Child Sexual Abuse
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Lanie Fitzpatrick May 30, 2008 English 2 / Period 6 Mini-Arg. Paper Final Copy Child sexual abuse has gained major public attention in the past few decades. Various factors in the recent years have generated a public reaction regarding child sexual abuse, which has become one of the most high-profile crimes. "At Sifers' jury trial, 14-year-old S.T. testified about Sifers having raped her five years earlier. S.T. described Sifers' disposition the night of the alleged rape as "upset . . . like he'd been drinking." RP Vol. I at 24. She recalled Sifers following her into her bedroom, closing the door, and pushing her down on the bed. Sifers then pulled down her pajamas and pushed his penis inside her vagina. Afterwards, he said if she told anybody, he would hurt her, her younger siblings, and her mother." (State of Washington v. Charles Wayne Sifers) Child sexual abuse --- an unwanted, yet common, catch-22 issue that is worldwide and has been for centuries. Each year, well over 300,000 children become victims of this heinous crime against humanity. Child sexual abuse is described as any sexual activity between an adult, adolescent or older child, with a child including such things as fondling of genitals, masturbation, and oral, vaginal, or anal intercourse.
Haugaard also stated "We tend to know more about what does not work in the area of preventing child sexual abuse than we know about what does work" (Haugaard). This ties in with the factor of not having a legitimate amount of research to base prevention programs off from, and, therefore, the programs not achieving deterrence and lessening sexual violence. Our current awareness and perception of the problems involving sexual violence is not enough to effectively interfere and bring it to a stop, or at least attempt to. Moreover, "Although sexual abuse prevention training programs are well-intentioned efforts to protect children against a loathsome crime, there is no evidence that they work, or even on the margin that these efforts produce more good than harm," (Neil Gilbert, Chernin Professor of Social Welfare and co-chairman of the Berkeley Child Welfare Research Center). This meaning that without at secure basis of the basic knowledge of abusers, there is no way of telling if these prevention programs are even working. Our present incompetent education will lead us to false accusations and assumptions until we are able to further investigate and study the mind-set of abusers. Some may argue that child sexual abuse prevention programs are effective in preventing child sexual abuse.
If the penalties for child sexual violence become more severe, many offenders will be kept away from society for a longer period of time, or even eternity. This is important, because it would create a safer environment for the children and the general public to live in as a whole. Sexual violence encounters and happenings would reduce in number with fewer perpetrators out to cause harm. Education programs, however, are incapable of keeping predators out of society and children out of harms way. With the many forms of unwanted lascivious gestures and exploitation, and the unremitting chance of a child being assaulted, prevention programs are incapable of thwarting, or even minimizing the amount of sexual violence that is imposed on kids. Without a steady understanding of the offenders and their acts of maltreatment, we will not be able to help rid the world of these psychopaths and make the world more protected and secure for our children. "The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind's most basic duty to protect the innocent" (James T. Walsh). Society, therefore, must put forth an effort to delve into studying all aspects of the subject, and help protect children from the perpetrators of these vile crimes by strengthening notification requirements for sex offenders and increasing criminal penalties. 1
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