The media is flooded with advocates, crusading for the rights of the LGBT community, physically disabled, children with learning disabilities, the elderly, and animals.
You rarely hear anything about African Americans, but that’s a different article.
However, there is an unnoticed group of millions of children with no spokesperson and no media attention. These children have been victimized not by the system, but by someone they know, or even someone they thought loved them. These children have been used as sexual tools for adults who use manipulation and violence to feed their sadistic need for power and sexual pleasure.
These children are victims of molestation.
People always argue about the number of lives that America’s system of mass incarceration destroys, but they neglect the lives destroyed by molestation. Molestation is the most common Black-on-Black crime, leaving its victims broken emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes physically.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, an estimated 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. Recent statistics display the alarming rate at which black girls are abused. According to preliminary findings by Black Women’s Blueprint, “60% of black girls experience sexual assault by the time they reach 18.” The number is likely even higher, factoring in the victims who suffer in silence.
There is this ‘myth’ in the minds of many African Americans that molesters are only White men, though reality paints a much different picture. Black children are molested at alarming rates and the perpetrators are not white, they’re black.
The African American community turns a blind eye and deaf ears to the molesters who destroy our children spiritually and psychologically. Fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, boyfriends, girlfriends and siblings are allowed to force themselves on our children without any repercussions. Men are not the only victimizers; molestation by women is very prevalent and just as damaging.
Victims of molestation can suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, behavioral problems, sexualized behavior, poor self-esteem, academic problems, or ultimately commit suicide.
One must remember that many of these victims of sexual abuse, as they struggle to get through life, will have children. They can pass on those negative traits of low self-esteem onto their children, for too many are unable to recapture the self-worth that was stripped from them during their youth.
Please watch reggae artist Jah 9 speak about the atrocity of molestation and the rape culture that supports it.
Molesters are not easily identifiable and can blend into society as chameleons. The media has propagated the image of a molester as an unkempt, sleazy-looking individual. In reality, molesters are often some of the most liked and respected individuals in the community. Their prestige or wealth hides the sinister acts of abuse against children. The high position they have also makes them more believable when they deny the accusations against them.
How do we as a community protect ourselves against such predators?
The best line of defense is offense. We as a community, parents, and guardians must be proactive and try our best to prevent our children’s innocence from being taken away. Please take time to review signs of molesters, victims of molestation, and identify effective counseling methods for those who been molested.
Here are some quick tips to consider, and remember we must be vigilant in protecting or children from having their innocence taken away. The future depends on our children having high-self esteem and love of self.
1. Take action if you suspect abuse. http://www.victimsofviolence.on.ca/child-protection-safety/parents-guide-to-reporting-child-sexual-abuse/
2. Make sure there is more than one chaperone for groups of youth.
3. Teach children that certain body parts are private and should not be touched.
4. Tell children no one should take pictures of their private parts.
5. Teach children how to get out of uncomfortable situations.