d. Sexual Abuse. Exploitation of a child for the sexual gratification of an adult
defines sexual abuse. Examples of sexual abuse include rape, incest, fondling of a
child's genitals by an adult, and exhibitionism (a compulsion to show the genitals).
MYTHS ABOUT CHILD ABUSE
There are a number of commonly held beliefs about child abuse that researchers
are finding to be untrue. Here are a few such beliefs.
Parents who abuse their children do not love their children. These
parents want to hurt or get rid of their children.
Most parents who abuse their children really do love the children
and feel very guilty after abusing the children. The problem is that
these parents do not know how to raise and discipline children in a
Abused children hate their parents and want to get away from the
Most abused children still love their parents. Additionally, even a
bad home is more secure than no home. Children will often lie
about family violence to protect the parents and keep their home
secure and intact.
Remove a child from the parents who abuse him and you have
solved the problem for the parent and the child.
It may be necessary to remove a child from his parents in time of
crisis, but permanent separation harms both the child and the
parents. Both then believe that they have been separated because
they are no good.
Harsh jail sentences for parents who abuse their children would
keep parents from abusing their children.
Most prosecutors, counselors, and child abuse experts believe that
jailing an abusive parent does not solve the problem. Society is
satisfied that the abusive parent has been punished, but that parent
has not learned in jail how to deal with stress or work through his
personal problems that triggered the child abuse.