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Cultural Issues in Disclosures of Child Sexual Abuse Essay (Article)

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Updated: May 10th, 2020

Introduction

It is imperative to mention that child abuse is a topic that has been actively discussed over the last few years, and many scholars have recognized that such barriers that affect an ability of individual to report such cases are currently present. The problem is that enormous numbers of cases are not reported, and many individuals are ready to report abuse only after they have grown up (Hunter 159). The primary aim of the article by Fontes and Plummer is to draw attention to this problem and develop an interview guideline that would take cultural aspects into account (Fontes and Plummer 491).

Discussion

The issue that many individuals have to deal with is that they do not understand what course of actions needs to be taken in such situations because of lack of education on this topic. Also, they are incredibly afraid most of the time and are worried about possible consequences. The problem that should not be disregarded is that an enormous percentage of children have to deal with sexual abuse from the side of people that are close to them such as parents and caregivers. Moreover, another aspect that needs to be discussed is that such actions frequently lead to psychological issues, and individuals that have suffered from sexual abuse prefer not to remember such events. Authors of the article state that even trained professionals are not capable of getting the necessary information because children resist disclosing (Fontes and Plummer 494). Also, another core problem that needs to be taken into account is that many think that children may exaggerate everything, and such information cannot be trusted. However, it is necessary to understand that every individual should take measures if there is any suspicion of sexual abuse.

The fact that authors paid enormous attention to differences between the cultures also needs to be mentioned. It is stated that social status and cultural values play a vital role in this case, and have an impact on the behavior of the abuser and the child (Fontes and Plummer 496). Moreover, it is necessary to understand that individuals that have to deal with poverty are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, and it leads to questionable decisions in some cases. Also, another issue that needs to be discussed is that it is entirely possible that members of the family are depressed and tension is present. It is necessary to mention that culture plays a vital role in this case because the influence of parents is much higher in particular cultural groups. Moreover, the problem is that the way families view the importance of sexual education also varies, and children do not have an understanding of what is right or wrong because they are not provided with necessary information.

Also, the fact that differences between the cultures are so significant may be incredibly problematic. For instance, it is stated that it may seem appropriate for males to like younger females in some cases, and this information is truly worrying (Fontes and Plummer 498). The discussion of dissimilarity between the ways boys and girls disclose sexual abuse is also fascinating, and such aspects as pride seem incredibly problematic. Another significant barrier that is currently present is that many girls are not ready to speak about such topics because they are ashamed of losing their virginity. Furthermore, this should be viewed as an enormous issue because such traditions have been a vital part of many cultures, but it becomes a problem when it prevents the disclosure. The problem is that the difference between education levels in some regions of the world is enormous, and some of the approaches may seem incredibly questionable and outdated.

For instance, some may not want to marry a girl that has lost her virginity or has been sexually abused. The problem is that not enough attention is paid to offensive behavior, and many communities prefer to focus on such aspects as disgrace and others. Also, it is stated that parents of a child that has been abused may want to seek revenge, and some of the actions may seem incredibly violent. Moreover, it is necessary to understand that adults may also make questionable decisions because they are worried about their dignity and honor. The problem is that patriarchy that has been established in many regions all over the globe can be viewed as one of the factors that lead to such offensive behavior and prevents possible disclosures of such information.

Another problem that is discussed by the authors is that religion may also be regarded as a barrier in some cases. It is paramount to mention that this issue is not frequently mentioned, and the number of studies on this topic is limited (Bottoms et al. 561). Furthermore, the problem that should not be overlooked is that many children may think that the disclosure would only hurt the family, and such information needs to stay confidential because many new complications may be introduced. The issue is that it is evident that such traumatic events may lead to memory impairment in some cases, and an enormous percentage of offenders are not punished for their actions (Newton and Hobbs 407).

Another aspect that should not be disregarded is that this area is relatively unexplored at this point, and a need for future research may be considered. It is imperative to understand that new technologies have an enormous impact on all forms of media most of the time, and it is not an easy task to decide what approach is reasonable. The authors of the article suggest that there is no set of rules that can be applied in every situation and each case needs a unique approach (Fontes and Plummer 513). The fact that the authors have developed a set of recommendations for a particular interview is also vital because such information can be incredibly valuable most of the time and this approach may be modified if it is necessary. One should have an understanding of what question is appropriate in a particular situation and would help to identify if an individual has suffered from sexual abuse (McElvaney 159).

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to note that the article explores this important issue from various perspectives and opinions that are voiced by authors are justified. Another aspect that is worth noting is that the ways in which individuals that have suffered from sexual abuse in childhood are treated are also different, and they are less liked in most cases (Harter et al. 813). Moreover, this is incredibly problematic because the disclosure may have an enormous impact on the life of an individual and they may be presented with fewer opportunities. The importance of this study should not be overlooked because it is a significant issue that needs to be researched. Overall, this can be viewed as an outstanding article because the authors have studied numerous peer-reviewed articles and books to support their statements and the ideas that are suggested are reasonable.

Works Cited

Bottoms, Bette L., et al. “Religion‐Related Child Maltreatment: A Profile of Cases Encountered by Legal and Social Service Agencies.” Behavioral Sciences & the Law 33.4 (2015): 561-579. Print.

Fontes, Lisa A., and Carol Plummer. “Cultural Issues in Disclosures of Child Sexual Abuse.” Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 19.1 (2010): 491-518. Print.

Harter, Stephanie L., et al. “College Students’ Perceptions of Peers’ Disclosures of Histories of Child Sexual Abuse.” Sex Roles 60.11 (2009): 805-818. Print.

Hunter, Sally V. “Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse as a Life‐Long Process: Implications for Health Professionals.” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy 32.2 (2011). Print.

McElvaney, Rosaleen. “Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse: Delays, Non‐disclosure and Partial Disclosure. What the Research Tells Us and Implications for Practice.” Child Abuse Review 24.3 (2015): 159-169. Print.

Newton, Jeremy W., and Sue D. Hobbs. “Simulating Memory Impairment for Child Sexual Abuse.” Behavioral Sciences & the Law 33.4 (2015): 407-428. Print.

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