Sexual assaults by children.
Recent figures show an alarming rise in reports of peer on peer abuse. Almost 30,000 children are reported to have been sexually assaulted by another child in the last 4 years.
These figures indicate a 71% increase. Furthermore sex offences by 10 year olds had more than doubled in the last 4 years. Only 26% of offences reported to the police resulted in any further action being taken.
The recent stats on are shocking and deeply troubling. Simplistically we might put this rise down to the increasing influence of pornography on young minds. This is now well established and rightly acknowledged as harmful. All the articles that I read were rightly concerned but none had the slightest idea what to do about this subject. The bottom line is that you can’t stop young people watching porn. It seems to me that as parents and educators we have to step up to the plate on this one and I don’t for one minute think this is an easy task.
If we break the subject down it might make it easier to think about. There has to be a dialogue between adults and teens about pornography led by us. A kind of nuts and bolts approach would do to start with;
It’s fundamentally about abuse and not about love or relationships.
Most of the videos are about about female submission to male fantasies plus or minus abuse.
It has nothing whatsoever to do with building a relationship, it’s all about gratification.
If you watch enough of it, it will mess up your relationships.
There is enough here to promote plenty of discussion with your teenager.
Here are 2 further points to remember;
Don’t expect them to know about all the above thats why we have to lead the discussion.
This sort of discussion is important for all teenagers not just boys.
A second line of enquiry might involve talking about relationships more generally, respect, consent, loyalty. Abstract though this may seem it does resonate with teenagers who mostly are very concerned about relationships. This can also include how they square their sexual behaviour with their conscience. This boils down to the question of whether they feel happy with their relational and sexual behaviour. What they tell their friends isn’t always a true reflection of how they really feel, guilt and shame are never far from the surface even with the most confident of adolescents.
What really caught my attention however was the stat that sexual offences by 10 year olds had more than doubled in the last 4 years. I repeat sexual offences by 10 year olds. This poses some difficult and thought provoking questions, are children becoming sexualised younger than we had previously thought? Do 10 year olds really have sexual fantasies that they then act out in assaults on other children? Or are these acts not really sexual in motive at all but a sort of perversion of relational dynamics? It would be instructive to know exactly what these children are thinking when they sexually assault another child.
I have no clear cut answer to this complex question but I do know that children as young as 10 years of age do have access to pornography. The fact that 10 year olds are involved in this at all is a huge cause for concern.