends to make it difficult to understand how someone who is not a pedophile but who is well liked and respected in the community can also abuse a child.

Today we are focusing our post on pedophiles. Pedophiles are adults who have a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children. They may have a preference to a specific sex or be attracted to both males and females. Pedophiles do not become sexual offenders until they act on their urges by abusing children or viewing child pornography. Some pedophiles never sexually abuse children at all.

Where pedophiles are attracted to prepubescent children, hebephiles are attracted to children who are in the midst of puberty ( age 11 to 15) and Ephebophilia is an attraction to late puberty (ages 15-19)

July 9th – Situational Offenders

It’s important to learn that not all who sexually abuse children are pedophiles. Many who abuse children are what are known as ‘situational’ offenders. When we learn about who perpetrates these crimes against children it helps us to better protect them. Perpetrators really can be anyone – family members, teachers, coaches, clergy, neighbours – male and female.
There are 4 types of situational offenders:
‘Repressed’ – This person abuses as a response to stress. They could be struggling with illness, job loss, divorce or life issue causing feelings of stress or depression
‘Morally Indiscriminate’ -This type of perpetrator targets those who are weaker and vulnerable and they may sexually abuse other adults as well. This is not as much about sex as it is about control and desecration of another human.
‘Sexually Indiscriminate’ – They seek a variety of sexual experiences and may have an addiction to sex and be involved in other illegal sexual behaviours. (ie bestiality)
‘Inadequate’ – This type of offender suffers from low self esteem, may struggle to form relationships with peers and is often considered a social outcast due to physical differences or barriers in communication.
Children are an easy target – easier to coerce, manipulate, control and silence.

July 10th – Youth can be Offenders

It is not just adults who sexually abuse children. Youth abuse children and other youth as well. As most cases of sexual abuse go unreported, it is difficult to get accurate data, however, estimates are that between 15% and 33% of all sex offences in Canada are committed by persons under 21 years of age.

July 11 – Child Sex Abuse by Family Members
So very often child sex abuse goes unreported. When family members are involved often the reaction to abuse is to ‘sweep it under the rug’. Reasons for this are complex but can include fear of being unsupported (‘this person is an upstanding member of the community and everyone will turn against me”), being financially dependent on the abuser,self-doubt (‘what if I am wrong?”).
Family members DO abuse children and no matter our discomfort we must always to the right thing and report abuse. Children who are supported and get help will heal faster. To protect the offender is to sentence a child to a lifetime of shame and self-blame and often serious consequences. They deserve better!30-40% of sexual assault victims are abused by a family member.
Non-parental relatives – 35%
Friends and Peers – 15%
Stepfathers – 13%
Biological Fathers – 9%
Other Acquaintances – 9%
Boyfriend/Girlfriend of Biological Parent – 5%
Biological Mother – 5%
*Canadian Incidence Study (CIS) of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect
 July 12th – Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
It’s hard to believe that anyone could sexually abuse a child and yet it happens far too frequently. Estimates are that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be abused before their 18th birthday.
Children are also commercially sexually exploited – in other words they are trafficked. Over the next couple of days we will discuss types of CSEC. Today we start with a definition.
In 1996, The World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children defined CSEC as:
‘sexual abuse by the adult and remuneration in cash or kind to the child or a third person or persons. The child is treated as a sexual object and as a commercial object.’
July 13th – Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
Today we are expanding our discussion on commercial sexual exploitation of children. It is important to note that there does not need to be an exchange of money in order for CSEC to occur. A child (defined as under the age of 18) who is exploited in exchange for protection, a place to sleep, food, access to higher grades or a promotion at work is being commercially sexually exploited. These ‘in-kind’ transactions are sadly very common and it is important to know that this is CSEC and these transactions do NOT entail consent.
 
July 14th – Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
Today we continue our discussion on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. CSEC consists of a number of offences. One of those is the commonly misused term – ‘Child Prostitution’. Children are not ‘sex workers’ nor are they ‘prostitutes’. They are being prostituted – forced by other people and by circumstances into commercial sex. Demand by adults for children as sexual objects is what creates ‘child prostitution’.
Other forms of CSEC include pornography, child sex tourism, child marriages and forced marriages.
Always remember that no matter the terminology used, children can not consent to these activities and endure significant physical and psychological harm.
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