“Stranger Danger” the Sad Truth
Children are More Likely to be Victimized by Family Members or Acquaintances!
Although we warn our children of “stranger danger” the sad truth is children are more likely to be victimized by family members or acquaintances than they are by strangers.
Psychological Effects of “Stranger Danger”
The child victim may experience significant psychological effects of such crime including depression, anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, eating disorders, phobias, dissociation, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as psychosomatic symptoms such as headaches and gastrointestinal pain.
Frequently, children who are abused are not identified as victims during childhood. Children may be too frightened to report their abuse, particularly if the perpetrator is a family member. The child may have been silenced, either with threats of violence or by appealing to the child’s loyalty or affection.
The experience of victimization is frequently amplified by the sense of betrayal that accompanies it, particularly when the perpetrator is a family member or other trusted adult. The child grows to adulthood with confused ideas regarding personal boundaries and what constitutes a healthy relationship. Because of a history of abuse, many individuals are vulnerable to re-victimization. They may lack the capacity to distinguish safe from unsafe persons, environments, and situations. Their vulnerability may actually attract predators.
Child Sexual Abuse Statistics
Made available through the Web site of https://hopeforchildrenfoundation.org/