MELBOURNE, January 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Children’s aid and sex abuse organizations in Victoria State report that they are dealing with a rising number of cases of children sexually abusing other children, and point to the proliferation and easy availability of porn on portable devices as the cause.
Bernie Geary, Child Safety Commissioner of Victoria State told The Age, ‘‘If you’re prepared to put your child out there in a world where they’re going to be inundated with this sort of information [pornography], you need to be able to a) protect them, or b) expect what the fairly miserable consequences will be.”
These “miserable consequences” - sexually abusive behavior among children as young as five - are “exploding” according to Carolyn Worth, statewide convener of Victoria’s Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA), who said that referrals for children exhibiting sexually abusive behavior are much greater than the resources available to help them. There were 237 placements across the state for problem sexual behavior programs funded by the CASA, but 414 referrals, she said.
Worth said that most, but not all, younger children (aged five to nine) were referred to the programs because they were victims of abuse, with a majority being boys. However, she noted that problem sexual behavior among girls - mentioning an eleven year old girl in the program who was sexting (sending sexually explicit pictures of herself by cellphone) - was also becoming worse.
‘‘Clearly it [pornography] desensitizes you, it probably gives them a strange idea of what’s an appropriate way to interact with, mostly, women,’’ Worth said. ‘‘If they’ve spent a lot of time watching it, they don’t have any idea of how you actually negotiate having sex with somebody. They just don’t understand it.’‘
Worth explained that some referrals to the CASA problem sexual behavior programs were of such a serious nature that children were refused participation because the behavior was criminal.
Child Safety Commissioner Geary warned, ‘‘This is more and more a wake-up call for parents. Don’t wring your hands about this, don’t expect schools to be the saviour, this is something that begins at home and should be tackled proactively at home.’‘
‘‘I’m not sympathetic with parents who are not close enough to their children to protect them, because that’s part of the role of being a parent,’’ Geary said, but cautioned that children can’t be blamed for being exposed to pornography and the resultant confusion in their lives.
‘‘It’s not as if children are acting out more these days than they used to, it’s just that the adult world is pushing this information at children much more vehemently than they ever did before and that’s why it’s become necessary to cope with that,’’ Geary said.
Further information on the CASA programs in available on the group’s website.