It is easy to harm a child because children are weak, helpless, scared, dependent, trusting and naďve. They idolize adults and in most cases believe that whatever an adult tells them must be the right thing. Their innocent eyes look at things at face value.
Child- molesters rape not only their little innocent bodies but their very souls. He who is their advocate and eternally cares about them has said, “It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin” (Luke 17:2). It is only the person with a heart of stone that can look coldly on when face to face with the horrendous cases of child molestation in the 21st Century!
While cases where child molestation has resulted in death are highlighted and given front-page in newspapers and television, child molestation for millions of children world- wide go undetected or unreported. Of all the places where child molestation is prevalent – school, church, friend’s home – the most devastating environment is in a child’s own home, among those that he or she most trusts. This is the kind of child molestation that often goes undetected or unreported.
Again, God intended that a child’s home be his or her safest environment, and haven of protection. God compares His own relationship with us to the relationship between a father and child. As our Father he says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Every father’s plans for his child should be to prosper them and not to harm them. It should be to give them a hope and a future. Unfortunately there are countless fathers who have become the very weapon that Satan has used to destroy the hope and future of the little ones that God has entrusted in their care.
Unfortunately, sexual abuse is considered a relatively common experience in the lives of child, both girls and boys. Reports from reliable sources say that girls are at twice the risk than boys for sexual victimization through out childhood and at eight times the risk during adolescences.
Because of the many unreported cases and stigma that this topic carries in many Third World countries, it is hard to get accurate statistics of how widespread this evil is. However research conducted in the United States a few years ago claimed that that particular year, 1.8 million children were victims of a serious sexual assault. Accurate statistics on the prevalence of child and adolescence abuse are difficult to collect not only because of the problem of underreporting but also because of the lack of one definition of what constitutes such abuse.
What is commonly accepted is that a much older or adult individual who forces or coerces a child into sexual activity is guilty of child abuse. The physical, psychological and emotional impact from child molestation can never be overstated and often have long-term effects. A molested child has been robbed of his or her childhood and thrust into an adult world that they are not ready for physically, mentally or emotionally.
Psychologists tell us that children and adolescents who have been sexually abused can suffer a range of psychological and behavioral problems. These range from mild to severe, in both the short and long term. These problems typically include depression, anxiety, guilt (the children often believe that it is their fault), fear, and sexual dysfunction.
Parents who take the godly approach and who care about their children’s welfare should note that children who have been abused often show regressive behaviors. These include returning to thumb- sucking or bed-wetting. Other symptoms are sleep disturbances, eating problems and problems at school – poor performance and non-participation in social activities. Child sexual abuse can certainly have negative effects into adulthood. Adults who were sexually molested as children commonly experience depression.
Additionally, high levels of anxiety in these adults can result in self- destructive behaviors, such as alcoholism or drug abuse. Many victims also encounter problems in their adult relations and in their adult sexual functioning. This brings us right back to child molestation affecting the homes in which God intended that we nurture our children. In many cases it is alleged that a person who suffered child molestation will often have problems in their own parenting and relationships within his or her home.