I did what I had to do!8 January 2023
“Together We Can Prevent Child Sexual Abuse!”8 January 2023
When it comes to our relationships with children, first of all, we need to see children as “human” instead of seeing them as boys or girls. Families, societies, and cultures that raise children by squeezing them into gender roles cannot thrive because by doing so they limit human spontaneity and creativity.
Turkey’s first movement to prevent sexual abuse of children, Together We Can Prevent Sexual Abuse #karanlıgıarala #birseysoyleyin (www.birliğicinselistismarionleneniz.org) gave me a good opportunity to see where society is in this regard. In fact, the professional segment of the society (doctors, lawyers, psychologists, university students and non-governmental organizations) participated in the #birşeysöyleyin #karanlıgıarala Movement, which we carried out on three different dates (9-12 January 2020, 9-12 April 2020 and 18-21 November 2020). Again, a segment of the society did not participate in the Movement for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse, which I describe as a “silent epidemic”. Despite the fact that #karanlığıarala #birşeysöyleyin posters were hung on billboards all over Turkey, people played blind, deaf, and dumb on this issue in the mainstream media. We do not know the reasons for those who did not participate in the movement, but we can guess. Maybe they didn’t think this move would change anything, maybe they didn’t want to dig into their wounds. Maybe they didn’t care with the mindset of a long live the snake that didn’t touch me. But anyway, abuse touches all of us, albeit at one end of the world. Having a long history of child abuse seems to be a risk factor for being an abuser, especially in males. Children who have been exploited in a sex vortex for more than a year may engage in abusive behavior towards others by adopting the perpetrator’s belief system. For women, exposure to domestic or sexual violence in childhood increases the risk of marrying an abusive spouse. There is a body of research supporting the “intergenerational cycle of abuse”. Unfortunately, wounds are passed on from generation to generation. Violence is passed from father to son, victimization from mother to daughter. Healing the traumas of children means healing the traumas of their children and even grandchildren. Unfortunately, this society lives in a cycle of sexual violence. It neither prevents violence nor heals wounds. This is an issue on which no one has the right to remain silent. I always say that if children are exposed to violence at home, at school, this is also a war and must be prevented. In my opinion, anyone who does not try to prevent it is a partner in this crime. The statement “Every abuser is a pedophile” is also not true. Seeing or trying to show sexual abuse as a disease ignores many socio-political and socio-cultural factors that cause this crime and functions as a forgiving crime. We also do not ignore victimization. With our understanding, there is a preference towards calling survivors as that instead of victims. this symbolizes the strength and resilience of a person to overcome trauma, it minimizes the damage that violence creates on people. Violence creates victimization, we cannot deny this fact, the main way the client copes with this victimization is the strength that ensures their survival. So there is no resilience without suffering.