Don’t Give Sexual Violence Among Children A Chance!

Unfortunately, it happens again and again that children become victims of violence. Some are beaten or locked in a room. It is also a form of violence when parents no longer give their children anything to eat. Likewise, it is not okay when children are constantly insulted or not allowed to go outside.

In addition to these forms of violence, sexual assault can occur. Sexual assault is when sexual acts are forced on you by an adult or another child. If you are forced to do something you do not want to do, that is violence. If it involves actions that involve the private parts, buttocks, or breasts, that is sexual violence. Some kids are also forced to look at pornographic pictures or movies or have such pictures taken of themselves.

Many Terms – One Crime

In connection with this form of violence, one reads a wide variety of terms. While one place talks about sexual violence, there is also sexual abuse as well as sexualized violence. Basically, all three are the same crime.

Shame, Powerlessness And Fear – This Is How Victims Feel

Children who are victims of sexual violence find themselves in a very difficult situation. Because on the one hand, they feel guilty that it came to this. Because they were under pressure in the situation, they went along with it. In the beginning, they may have even found it exciting or interesting. On the other hand, they couldn’t defend themselves or run away. Regardless of whether a child accepted gifts or found them exciting, the responsibility always lies with the adult. Therefore, there is nothing to be ashamed of if you have been a victim of sexual violence. After all, as a child, it’s not your fault to have been involved in such a situation. It’s not okay if an adult lets it get that far in the first place.

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Still, most of the kids involved feel ashamed. It feels embarrassing to talk about it openly with others. That’s why they sometimes keep quiet about the incident for quite a long time. Sooner or later, however, the fear becomes too great that something like this could happen again. On the other hand, they don’t want to be guilty of losing a family member or acquaintance if they tell on them.

Most of the time, kids who are affected are forced not to talk to anyone about it. Threats are used to intimidate them so they don’t blow the whistle. Affected children are then often speechless and do not dare to say anything. Even if they are not ashamed of it, it is difficult to confide in other people.

To prevent this from happening again, it is important to talk about it with an outsider. Because alone you can usually not defend yourself against the perpetrators. It takes adult support to get through this time well. Getting help yourself requires a large portion of courage. This makes it the most difficult step for children in such a situation. But once you’ve got the courage to do it, everything usually gets back on track pretty quickly.

How To Get Help

Especially if you know someone who is a victim of sexual violence, the following section is interesting for you. Maybe the topic of this article even concerns you yourself. Then it is even more important that you take the following advice to heart. You will see: With a little courage, you will soon make it out of this unpleasant situation!

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First Aid On The Phone

You have decided not to put up with anything anymore? That’s great! Now you should talk to an adult about your situation as soon as possible before the fear comes over you again. To do this, you can use the free services of the telephone counseling service. Call one of the following telephone numbers for anonymous counseling. Anonymous means that you do not have to give your name. So you don’t have to be ashamed in front of the counselor. After all, he does not see you and does not know who you are.

For kids from Germany:
Children’s and youth telephone of the German telephone counseling service: 0800 111 0 333

For kids from Austria and Switzerland:
Dial 147 (without area code) to get advice.

Talk To A Trusted Person

After you have poured your heart out to a counselor, you should reach out to someone in your community whom you trust. This can be a teacher, a family member, a friend, or a social worker. The main thing is that you can tell him or her everything without getting scared.

They may not believe you the first time you try, or they may simply not want to help you. Basically, it is the duty of every adult to take your problem seriously and to help you immediately. Talk to another trusted person if your first attempt was unsuccessful. Please do not give up!

The Next Steps: Counseling Centers And Co.

Together with your confidant, you can turn to the local counseling centers. At the child protection or crisis center, you can get free information about your rights and how to proceed. When you call, you do not have to tell everything in detail. Just say that it is about abuse and that you would prefer to discuss everything else in person. The counselors at such centers are usually very understanding and empathetic.

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Kids from Germany can search for local addresses in their area at http://www.gegen-missbrauch.de/adressen by clicking on “Beratungsstellen”. Please call the counseling center first and make an appointment!

For kids from Austria: Go to the website http://www.beratungsstellen.at/. In the search mask, select your exact place of residence and choose “sexual abuse” in the topic. Click on “Start search” and the site will spit out a list of counseling centers in your area. Call and make an appointment to take advantage of the offer. Another address for counseling centers is http://www.selbstlaut.org/cgi-bin/TCgi.cgi?target=home&p_kat=5.

Swiss kids are best advised to contact the Kids information page. At http://www.kidscat.ch/Erwachsene/Erstehilfe/sos.ch.htm you will find some addresses and telephone numbers. There you can get more information and make appointments.

Necessary And Important: A Visit To The Doctor

At the latest after you have spoken to a trusted person and have been to a counseling center, you should have a medical examination. It would be best if you go to the doctor immediately after the incident (sexual act). Explain to him what happened. He can make a document by writing down everything he notices. If he finds traces of violence on your body and writes that down, it can be valuable evidence later.

In addition, your doctor may prescribe psychotherapy for you. In such therapy, you can talk to a professional about your worries, fears, and memories. This will help you feel better soon.

The Way To The Police

Together with the person you trust, you should go to the police as soon as possible. Ideally, you should either have a medical certificate with you or still have traces of the violence on your body. The police can use this evidence to prove the crime.

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At the police station, you say that you want to file a complaint. An officer will then take care of you. He will ask you to tell him exactly what happened. You must be honest and not lie.

Be aware that you cannot withdraw a complaint in this case. So you should only go to the police if you are absolutely sure and only tell the truth.

Subsequently, there will be criminal proceedings against the alleged perpetrator. Presumed means that it is suspected that he is the perpetrator. Because as long as there is no court verdict, he is still considered innocent.

You can talk to a counselor at a child protection center about testifying in court and the whole process. Usually, you will get a counselor anyway if you have to go through a court process as a child. You will not be left alone with this and you can always discuss open questions with your counselor during regular appointments.

Worksheet For The Text

1) Explain the difficult words from the text.
What does…

  • Suspected
  • Anonymous
  • Sexual assault

2) Why do children who have been victims of sexual violence feel ashamed?

3) What steps should you take if you are a victim of sexual violence? Write down in bullet points everything you remembered. Use subheadings and make bullet points.

4) Go to one of the Internet addresses that you find under the heading “The next steps: Counseling Centers and Co.” Choose the one that is for your country. Search for counseling centers in your area. Look at the homepage of the center, if there is one. Write down the address and phone number.

Photo: mezzotint / bigstockphoto.com

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