We’ve all gotten use to hearing that abusers are mostly men. I’ve got friends who would be reluctant to leave their kids in the hands of any men but don’t mind random female babysitters. I think it’s uncalled for and I think you should screen your babysitters carefully regardless of their gender.
I started googling for stats and I ran across a quote from The Department of Veteran Affairs under the heading “Who Commits Sexual Abuse?”
Under the child sexual abuse laws, the abuser must be older than the victim in most cases. Some states require the abuser to be at least five years older.
Most often, sexual abusers know the child they abuse but are not family. About 60% of abusers fall into that group. For example, the abuser might be a friend of the family, babysitter, or neighbor. About 30% of those who sexually abuse children are family members of the child. This includes fathers, uncles, or cousins. The abuser is a stranger in only about 10% of child sexual abuse cases.
Abusers are men in most cases, whether the victim is a boy or a girl. Women are the abusers in about 14% of cases reported against boys and about 6% of cases reported against girls. Child pornographers and other abusers who are strangers may make contact with children using the Internet.
I’m all for safety. And I believe it is true that more men are committing this despicable act. What I want to know now is what percentage of men in general are abusers. And also, I want to know if this percentage justifies the fear that any man can be an abuser… the lopsided fear that does not think women can be abusers. As my girlfriend pointed out, when listing the relatives in the above example they mention “This includes fathers, uncles, or cousins” but no mothers, aunts or female roles.
I do not want to give women an additional negative stereotype. But when it comes to places such as child safety, that’s a place you’re going to want to use critical thinking correctly. What’s worse than an abused child? A dysfunctional society that thinks any member of their society could be an abuser.