At the beginning of the summer, a biology teacher from one of the Moscow schools turned to the “Surrender the Pedophile” movement. According to the movement’s leader, lawyer and clinical psychologist Anna Levchenko, she told volunteers of the teacher helpline that she was starting to notice some oddities in her then-15-year-old student, Nicoletta.
“Nika suddenly “rolled” in pairs and threes, which was unusual for her, and then began to draw sad expressions on the pages with the test papers that were handed out. After a while, the word “help” appeared in capital letters on the notebook page,” he said.
The teacher invited her daughter to a chat, which she wrote on paper that her stepfather abused her at the age of 14. Later it turned out that during the harassment, the girl rejected her stepfather and severely beat him. When Nika told her mother what had happened, she said she was “just kidding”.
“While chatting with a teacher, the girl was so bored and frightened that she could not even put into words what was happening. The teacher immediately returned to our service and while we were trying to get Nika to be released from the family, the school administration learned that the proceedings were done.
And no, the teachers did not support the teacher, but they scolded, saying that he had to inform them first and they would call the guardianship authorities. Moreover, they began to persecute him and forced him to leave of his own accord. And they called for an educational conversation with Nika’s mother, who immediately beat the boy, who returned home. That same night, the girl tried to commit suicide in front of her mother. And he didn’t even call an ambulance for her,” he said. “Give up the pedophile!” leader of the movement.
As a result, the ambulance took Nika straight from school, she was called by the same biology teacher. It was possible to place the child in a rehabilitation center, where he is now, for several months. Psychologists worked with Nika for a month and a half, now law enforcement officers are waiting for the girl to return from the center to open a criminal case, at this stage, the cases continue at the level of the guardianship authorities.
“His relatives continue to insult our volunteers, Nika and her friends, by calling the boy a prostitute and a lesbian. And this is just a small censored part of what the girl received from her address. Nika is very afraid that she will be returned to her family. But neither we nor the Children’s Ombudsman dealing with this case in Moscow will of course not allow this. Now he receives support from the children’s rehabilitation center in the camp, from girls with whom a similar situation was found, and learns to live again, ”Levchenko concluded.
“I will talk to him and he will not do it again”
According to Hand Over the Pedophile, up to 60% of cases of child sexual abuse occur within or within the family: these are fathers, stepfathers, older brothers, uncles, and members of the family alone. The psychologist believes that these statistics can be attributed to all civilized countries.
“The biggest problem with all this is that in 90% of cases the child himself tries to tell his parents about the abuse, but most of the time no one hears him. Most of the time, it’s like this: the child talks about what happened right after the event or 1-2 months after the event and in response “Women hide pedophiles and a male rapist is much more important in their social structure than a child rapist,” Levchenko said.
In this way, according to the psychologist, mothers do not want to do the dirty laundry in public, blame the child, or say that if a pedophile goes to jail, they will lose their only livelihood and have nothing to live for. The most typical thing that can be heard from such parents: “I will talk to him and it will not be like this again.”
“Two days ago we received a call from a relative of the injured girl asking what to do. Her niece told the applicant that her mother had been raped for a long time by the person she lived with, and when she returned to her mother she said that her daughter just wanted to argue with her friend and was jealous. The conversation between the girl’s aunt and mother did not help. Fortunately, the woman herself decided to go to the Investigative Committee and wrote a statement.
According to the expert, due to the indifference of parents, children try to tell other relatives, friends and even through social networks what is happening. Often, parents in marginalized families do not pay attention to their children’s words.
“It’s just at the statistical error level, that a normal mother – of normal psyche, not marginal and not in an abusive relationship and not dependent on her child’s rapist – will not only listen to the child, but not understand. So something is happening to him. Children always show if something is wrong with them and if you are a good parent keeping in touch with a son or daughter, you will never miss any change in the child’s behavior. Moreover, he will definitely try to let you know that something is happening on his own”, “Supply the pedophile!” The leader of the movement was convinced.
How to know if your child is being abused or sexually abused
According to child and adolescent psychologist Anfisa Kalistratova, there is a certain risk group among children who are most likely to be exposed to violence. Psychologists came to these conclusions by studying the already completed circumstances of such crimes.
Therefore, both boys and girls are at risk, as a rule, quiet, obedient and practically without their own opinion. Also, in families with such cases, one or both parents often use authoritarian parenting methods.
“A child who is already in the family is taught to unquestioningly obey the authority of an adult, which destroys his personality and prevents the formation of critical thinking, which plays a key role in assessing a dangerous situation. For example, in cases of abduction, the child cannot seek outside help or turn to their parents for help because they are accustomed to submission,” says Kalistratova.
Rapists, understanding the risks, try to choose such children in order to avoid unnecessary trouble and hide their actions. Kalistratova added that noisy, active and stable children do not attract them, because the attempt to save often comes from them.
The first signs that a child is being abused are behavioral: the child becomes quieter, very obedient – almost limp, has nightmares more often, and develops or worsens nocturnal enuresis.
“All these symptoms are not obvious and are completely invisible in everyday worries, but they become apparent with careful observation. It is worth paying attention to the fact that the child suddenly refuses to communicate with some people close to the family. Unfortunately, sometimes the parents themselves initiate such rapprochement, they say, uncle’s sit in his arms, there is no such thing. Or ask the child to say hello, hug. At the same time, the child himself is against such contacts. And this cannot be ignored – you need to be vigilant, ”warned the expert.
Psychologist Marina Gladysheva noted that “bells” can also be seen in the behavior of adults. And here you need to focus on human behavior and attitude towards children. For example, when one of her adult acquaintances began to show a strong interest in the child, she expressed a desire to spend more time with him, to play children’s games. Especially when it comes to sudden attention.
“Also, evasive answers are bells of questions about, for example, what an adult and a child do on a walk, the desire to be alone with a child and strange reasons to spend time with him, attempts to artificially interest him. ‘ said Gladysheva.
What should you do if you suspect child abuse?
As psychologist Gladysheva advises, in such situations, you should always trust the child, not question his words. Even if it’s cunning or exaggerating, you need to understand why. Delaying or closing the situation can only aggravate the child’s situation and lose confidence. If, with the arising doubts, it is difficult for an adult to control himself, you need to contact a specialist.
“If a child claims that everything is fine, the reasons may be different – for example, he does not trust his parents too much. This means that they do not form a relationship in which the child understands that they are always there for him and can help him. And this is not about the fact that he was told so, but precisely the relations established when there was confirmation and confirmation of this, ”explained the expert.
The second option is why the child is silent – scared and afraid, but here, according to the psychologist, the question is only for parents: how well do you know your child, how much is he ready to help him without blaming, because he will be comfortable to notice that something is wrong. Perhaps the child believes that he can only aggravate the situation with his story, but cannot help himself.
Child psychologist Kalistratova recommended that in the presence of doubts, first of all, the child should completely limit contact with a suspicious adult and observe the child. If he gets better, i.e. shows interest in more activities and different activities, it probably wasn’t a mistake.
“Unfortunately, in this case, if the contacts are frequent (once to several times a month), we are talking about a few months, from 3 months to a year. But I know of cases where such “meetings” are seasonal, for example during the summer and/or winter holidays. It is even more difficult to calculate it, ”said the psychologist.
The second thing to do, according to Anfisa Kalistratova, is to contact a specialist for an accurate diagnosis of the state of psychological and mental health. If anything, the diagnosis would reveal the injury.
In addition, the child and adolescent psychologist recommended that children be allowed to show as much attention and courtesy to other adults as they want. If the child does not want to say hello, he has every right.
“And no, it doesn’t look ugly, it’s just that the mood can be bad and children love to say hello in a good mood. You also need to treat children equally at all times, protect their ideas, desires, give them the opportunity to speak and make their own decisions, of course, keep health and life in check. Only then, if there are healthy trusting relationships in the family, the child will either not be exposed to such a situation at all, or will be able to tell immediately, ”says Kalistratova.