Can someone tell me the reason why some kids cant talk about when they have been sexually abused?
I'm doing an essay about abuse that needs to be turned in today and the answer I receive from enotes always helps me form it. Thanks Joelle
There are a number of reasons why children keep silent about sexual abuse. One issue is that younger children may not really understand what is happening to them, and may lack the vocabulary to talk about it. This is why psychologists sometimes give children dolls and ask them to have the dolls interact; the child may be able to directly demonstrate something that they are not able to put words to.
Another reason is related to imbalance of power. Children are taught that adults are always right, and they are conditioned to submit to adult decisions. While this is, in general, a way to protect children and assure their well-being, it can be used by an abuser to assure the child's compliance and silence; all the abuser has to do is tell the child to keep the secret.
Some children, particularly those who are a bit older or more sophisticated, can be coerced into silence with threats. The abuser may threaten to injure or kill the child's family members or pets, or may tell the child that the child will get in trouble if the story comes out.