Book Review: The Silent Scream: Siddhartha Garg

The Silent Scream, by Siddhartha Garg is a practical guide on sexual abuse against children and examines the issue of abuse in all its aspects, from assessment to treatment of both victims and abusers.

Sexual violence against minors has ancient roots and continues in new and less obvious forms, yet the social awareness of the phenomenon of sexual violence against children remains still very poor in our country and the culture of prevention and response to abuse is missing, where prevails a culture of repression.

The author believe that the recognition of the reality of sexual violence against children, the measurement and study of the phenomenon, the search for effective tools and resources to combat it represent one of the more advanced stages in modern societies leading to the path of a mature and responsible child protection.

The text presented here is part of that process with this book is animated by two beliefs of the need to combine sexuality with the word, a fundamental purpose for the prevention of violence and sexual miseducation against minors and the need promoting activity of sex education that is not reduced to convey to young people the information, because sexuality is not an existential experience that can be traced but a cognitive activity and  must take into account the emotional dimension, relational sexuality, aspects of desire and pleasure as well as aspects of the problems and conflict.

The model proposed is not a tool of the will, but rather an experience that allows children and young people to voice their communication needs and theoretical transmission from adults to young people about how sexuality means reaching out to children and adolescents in their confusion, their emotions, their fantasies and experiences; and, from the sharing of these events, they can make the translation into words, for them to think and finally due to the self in a conscious way.

And in the course of this experience that, in an unexpected dimension, the authors encounter in acute suffering, devastation and despair suit created by the appearance of sexuality of the great in children's lives.

Sexual abuse is part of a land where the word is absent, erecting on silence and secrecy its existence. The silence was inspired by the inability to empathize with the child and his truth. You realize, then, that is the world of adults who need silence compared to the tragedies of childhood, a need not to see, do not know and do not think that renews every time the loneliness and helplessness of the child than the his pain.

Child abuse takes place between abuse and blame, between violence and miseducation. If they are adults that imprison the young victims in the curtain of secrecy, there are still adults who can free them protect and heal. Left alone, to survive, the children grow operating in divisions and denials of truth and experience, and identify with the adult who exploits them, separating radically from their physiological and perceptions of themselves.

As long as adults, resume contact with children, his own and that of others, in the way they have learned, intrude with their sexual needs even in the existence of the little of which have become parents, friends, responsible. An attitude of acceptance empathic and exploitation of sexuality of the children can not begin in adolescence as they often do parents because sexuality is a dimension inherent in the life and growth of a child since its birth.

The attitudes of adults hurt the honest instinct search of the child and shake in general for the first time the trust placed in him by his parents. The author stressed the need of the child who suffers a traumatic situation to find himself next to a family member , a friend, a teacher able to listen to the feelings of pain, anger powerlessness products in the child from the situation and to share them with him as a witness succour.

The lack of protection by the parental figures, still unable to prevent such abuse, unable to provide protection, makes it impossible to maintain a sufficient self-esteem and their parents in the victim producing effects most pathogenic of the abuse. Equally pathogen will be the attitude of those who deny the child sexually abused the character of victim-blaming that ends with a position to prolong the effect of violence.

The stereotype of the elderly and manic psychopath protagonist of sexual violence against children has been disproved by numerous studies. Very few children are abused by strangers. Most abusers are people known to the victim of all social classes. Pedophilia is described as an escape from the anxieties and difficulties of the hetero-sexual relationship between adults.

Although the supporters of pedophilia abuse only consider situations where the child was forced against his will to participate in the sexual act, arguing that the child is too small can give or withhold their consent. Pedophilia is always a form of sexual violence against children.

The text highlights the importance of the role of the game and the fairy tale to deal properly with children and adolescents issues of sexuality. Between the game and sexuality is a complex relationship of affinity at different levels: both these moments are a fun, a move away from rigid patterns and repetitive.

It’s an existential dimension necessary and inevitable, which is why the text offers numerous examples of games suitable for teenagers and for children whose primary purpose is to facilitate communication on the subject of affectivity and sexuality.

Through a language often cruel and violent, the tale reveals the obstacles encountered in adulthood, first of all the anguish of the abandonment of a child protected and dependent situation.

The pedagogically useful element of the fairy tale is the happy ending. The fairy tale has to be optimistic, it is necessary that after many difficulties is granted salvation, recovery and consolation. In this way, the child is given the opportunity to would solve psychological problems of its growth process without generating anxieties.

The purpose of the tale is to comfort the listener, evoking so conscious or preconscious his psychological problem and proposing a positive solution without ever getting too explicit to the real problem child's emotional, as would raise too much anguish. For children involved in painful existential issues the largest source of anxiety stems from the fact that the adults surrounding never provide these children with opportunities for communication and genuine dialogue.

Often educators are afraid to tell these stories and to talk to the boys of incest or sexual abuse for fear of introducing topics too distressing. In fact for the boys to have the opportunity to address this issue with an adult can be very positive: the evolutionary path indicated by the fairy tale will give the listener the strength to ask for help, comforted by the events of the hero.

By listening to these experiences we can directly accountable as adults when taking actively with courage and professionalism the responsibility for protecting the young victims can combine with patience and sweetness the search for truth with the care of children so deeply wounded in their being.

The sexual abuse of children is violence from a cultural point of view, psychological, educational, social and judicial system, and proposes tools for prevention of various forms of abuse and sexual perversion.

It’s a complex book, and as easy to read, sometimes difficult and hard, as the reality in which plunges and reflecting and complex is the interweaving of psychic events and relationships that imprison children in hell of sexual abuse; and so the articulation of psychological interventions, social and judicial needed to redeem them.

Format: Paperback ♥ Pages: 158 ♥ Publisher: Rumour Books ♥ Published: March 2014 ♥ Language: English ♥ ISBN-13: 978-8192953298


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