Monday, 2 April 2007

Culture,Conditioning and Perpetrators-1

It is true that perpetrators don't fit into any category and cut across social and economic barriers. There is no justification for the heinous act of the perpetrator. But is branding them as bastards a solution to the problem? There is no way to check on every child in the world. So at this point of time all we can do is educate the child to distinguish between a safe and an unsafe touch and how it can protect itself or run for protection. Hope that the child will protect itself. As parents and concerned citizens we can be watchful of what is happening to a child. That is a preventative measure. But still is it effective? How many perpetrators roam around wearing a badge which says “perpetrators”? The whole reason why CSA happens in households is because the perpetrator is a wolf who is sly and plans its attack on the victim. Now it is clear there are no way judge a person based his social status because what has been known is that perpetrators are otherwise normal people who commit this monstrous crime.

One solution over the long run is to understand the factors that shape a person’s sexuality and actions and thus make sure such factors are curbed. Some male perpetrators are victims of CSA themselves and very few are exclusive pedophiles (again that is not a justification for their acts of CSA). The perpetrator who is apparently a normal person in the society commits CSA mostly for sex itself than any other reason.

Lanning, of the FBI’s behavioral sciences unit wrote in his 1987 paper, Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis:
“Situational-type sex offenders victimizing children do not have a true sexual preference for children. They may molest them, however, for a wide variety of situational reasons. They are more likely to view and be aroused by adult pornography, but might engage in sex with children in certain situations. Situational sex offenders frequently molest readily available children they have easy access to such as their own or those they may live with or have control over. Pubescent teenagers are high-risk, viable sexual targets. Younger children may also be targeted because they are weak, vulnerable, or available. Morally indiscriminate situational offenders may select children, especially adolescents, simply because they have the opportunity and think they can get away with it. Social misfits may situationally select child victims out of insecurity and curiosity. Others may have low self-esteem and use children as substitutes for preferred adults.

In a July 2000 study by the NCJJ entitled Sexual Assault of Children as Reported to Law Enforcement, 34.2% of child sex offenders were family members and 58.7% were acquaintances, while only 7% of child sexual abuse was perpetrated by strangers. Amongst younger victims, the percentage of family perpetrators was even higher. In 48.6% of cases involving victims between zero and five years of age, the perpetrator was a family member, while it was 42.4% for victims between the ages of six and eleven. The percentage of perpetrators that were strangers for these age ranges was 3.1% and 4.7%, respectively.”

1 comment:

  1. There..this nice article by Sneha corroborates the point that home is where the maximum harm is. The very act of sexually abusing a child secretly, without getting caught requires control and easy accessibilty, both of which come ONLY IF THE MAN IS A TRUSTED ADULT THE CHILD DEPENDS ON. So a family member/close aquaintance would have the best opportunity. It should be no surprise at all. Parents should not find it so hard to believe.