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Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#1 Nov 27, 2012
DEAR ABBY: I am writing to you in response to "Not on My Watch" (Sept. 19), about the little boy who repeatedly exposes himself to other children. While correcting this behavior to protect the other children is something the parents and other concerned adults in this child's life should be doing, there may be more going on here that needs to be addressed. Children who have been victims of sexual abuse can exhibit overtly sexualized behavior that goes beyond typical curiosity or age-appropriate sexual development.

There are several issues happening with this boy that bother me. The repeated exposure of his private parts to others is the first. While this behavior is not unusual in young children and can be a normal part of sexual curiosity, the compulsive continuation and frequency of his behavior raises red flags. He also mentioned keeping a "secret." This is a common tool used by people who abuse children. The manner in which he interacted with "Not on My Watch's" daughter sounds a lot like an interaction between an adult abuser and a child -- something he may have been mimicking.

Young children who are sexually abused may not have the developmental or verbal capabilities to disclose what is happening. Often it is through behavioral or emotional signs that we discover the abuse.

While it is important to protect the children this boy interacts with, the more appropriate response to this situation would be to calmly explain to him why his behavior is inappropriate, along with a discussion to find out if he has witnessed this behavior in others or if he has "secrets" with anyone.

If he discloses something during the discussion, it should be immediately reported to the local child protective services and/or police. And if his behavior continues, it would be best to seek professional intervention.-- JUDY AT CHILD ADVOCACY CENTER

DEAR JUDY: Your letter echoes the sentiments of the majority of responses I received about 5-year-old "Billy." Thank you for articulating it so clearly. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: My wife witnessed a similar scenario last year during a play date. A 4-year-old girl was observed putting her hands down the pants of boys her age. Initially we thought it was normal curiosity; then we suspected she might be a victim. The authorities investigated, and it turned out that her male teenage cousin had been abusing her.-- CONCERNED DAD

DEAR ABBY: I am a psychiatric nurse who works with children who have suffered various types of abuse. This kind of repeated behavior is a big indication that Billy is being sexually abused himself.

The fact that he wants to keep it "secret" indicates that it is a learned behavior. That his parents are "burying their heads in the sand" may indicate that they know about the abuse or are the abusers themselves.

That boy should be taken to see a doctor for a full evaluation, and a call to social services is in order. The call can be anonymous. It is better to be safe than sorry in this case.-- NURSE WHO CARES IN OHIO

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#2 Nov 27, 2012
I'm sure all these responders make good points, I have nothing else to add.

Q of the Day, anyone?

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#3 Nov 27, 2012
Same here, jmw.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#4 Nov 27, 2012
That's so sad that there are so many abused children.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#5 Nov 27, 2012
OK, now I'm depressed.

I'm trying to think of a question, jmw.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Nov 27, 2012
Toj wrote:
That's so sad that there are so many abused children.
And that the cycle just keeps repeating.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#7 Nov 27, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
And that the cycle just keeps repeating.
At least not every abused child goes on to abuse. Not every abuser was abused. Sometimes they're just sick in the head.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#8 Nov 27, 2012
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
At least not every abused child goes on to abuse. Not every abuser was abused. Sometimes they're just sick in the head.
From what I"ve read, it's been a very consistent finding in research: 95% of abusers were abused themselves. It makes sense, too.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#9 Nov 27, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
From what I"ve read, it's been a very consistent finding in research: 95% of abusers were abused themselves. It makes sense, too.
I'd be interested to see the research. This is something I found: http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/179/6/482.full . I realize that the rate of abusers who were abused would be high but I have a difficult time thinking it would be 95% high.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#10 Nov 27, 2012
I will agree that 95% of abusers were abused as children themselves, that is not to say that 95% of abused children become abusers themselves.
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
From what I"ve read, it's been a very consistent finding in research: 95% of abusers were abused themselves. It makes sense, too.
Porto

Nashville, TN

#11 Nov 27, 2012
RACE wrote:
I will agree that 95% of abusers were abused as children themselves, that is not to say that 95% of abused children become abusers themselves.
<quoted text>
Was the 95% WERE found to have been abused- or was it 95% of abusers who were caught CLAIMED to have been abused? There IS a difference and it's possible that someone capable of doing such an evil act could make that claim to evade punishment.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#12 Nov 27, 2012
Porto wrote:
<quoted text>
Was the 95% WERE found to have been abused- or was it 95% of abusers who were caught CLAIMED to have been abused? There IS a difference and it's possible that someone capable of doing such an evil act could make that claim to evade punishment.
I agree, actually. Most of the things I read is about 35% of abusers have been abused. I wouldn't be surprised to find out it was higher, but I am way surprised it's 95%.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#13 Nov 27, 2012
RACE wrote:
I will agree that 95% of abusers were abused as children themselves, that is not to say that 95% of abused children become abusers themselves.
<quoted text>
Of course not. And I didn't say that.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#14 Nov 27, 2012
well, I guess it would depend upon when the statement was made. If during the trial, then yes, it is suspect, but if maintained after sentencing, and the person is either in jail or the nut house, then the credibility increases.

I guess that it just seems logical to me that an abuser was probably abused as a child. Not all, but I would guess most.
Porto wrote:
<quoted text>
Was the 95% WERE found to have been abused- or was it 95% of abusers who were caught CLAIMED to have been abused? There IS a difference and it's possible that someone capable of doing such an evil act could make that claim to evade punishment.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#15 Nov 27, 2012
I know, I just wanted to stick it in there.
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
Of course not. And I didn't say that.
Sam I Am

Knoxville, TN

#16 Nov 27, 2012
Nice to see that bickering can thrive even on a topic where we should be unified.
PEllen

Chicago, IL

#17 Nov 27, 2012
RACE wrote:
I know, I just wanted to stick it in there.
<quoted text>
(Ahem)Perhaps you would like to rephrase that?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#18 Nov 27, 2012
Not at all.
I believe its one of those double enter thingy's.
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
(Ahem)Perhaps you would like to rephrase that?

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#19 Nov 27, 2012
RACE wrote:
Not at all.
I believe its one of those double enter thingy's.
<quoted text>
Double inputs?:D

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#20 Nov 27, 2012
RACE wrote:
I know, I just wanted to stick it in there.
<quoted text>
That's what SHE said.

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