Men lie, Women lie, but Numbers don’t
Men lie, Women lie, but Numbers don’t. This is much more than a rappers slick innuendo towards record sales. It has more of a significant meaning to me. There is nothing more concrete and believable to any group of people than to be shown numbers and statistics. In light of the alleged sexual molestation charges against Pleasure P I wanted to bring awareness to a topic that is rarely talked about in the community of people of color and hip hop fans. There is no height, age, or weight requirement concerning sexual abuse. Social status is not required or a prerequisite; it doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, working class, or middle class we suffer from this together. I have worked in the social services field for the last 8 years and the things that I have seen concerning sexual abuse has made me appreciate life and my family a lot more. I have seen the after effects of sexual abuse perpetrated against young women and men. I have witnessed young girls so full of life become hollow shells of themselves. I have seen young boys attempt suicide or engage in other self-destructive behavior because of sexual abuse. And the saddest thing that I have witnessed in my years in social services is; I have seen the victim become the perpetrator. The cyclical nature of sexual abuse has perverted our community and changed it for the worst. I have worked with kids, who have identified with the behavior of their attacker; internalized that same level of hatred and done the exact same thing to someone else, not only destroying their lives but continuing the cycle with a new victim. The statistics surrounding this are both shocking and staggering 1 in every 4 girls is sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. The numbers are similar amongst boys. 1 in every 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18. Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults occur to children ages 17 and under. You would believe that children would be safe in their own home around family but that’s not true. 90% of sexual abuse is by someone who the family knows.
• 30-40% of victims are abused by a family member.
• Another 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust.
• Approximately 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know.
• Only 10% are abused by complete strangers.
There is no direct age for when sexual abuse to occur: the median age for reported abuse is 9 years old but more than 20% of children are sexually abused before the age of 8. An alarming statistic is that nearly 50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are children under the age of 12. These are just the statistics of the people who tell about the sexual abuse; evidence that a child has been sexually abused is not always obvious, and many children do not report that they have been abused. So many young victims may not recognize their victimization as sexual abuse; as is the case with Lil Wayne who openly bragged in his documentary about being molested by a much older woman at the behest of Baby. Then there are the victims who internalize it and never speak to anyone about it at all; over 30% of victims never disclose the experience to anyone.
There are so many psychological, emotional, social, and physical problems that affect survivors of sexual abuse. Children who have been victims of sexual abuse exhibit long-term and more frequent behavioral problems, particularly inappropriate sexual behaviors. Victims of child sexual abuse are more likely to be sexually promiscuous than those who weren’t. Some women who reported childhood rape are three times more likely to become pregnant before the age 18. Some victims of child sexual abuse report more substance abuse problems; 70-80% of sexual abuse survivors have reported excessive drug and alcohol use. Close to 50% of women that are in prison state that they were sexually abused as children.
As it was not my intention to upset or to stigmatize anyone. I just wanted people to understand the seriousness behind sexual abuse. We have to take care of the 39 million survivors of sexual abuse. We failed them once let’s not fail them again.