Recent reports in the United Kingdom have revealed a shocking reality about child abuse. Evidence shows that children as young as 13 or 14 years old could be sexually assaulting kids of their age or even younger. And this is not just happening in impoverished neighborhoods. The trend has been seen all over England. Child Protective Services blames music videos and pornography that project young girls as a sex toy to blame for this horrifying trend.
The appalling reality
Children as young as 12 or 13 were sexually abusing other children just as young as they are. The report also revealed that not only bullying but also sexist behavior was prevalent all over the country making victims to think rape is ‘normal and inevitable’. Authorities believe child protection agencies need to step up their game. The report also suggests that there is legislation to protect such victims but the police and social work agencies are not doing a good enough job of tracing victims and children who are at risk.
What do the victims have to say?
According to the report, 2, 409 children all over the country are known to have fallen victim to this trend. Another 16, 500 are at risk. In another research study by the Bedfordshire University, 65% of young people questioned said they knew a young woman who had been coerced into sexual activity. Almost half of them knew young people who had offered sex in return for safety and protection. 41% said they had heard of individual cases of rape while 34% said they knew someone who had been gang raped.
Another study conducted by the London Metropolitan University suggests that young people don’t fully understand the concept of consent for sex. Their perception about it is very blurred. They also did not consider forced sex between people who knew each other as rape. Only one in 12 people survived said they thought rape victims will report the abuse to the police.
The sexual violence is a norm for the victims not only in poor neighborhoods but also in well-developed and posh ones. Victims often face the blame for getting abused. For many young people subjected to this kind of sexual abuse, getting raped is normal and an inevitable part of growing up. A majority of them will not report the abuse and even if they do they are not likely to get justice. Instead there is a great chance they will get blamed for being assaulted.
Who is the real culprit?
Deputy Children Commissioner suggests pornography and raunchy music videos are to blame. They are responsible for creating this kind of attitude among young people. Girls are often projected as sex toys which are being handed down from one gang member to another to perform sexual activity or to ensnare rival gang.
Sexual violence against children by adults that usually goes unreported has a lot to answer for too in creating this kind of intolerable attitude.
Can it be prevented?
It might take long to control the damage that these elements have done to young people’s minds. The only solution to this growing problem is to build a perception for the young people of consensual sex. Young people should be educated about the role of women and how they ought to treat them.