Jemma Azille Speaks on Child Sexual Abuse
Though sexual abuse is all too common, many adults are unprepared or unwilling to deal with the problem when faced with it, leading to underreporting of the crime and stigmatizing of the victim.
Ms. Jemma Azille, Coordinator of Child Abuse Prevention Unit, says child sexual abuse can take many forms, but is always a violation of a young person’s rights, and increases the risk of many adverse physical and mental health conditions.
An atmosphere of silence and poor communication around sexuality contributes to child sexual abuse.
Ms. Azille explained that some kids become suicidal because of that.
Youth affected by sexual abuse may come to the attention of an adult through indirect signals that something is wrong.
Use of sexual language or behavior, avoidance of certain close family members or acquaintances, or avoidance of certain locations may all be indicators that the youth has experienced sexually abusive conduct by an adult or peer.
Often times, there are cases where the children run away from home or stay out late, just to prevent being abused.
Ms. Azille believes that programs can help empower young people to report unwanted contact and can prepare parents, clergy, and youth-serving professionals to recognize the signs of child abuse and take appropriate action.