Your Abuser is Most Likely to Be Someone You Already Know!
Make sure everyone knows where their limits lie.
Did you know that around the world as well as in Pakistan, numbers prove that a sexual abuser is most likely to be an existing acquaintance or family member? A report published by Pakistani NGO Rozan analyzed 200 letters sent in by child abuse survivors. This information revealed that a whopping 49 percent of these crimes were committed by a relative, 43 percent were acquaintances and only seven percent were strangers.
Here is a graph created by Sahil that shows every perpetrator of the 1764 sexual abuse cases that were reported in the media from Jan-Jun 2017.
Why does this happen? No one can really say for sure why relatives and acquaintances are most often the perpetrators, but Shehneel Gill, Senior trainer from Aahung, an organization which seeks to improve access to sexual and reproductive health information and services says it may be because of easy access: “relatives and people known to the victim have more opportunities than anyone else to find themselves alone with these children.”
Mehnaz Rehmani from Aahung adds, “the abuser also takes advantage of the trust factor that they have developed with the victims family. They will assume that nobody will suspect them of abuse given the nature of their relationship,” she says, “which is why we need to be even more careful about close relationships.”
Hence, set healthy boundaries in the relationships that you build, because eventually these boundaries will help you to identify what is safe and unsafe for you. Here are some pointers:
- Learn to say “No”in situations that make you feel uncomfortable. Always remember that your body is yours and you ALONE have complete ownership over it.
- TRUST your instincts and say no even if it is a hug from your friends or relatives that make you feel uncomfortable. And most importantly.
- DO NOT hesitates to share such instances with a trusted relative, teacher or parent who you feel comfortable with.