It is not unusual for child sexual abuse to be a shameful secret in households all across America. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services statistics on child molestations and assaults are grim, with an estimated one in four females and one in six males victimized before the age of 18. Twenty percent of sexual abuse victims are under the age of eight and 90% of abusers are people children know, love and trust.
Yet even those horrible numbers do not tell the whole story, as most molestations and child sexual assaults go unreported. For African American children sexual abuse is a dirty secret steeped in family pride and protecting the family image, keeping police out of “our business”, and religious teachings which make victims and families feel responsible for praying to save the soul the perpetrator instead of calling the cops to protect the victim and potential victims.
From inappropriate touching to out and out assault of male and female children, hundreds of thousands of black children and teens grow up dragging the embarrassment and confusing secret of their abuse with them everywhere they go. Some drag along the unwanted child of their abuser as well.
We wish to change all that and open the door so the light of knowledge can begin to heal this deep horrible wound in the heart of millions of Black Americans.
With more than 39 million Americans deemed to be survivors of childhood sexual abuse, this is a widespread problem that needs to be addressed immediately. Yet, to date there have been no studies specifically focusing on abuse in the African American community, and the impact child sexual abuse has on Black men and women as they mature into adulthood.
However, an unprecedented research project has just been launched by social researcher and columnist Deborrah Cooper. The survey investigates:
- Who is most likely to molest a Black child
- What motivates adults to molest and rape children
- Types and frequency of abuse
- The family dynamics which often protect the identity of the assailant while blaming the victim
- Why children don’t tell about their abuse
- The role religion plays in sexual abuse of Black children
- How Black parents tend to handle reports of child molestation
- What Black parents can do to protect their children from pedophiles and opportunistic sexual victimization
The 30 question multiple choice survey is completely anonymous and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. The Survey on Sexual Abuse of Children in the Black Community launched November 26, 2011 and will be available online until March 15, 2012. The researchers goal is to garner the participation of a minimum of 1,000 men and women, both victims and perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse in the African American community.
Additional information on the study is available at http://survivingdating.com/childhood-sexual-abuse-survey