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The Hidden Abuse of Sexual Abuse

Updated on January 8, 2010
It Should Not Hurt to be a Child
It Should Not Hurt to be a Child

The Danger of Keeping "It" a Secret

The hoopla over Janet Jackson exposing her breast on national TV, or Evis Presley gyrating, Michael Jackson grabbing his crotch, or Adam Labert kissing his male drummer are more indications that our country's hypocrisy about sex is still very strong. Janet and Lambert's actions were just the next logical step in our fascination with the extreme and with the use of sex to sell, this time themselves and their latest CD, and it worked. Many were appalled because, they said, children were watching. As if children, old enough to know, are not aware of all the subliminal and not so subliminal sex there is on TV, the Internet and, of all places, in childrens magazines.

The worse abuse, though, is the denial of our own sexuality, and that is terribly abusing our children. While we are abhorred by Janet Jackson's exposing a breast, pornography is a huge, multi-billion-dollar business primarily because we are in denial and are afraid to give our sexuality its rightful place in our lives. We are sexual beings, and that is good and wonderful, and we are blessed to be able to experience it in a fully conscious way. Perhaps, we are the only beings that can. Why are we so frightened of the pleasure our senuality can give us? Science knows that the fetus masturbates. Most of us know through experience that young children play "doctor" and "show and tell." Most importantly, science knows from painful experiments that mammals require touch to survive. We crave the touch of another, and we will go to great lengths to get it, because it is more important than any other element of survival.

Our sexuality is a complex process, far beyond the meeting of genitals; and it is a process that envelops the human being in a cocoon of sensuality. It begins in the womb with the fetus bathed in liquid warmth, nurtured by the very blood of its mother, and comforted by the ever-present beating of that nearby heart. Nine months of such intimacy from our earliest moments, leaves us craving that closeness for the rest of our lives. We search for it in relationship with living beings, and if we do not find it where it is most natural, we will substitute for it whatever will give us some comfort.

Our sexuality is as natural as any bodily function, and even more important, because it is so closely connected to our first sensual experience of consciousness in our mother's womb. Our womb experience was totally sensual, and unless we find that sensuality outside the womb, we will not survive in any balanced human form. That is why children, if allowed to be what they naturally are, will crave to be held, touched and caressed. I once had a client who from the age of eight until the age of fifty-three when she completed her therapy, lived in a hell of shame and blame that caused her immune system to shut down, developing a terminal illness from which her doctors told her she would not recover. This lady, this eight-year-old child, deprived of normal human affection, gravitated to the only warmth and affection available in her cold and sterile environment, the gentle touch of the man who cleaned the floors of the of the hospital ward in which she was isolated. Over time he won her trust. He held her, he caressed her, took advantage of her trust and fondled her; but she looked forward to his presence every night, because his was the only affection she received during each long, lonely day.

Who of us would condemn her to death for longing for and permitting the touch of another human being? She condemned herself, because she was programmed unknowingly, by those she looked up to as the bearers of ultimate truth, to believe that what she had done was despicable, unforgivable and worthy of a sentence of death. Without knowing it, we too, through our frightened and rigid belief systems about our sexuality, have condemned to a slow death the millions of children who have been molested. Do we really know how many there are? The latest statistics say one in four, but those are only the reported ones. Many times, the abused child does not even know they have been molested until they go to school and find out how "bad" they have been, because children believe that they magically create whatever happens to them and around them. It is time that they are released from their self-imposed death row. It is time that they understand that they were not to blame, even if they permitted and even enjoyed and looked forward to the touch of their molester. The worse abuse is not the abuse of the bodies, but that of the hearts and the very souls of these children, the emotional child abuse, by those who would have us fear one of our most basic human needs.

We, our society, are to blame for the life-long suffering of these children, not only because we program them about how "dirty" and "bad" sexuality is, but because we have taken away from them the one ability they instinctively have that can save them from abusers. A child may be too young to know the difference when touched on a leg, an arm, a butt, or a crotch, but there is a way for children to instinctively "know" if someone means them harm. That natural, instinctive knowledge is programmed out of most of them from birth, leaving them utterly defenseless. Then we blame and stigmatize the abused child. In some countries, young people are even stoned to death if they are raped. Do you remember seeing those horrible security tapes showing the teenage girl in Florida being meekly lead away to her death? How about clergy abuse, how does that happen? Those events did not have to happen, because there is a way to give that instinct back to children, and it will protect them very well. Child abuse prevention begins in the mind of the child, and I'm not talking about spreading more fear with stranger danger, but about giving them back their deepest, most inherent instincts that every mammal has, and that we have taken away from our children. It's far worse than de-clawing our family cat and then putting it outside to fend for itself.

In a related article called The Wisdom of Children, we'll talk specifically about what this instinctive ability is, how it works, and how we can re-activate it in our children for their well being for the rest of their lives. Incidentally, all of us have this dormant instinct, called by many names, that has been programmed out of us in childhood, and that can provide us with every personal answer we will ever need to create a life of abundance as we walk through our days. It's a key part of a new mind we already have that is buried all our mind chatter and that can be accessed and used in a simple way. There will also soon be another article about this inner wisdom we all have, called The Genius Within Us.

Copyrighted, 2005-2009, Sgscalese


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Our society used to ignore the facts you stated here. Most of the abused persons are afraid to reveal their stories. Although, with the help of professionals (psychologists, etc.) , old wounds of abuse will still gradually heal.

    • Sgscalese profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Thanks, itakins. It's a topic that goes very deep and very sad.

    • Sgscalese profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Yes, SmileyC, prohibition has never worked. It just drives the prohibited behavior deeper underground. In this case, deeper into our subconscious mind where it festers and finds outlets wherever it can. How sad. Our sexuality is so beautiful. I am convinced that much of the increasing violence in our society is the festering sexual volcano that is not allowed legitimate outlet. Fear is the great inhibitor and the great destroyer of joy. Blessings, Stephen

    • itakins profile image


      9 years ago from Irl

      Brilliant article-I look forward to the forthcoming ones.

    • SimeyC profile image

      Simon Cook 

      9 years ago from NJ, USA

      Very interesting and well written essay. I have always argued that the more sex becomes a taboo the worse things will get; it's a dirty secret if we masturbate and yet 90%+ of men and probably the same number of women do it - it's a natural thing, why is it taboo and 'wrong'.

      What we need is a society where we freely teach children about sex and sensuality, don't hide it in a closet - but more importantly we reinforce what children allow others to do to them - we reinforce the fact that no one may touch them without their permission. You have to be careful these days - if I saw a young girl sitting on a step crying, I'd pass her by - I wouldn't want to be labelled a pervert - that is wrong - whatever happened to helping each other....

      Ah well I could go on and on and on!!!


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