In a shocking incident of child sexual abuse in Singapore, a 33-year-old man repeatedly molested his four-year-old daughter after showing her pornographic content. As a punishment, the court sentenced him to 15 years in jail and 15 strokes of the cane.
The Court came to know that after the victim’s parents separated, the girl and her mother moved out of the house, and she would stay over at her father’s place on weekends.
How This Abhorrent Father Sexually Abused His Daughter
The man first sexually assaulted his daughter in March 2015. Every time he molested the girl, he would show her pornographic videos that he was watching.
On one occasion, he asked her to “follow the video”, and the victim complied.
The child’s mother came to know of the incident in the same year when she noticed her daughter was emotional and not her usual self. When she questioned the girl what was wrong, she shared her father asked her to lick “below that thing”, and showed actions suggestive of oral sex.
She confronted her ex-husband, who later admitted committing the heinous crime. The matter came to light only in July 2019, when the girl’s mother sought help at a family service centre for the victim’s behavioural issues.
Unfortunately, this is just one of the several incidents that get reported, not only in Singapore but across the world. The cause not only physical trauma, but the consequences of abuse and neglect can be extremely traumatic psychologically, too.
Child Sexual Abuse: The Monster That Keeps Taking
Child sexual abuse is abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation. (Photo Credits: Pixabay)
While child sexual abuse is places boys and girls are at equal risk of physical and emotional abuse and neglect, girls are often at greater risk. Especially from those they consider family or friends. In fact, according to World Health Organisation (WHO), incest/intrafamilial abuse accounts for about one-third of all child sexual abuse cases.
There was also a study conducted on 70 girls to gauge the effects of sexual abuse on 3 to 5-year-old girls that revealed that all of them displayed distress. Girls abused by a member of their family showed elevations in symptomatology. And the association between abuse and family characteristics aggravated the effects of sexual abuse on the child.
This study thus highlighted the need for early detection and careful clinical assessment of the family and the child.
Consequences Of Abuse And Neglect On Young Kids
Survivors go through depression (Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)
The consequences of abuse and neglect on a child can be manifold. He/she may exhibit certain behavioural changes. This may be because they think it is their fault, or are made convinced by their abuser that it is normal or a “special secret.”
Sometimes, they are also bribed or threatened by their abusers to not tell others.
Either way, sexual abuse can cause serious physical and emotional harm to children both in the short-term and the long-term. In the former, they may suffer from health issues, such as sexually-transmitted infections, physical injuries, and unwanted pregnancies. In the latter, you may notice some of these red flags, which are all consequences of abuse and neglect:
- Poor self-esteem
- Sleep disturbance
- Eating disorders
- Irritability in young children or clingy behaviour
- Cognitive impairment
- Lack of concentration
Even though every child stands at the risk of being sexually abused, there cases where kids are even more at risk.
- Those who live in families where there is child neglect, are more at risk.
- Disabled children are three times more likely to be victims of sexual abuse, especially if they have difficulties in speaking.
- Kids can also be at risk when using the internet. Social media, chat rooms, and web forums are all used by child sex abusers to groom potential victims.
- Finally, a familiar face can also inflict this pain. About 9 out of 10 children know or are related to their abuser. Child sex abuse often happens either in the child’s home or the abuser’s home.
How To Help Survivors
Survivors need counselling to help them overcome the trauma (Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)
There is a devastating effect on the child who goes through sexual abuse at a tender age. Child sex abuse survivors are five times more likely to have been victims of sexual assault later in life, twice as likely to be victims of physical assault, four times as likely to be threatened with violence and twice as likely to be stalked.
There are a lot of emotions that need to be fought bravely and a this is where a counsellor can intervene. They can help the victim and their families by taking them through the healing process one step at a time.
Here are some helpline numbers in Singapore who can provide help.
The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)
Tel: 1800-777 0000
Operating hours: Monday – Sunday, 24 hours
Big Love Child Protection Specialist Centre
Tel: (65) 6445 0400
Monday – Friday 9.00am – 6.00pm
Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)
Tel: 1800 777-0000
If you suspect a child is being sexually abused, do not delay in calling for help. Talk to the police or seek assistance from agencies. With the rise in child sexual abuse cases in Singapore, the government and private organisations alike are expanding initiatives to detect, handle and raise awareness of child abuse. So be vigilant and help a child in need.
News source: Channel News Asia
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