Sample Research Paper on Sexual Assault by a Family Member

Sexual Assault by a Family Member

Childhood sexual assault is the main health alarm since it raises the threat of an extensive variety of later behavior troubles, psychological health confusions, and amendment complications in childhood in addition to enduring consequences in adult life. Children sexual abuse is the exposure of a child to sexual activities by a member of the family who does not necessarily have to be related by blood, but a person who is regarded as one who is a close ally. Sexual mistreatment is a deep infringement of children’s civil liberties. It is an assault on a person’s self-respect and slows down the growth of a country both socially and economically. Tearing down a child’s life by sexual abuse also wipes out his/her likelihood of integrating into the world.

Finding out that someone you loved and relied upon sexually assaulted your child can be very traumatic and might bring thoughts of distress, fury, shame, and mistrust. The child has no influence or says in this type of relation. A trustworthy family member or ally applies his/her influence, along with a child’s affection and trust to begin sexual contact and to guarantee that the relationship goes on, and continues without being undisclosed. In spite of children being prone to being sexually assaulted by grown-ups they are familiar with, parents tell their young ones to anticipate danger from unfamiliar people and not from reliable relatives. Given this fact, it is reasonable that a violation of this trust is so dreadfully worrisome and baffling. This paper will look into how the family of the child exposed deals with the situation in the context of an Arabic or different country. In addition, it will describe the mental health of the children before and after the counseling sessions.

Collective Stories from an Arabic Country

Matters pertaining to sex, sexual abuse included, are tremendously considered a taboo subject in the Arab Countries, where sexual feelings are unspoken and deemed to be a shameful conversation. In this circumstance, the disclosure that a child has been sexually assaulted (counting all Forms of sexual contact be it in the form of spoken or physically) or had personal sexual relations causes the child and his/her entire society humiliation, dishonor, and disgrace. For girls and women, the actions that take away the sexual purity of the female are supposed to be crimes of nobility. Given the fact that the nature of the community is united and patriarchal, the males are meant to take care of their females so that any sexual abuse carried on against the girl child is believed to be the blunder of the family generally, and the male who failed in his responsibility to offer protection. The family unit honor is a major characteristic of the customary ethnic Palestinian community called Bedouins Alt (Kessler et al 2004, pg.16).

In addition, Child sexual maltreatment remains a severe predicament in American people. Different societies and public analyses point out that about 19–38% of females and 9–16% of males undergo sexual abuse at some point in their early days. approximately 15 million women in the United States have been subjected to incest, forced sexual activities with one related by blood,  and a third of those who were sexually assaulted were maltreated sooner than the age of nine. Occurrence rates of incest oppression, frequently decided by analysis on adult women, vary from roughly 1% to 10% of women. Amongst testified sexual abuse cases, about 75% compromises contact involving fathers and daughters; however, sibling sexual abuse is far more widespread but uncommonly reported. Father-daughter sexual abuse is the most distressing and shocking type, with the incident aggravating as the age gap broadens. The age of onset of incestuous activities involving fathers and daughters normally takes place when the youngster is between eight and ten years of age. Teenagers are at a constant greater threat of sexual assault.

An instance of a sexual assault story is Neema* who is 17, and a victim. She was sexually assaulted when she was nine. The one who assaulted her was her father’s dad. He frequently tiptoed into where she slept and touched her each time he wanted under the alleged reason that God would reprove her if she attempted to prevent him. The frightened child’s nightmare persisted for an extensive period. Her mother noticed Neema’s constant mood swings and demanded an explanation. This resulted in a confession of the ordeals that were constantly causing her shame and depression. The mother threw out the father-in-law, but Neema’s emotional instability remained (Webster, 2004, p. 66).

For Asha*, the abuser was even closer to her. At the age of four, the brother who was nine years always touched her unsuitably. This continued for many years, and finally, when she thought she had gained the courage to refuse, the brother raped her. This incident continued for many years later until she finally was married and started a new life. Her past life caught up with her and she started experiencing violent behaviors, and not talking to people. She finally admitted what was wrong with her husband, hoping that he would be of some help. Sadly, the husband left because he did not want to be associated with such troubles. The parents never found out about the incident because they would have blamed Aisha for not being careful or accused her of lying just because she had lost her virginity (Webster, 2004, p. 66).

Sadia*and her brother Saad* were made to wrongly stroke each other by their 14-year-old caring uncle, who always visited their home after school. Sometimes he would join in. When he finally stopped coming over, the children had grown accustomed to the relations they were having, because their uncle made it seem right to do so. Their parents, later on, found out their behavior but said nothing, as they did not want to cast shame upon the family (Webster, 2004, p. 66).

Rabia Manzoor Khan, a children’s counselor at Aga Khan Health division in Islamabad, said children’s sexual abuse is widespread in residence, and the molester is frequently a close family member or someone close to the family. She then prepared a surprising assessment that such occurrence takes place in one out of three houses in Islamabad, but normally goes unspoken. Habitually families make an effort to hold back these happenings and end up placing the blame on their child for allowing herself to be victimized. Currently, many such occurrences are happening amongst the well-educated and influential class. Once the cases have been dealt with, it was disturbing to establish that most victims of sexual maltreatment cannot understand what they went through because of their age. Often, there is a likelihood that abused children might turn to be sexual molesters at old age. Abuse is also prevalent in the Madrassas generally owing to a deficiency of learning alternatives for the parents and children. The education system does not focus on child protection and violates the [convention on the Rights of the Child] thus; there is a necessity to educate young children about acceptable and unacceptable forms of physical contact and to have open communication between parents, teachers, and children.

Mental Health of the Child and the Family before Counseling

Mental effects on a child that has been exposed to sexual abuse in the homestead is not easily comprehended, as they depend on many issues. Not every child’s experience is related to levels of violence, in terms of the nature and brutality of the abuse, the regularity, and the time-span child has been a victim of an onlooker. Such effects include:


Although there is no particular set of conducts that characterizes children that have undergone abuse and negligence, the presence of emotional and psychological problems among many sexually abused children is well documented. Browen (2000, p. 34), notes that “in the clinical prose, depression is a sign that is most frequently accounted amid adults sexually abused when they were children.” An assortment of research has recognized greater depressive signs among the children that have undergone this. Adults with a past of sexual maltreatment might have as such a four-time larger existence threat for major despair than persons that have not been.


Child abuse is, by its temperament, intimidating and troublesome, and may get in the way of the child’s emergent sense of safety and idea in a harmless, fair world. Thus, it should not be startling that sufferers of such abuse are prone to continual mindsets of terror or nervousness. For persons to convene the criterion for widespread anxiety disarray, fear, panic disarrays, and/or fixated obsessive disorder, with sexually assaulted survivors having up to five times greater probability of being detected with at least one nervousness disorder than those who had not been abused. Abuse-related fretfulness can also be articulated physically, consequential of the effects of continued anxiety on bodily performance or sensitivity. These somatic complexities happen as a natural expansion of agitated stimulation of the sensitive nervous system.

Posttraumatic Stress

This refers to definite continuing mental signs that cause response due to a highly upsetting, psychically unsettling happening. This may be visible in both the child and the family. Both clinical and nonclinical sets of adult sexual maltreatment survivors have been established to exhibit more invasive circumvent, and provocation signs of post distressing disorders in contrast to persons that were not maltreated. The symptoms may be a recurrent occurrence of the event during nightmares or disturbing thoughts, evasion of, present dealings, and sleep troubles or deprived attentiveness.

Cognitive Misrepresentation

Individuals formulate major speculations regarding themselves, others, the surroundings, and the expectations based on early days learning. Since the experiences of children who are maltreated are often depressing, these suppositions and self-perceptions typically reveal an overestimation of the amount of threat or difficulties in the human race and an underestimation of the Child’s self-respect and self-worth. Constant awareness of vulnerability and threats are thought to effect by the fact that the child assault took place when the victim was physically and mentally powerless to defy or guard against the abuser (Urquiza et al, 1194, p, 233). This anticipation of being hurt might lead to hyperactivity making a big deal out of actual, possible, or likely threats. The most expected impact of this issue is the victim’s mounting supposition that he/ she is lacking a way out or options under a wider assortment of conditions.


Another ordinary emotional consequence of child sexual maltreatment is that of antagonism. Child victims have accounted for constant bad temper, unforeseen or uncontainable thoughts of antagonism, and complexity linked to expressing irritation. Such thoughts can develop into internal self-detestation and despair, or be externalized and consequently commit to abusing other people. Such manners may symbolize an externalization of a child’s suffering from their own mistreatment distress, and, possibly, a howl for aid, the remaining result of this irritable antagonism is often amplified social seclusion and low esteem.


Individuals who are victims of sexual abuse are more prone to take part in juvenile criminal behavior and violent behavior as compared to those who did not. A study sponsored by the National Institute of Justice pursued cases from early days through middle age and evaluated custody reports of those with established cases of sexual abuse with a comparison of individuals who were not formally reported as sexually abused. While the majority members of both sets had no juvenile or adult scandalous records, being maltreated or sexually assaulted as a child augmented the possibility of detainment as a juvenile by 50 percent and as an adolescent by 35 percent (Levenson et al, 2006, pg 42). Other studies also have found maltreated children to be at increased risk (at least 25 percent more likely) for an assortment of teenager problem behaviors, consisting of crime, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, low intellectual realization, and psychological health problems (Johnson, 2004, pg. 463).

Effect of Sexual Abuse on the Family

Sexual maltreatment of a child by a dependant adult also puts terrific damage on relationships in the family. A number of the members of the family often find it difficult to believe the molester could perform such an act, thus feeling the pressure to distinguish who is being genuine. Family members may also resist the management of their divided loyalties toward the molester and the child. However, still in families that understand that the act took place; responses to the molester may run the scale of forgetting the abuser existed and abandoning him or loving the abuser as a person but at the same time condemning his action. Strain may come up when diverse members of the family have dissimilar views about devotion, equality, justice, forgiveness, and blame.

Dealing with family members who do does not believe the abuse occurred or who continue to

Being the mother may have adverse effects upon oneself such as having to maintain their relationship with the abuser. After, there is a possibility of economic hardship if you are financially dependent on the molester. In addition, a probable loss of associates and acquaintances on discovering about your spouse being a child molester. Making a good judgment of contradictory opinions from associates, relatives, or spiritual leaders—who may perhaps believe you ought to excuse the abuser—and child defense and official laws who anticipate you to stop your association with the abuser. For several mothers, the utmost test is dealing with their personal feedback to the child’s revelation. If your child tells you that he or she has been sexually abused, your response can play a powerful role in his or her process of healing from the abuse

After dealing with the counselor

The life history method assists in the comprehension of a child’s existing conditions and how he/she might have an influence on the choice made. This point of view facilitates the production of detailed information concerning the children’s view on their life, their insight of community thoughts towards them, and the repercussion of these insights. There are many vital issues for a counselor to reflect on when aiding the child to conquer continuing effects or indications of sexual assault. The literature on the subject of the curative process after revelation has been prepared is limited and no precise treatment form is recommended (Kessler et al 2004, pg.19).

Supporting the child in growing abilities and talents that will aid them to uncover and build on encouraging relations, particularly with friends, is also deemed as a significant objective in assisting a survivor in rising above. It was discovered that the healthier the child was capable of adjusting to close relations, the lower their hopelessness score were in spite of the level of abuse they went through. Constructive close relationships may boost the child’s feelings of protection, facilitate the increase of interpersonal skills, and experience reconnection.

Their study proved that despite the form of treatment, counselors found it vital to evaluate the child’s current troubles, the effects the maltreatment has on their present operation, and how the child presently manages. Given the fact that most children habitually have problems externalizing the maltreatment, counselors might need to work with children to boost their capability to truthfully point out accountability. To assist in decreasing cases of despair and worry, accommodating objectives for the child can boost their sense of control and increase their ability to accurately attribute responsibility. Relationship-building methods for instance by encouraging, validating, self-disclosure, and setting limits are essential in aiding the growth of therapeutic alliance. Accommodating the child’s story of sexual abuse incident is healing and helps reinforce the relationship (Browen, 2000, p. 34). It is significant for the therapist to permit the child time to build feelings of confidence, protection, and honesty.


It is vital to conduct more research to go on about the issue of the continuing consequences of child sexual exploitation. The harshness of this subject and the important repercussions it has on the life of a survivor has been well recognized. With this information, it is very important that therapists keep on expanding their understanding of child sex assault. There is a lot to be discovered concerning ways that therapists can assist survivors of childhood sexual assault to conquer its continuing effects. Additional studies are required to deal with best practices and cure intercession for survivors. Childhood sexual abuse is clearly frequently a shocking incident that has many effects all through a Child’s life. The effects of childhood sexual assault last into maturity and therapist have to be properly skilled so that they offer the best services possible.


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Kessler, M .R. H., Nelson, B., Jurich, A., & White, M. (2004). Clinical decision-making strategies of marriage and family therapists in the treatment of adult childhood sexual abuse survivors. American Journal of Family Therapy, 32 (1), 1-1

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