Sexual molestation occurs when a person forces or coerces a child to have sexual contact, makes a child perform sexual acts, or makes the child view or listen to pornographic information. Sexual molestation may involve touching private parts (clothed or unclothed), penetration, using an object, forced sexual acts between children, making the child view, read or participate in pornography, and it does not necessarily involve touching. These acts are molestation even when the offender says they were not painful to the child, or if the child says that they liked or even wanted the events to occur.
Sexual molestation is overwhelming to children, this is particularly true when an adult is involved. We teach children to trust adults and they tend to believe that whatever adults tell them is true. This works against children in many ways. If the molester tells them to believe that what is being done is alright, then they will believe it. Victims of sexual molestation can experience strong, sometimes crippling emotions, during, and even decades after the event. These emotions include, but are not limited to: Depression, Fear, Guilt, used goods syndrome, distrust, low self-esteem.
This is why it is important to do all that we can as mothers, fathers, siblings, and friends, to prevent sexual molestation from occurring. When we think it or suspect it, we should challenge it; because many victims of childhood sexual molestation will be emotionally and psychologically scarred for the rest of their lives.
If you or someone you know is a victim of child abuse and/or sexual molestation, help is available. Call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD