Sexual assault is a crime that influences the victim’s social and personal life. Statistics show that the sexual abuse rate in Miami-Dade County is alarming. The figures are impressive, but common people are not even acquaintance with them. This paper deals with sexual abuse statistics that show the number of people who suffer from sexual abuse at different age and the consequences this has for people.
Abundance of sexual abuse in Miami-Dade County had been undervalued according to the Abuse Commissioner (Powers, Curry, Oschwald, Maley, Saxton, & Eckels, 2002). This topic is of utmost importance due to lack of reporting: only one out of ten victims appeal to the authority. As a result, the so called hidden crime flourishes. It costs Miami-Dade County a fortune because most victims suffer from mental illnesses and other health problems (Stalsburg, 2011).
It is important to realize that the statistics are not commendable in the Miami-Dade County. Statistics cannot convey the whole impact that sexual abuse has on victims and their close people. However, it can provide opportunities to see how many people are tortured, who they are, and the types of the crimes committed. The only statistic analysis made in Miami-Dade county is The Miami-Dade County department of Law Enforcement’s totals. These figures do not include the total quantity of people that suffered from sexual abuse in Miami-Dade County. It represents only the incidents of sexual abuse that were announced to law enforcement. More than 6000 cases of sexual abuse were registered by the police in Miami-Dade County in 2014. It was revealed that 2/3 of sexual abuse was committed inside the family (Powers et al., 2002). There are two categories of sexual abuse: child and adult abuse.
In fact, tackling the problem of child abuse was made a priority because there are many cases of abuse children face in their families on a regular basis. An abused child is a person under the age of eighteen that was exposed to an act which results in: sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental maltreatment. Any person who suspects that a child has experienced abuse of any kind shall report it to the Department of Child and Family Services. Child sexual abuse affects everyone. People suffer all their life if they experienced sexual abuse as children. They usually feel guilty; they blame themselves if they felt physical satisfaction. Society must wake up and deal with the terrible number of abuse cases children suffer from behind the closed doors. Psychologists have found out that ten-year-old children suffer the most; the victims usually hide this secret for years. Six percent of children in 2008 were sexually tortured. Nearly one in five children was raped. In 2010 more than forty percent of all victims of sexual abuse which led to death were kids younger than age one. Fourteen percent were children from age one to two. More than 6 percent of abused children were three years old. Eleven percent of children were between four and six years old (Black, Basile, Breiding, Smith, Walters, Merrick, Chen, & Stevens, 2011). More than forty percent of all fatalities were white children. Twenty-eight percent of fatalities happened to African-American children. Sixteen percent of victims were Hispanic children. More than five percent of abuse incidents happened to children of unknown race. Six percent of fatalities were connected to Asian children (Maniglio, 2009).
In comparison to child sexual abuse the statistics of adult sexual abuse are impressive. The number of people who suffered from forcible rape was 845 in 2009. There were 402 people who suffered from forcible sodomy. More than 600 people were forced to fondle. The research was conducted by Florida Statistical Analysis Center. Seventeen percent or one in six women in Miami-Dade County were raped. Forty-one percent of women were tortured by sexual violence other than rape. Seventy percent of women in Miami-Dade County who experienced rape once or twice had their first incident before the age of twenty five. The National Women’s Study Replication found out that only eighteen percent of forcible acts of abuse were reported to the authorities (Black et al., 2011).
The causes of sexual abuse may be of various origins. It is more probable for women to be sexually abused as they are often more weak, fragile and insecure, or simply too obedient and scared. There are reasons why women choose to suffer from sexual abuse, and they lie in the causes of the abuse itself. In the modern world, when women perform alongside men in the job market, men want to have power over women and some choose to express it with violence. It is done not out of passion, but out of the desire to control and predominate. That is why sometimes strangers are responsible for the sexual assaults. Majority of states also have a special law to cover family and spousal sexual assault. Most often it is committed by a familiar person, for example by an intimate partner like a husband or a boyfriend. One woman from Miami-Dade County confessed that she had been abused by a close family friend from age nine to twelve. She confessed that she had not recognized it and had pretended it was not a real situation. Psychologists state that children usually suppress their emotions. They are afraid of being ashamed, rejected by others (Powers et al., 2002). When committing assault a person shows a desire to neglect, insult, and express superiority. The easiest way to reach this goal is to abuse a woman or a child because they lack power and need protection. The root of this problem is deeply psychological and needs an ongoing treatment.
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