Child abuse affects millions of children around the world. We commonly talk about 4 types of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional and neglect. All of them are the source of great physical and / or psychological discomfort. In general, sexual abuse of children is a serious public health problem that interferes with the development of the victim who suffers from it, causing short and long term repercussions throughout the person’s biopsychosocial sphere.
Child sexual abuse
Child sexual abuse refers to the set of sexual behaviors established between two people, one of whom is a minor, so that a situation of inequality occurs, for reasons of age or power, And in which the minor is used for the sexual stimulation of the other person (López, 1997). Abusive behaviors include physical contact (genital, anal or oral), or involve the use of the child as an object of sexual stimulation by the aggressor (exhibitionism or voyeurism) or by third parties (Madansky, 1996).
Prevalence rates are around 13% to 15%. These rates are higher among girls, although the impact is equally detrimental to both sexes. It has been detected that the most vulnerable age is between 7 and 13 years old and that in 70-90% of cases it is committed by men, middle-aged people and often parents or acquaintances of the family. victim.
Collage and snap styles
The development and quality of early relationships are important aspects in the socio-emotional development, personality and mental health of people. In this sense, the condition is defined as the biological link that is established between the baby and the primary caregiver (s), which is considered to be a secure base from which the child can explore the environment and come back when it perceives. danger (Bowlby 1969/1982).
These connections allow children to develop internal working models from which they create expectations about whether and how to receive support. They influence individual emotions, expectations and relationships between adults and help individuals cope with stressful situations.
There are 4 types of affection styles: Secure affection and insecure affection, within which we find the avoidant, the anxious-ambivalent, and the disorganized-disoriented.
Affection for safety occurs when the primary caregiver constantly responds to the child’s anxiety, thereby promoting trust in the relationship. On the other hand, an avoidant inclination develops when anxiety is ignored or there is persistent rejection.
Anxious style develops when caregivers react inconsistently to the baby’s distress the child presents difficulty trusting the caregiver’s availability to meet their needs and high levels of anxiety.
Finally, the disorganized-disoriented style, the baby shows disorganized and / or disoriented behaviors in the presence of the mother.
The family atmosphere that parents create around their children in the early years it can promote or hinder their future social relations. When strong bonds of affection are established, they encourage children to be more socially competent. The condition provides emotional security for personality development, self-esteem, and subsequent emotional regulation.
Impact of sexual abuse on the bond of affection
The impact of sexual abuse on the disease is established in childhood and remains stable until adulthood.
Often, children exposed to parental violence do not have basic needs covered and their caregivers are less available, implying a higher prevalence of insecure attachment compared to children growing up in an appropriate family environment. When the perpetrators of the abuse are the parents themselves, 80% of the cases, the ability to build intimate and trusting relationships is more damaged, Because the person who must protect and heal is the one who damages.
Unsafe hooking styles in adults they are associated with different psychological problems (Substance use, alcohol abuse, criminal behavior, emotional and anxiety disorders, low self-esteem, etc.) and health.
However, victims of sexual abuse also have social difficulties, including sexual and marital problems in adulthood, behavioral and somatic problems (general chronic pain, gastrointestinal disturbances, eating disorders, sleep disturbances. and difficulties with attention, memory and concentration).
Author: Tamara Garrido, psychologist.