I see this statistic so often I have it memorized–one in four girls are sexually abused, one in six boys. That is 25% of girls and 16% of boys.
Only the statistics are ridiculously low and therefore misleading and therefore very wrong.
There is NO reason to believe that the statistics for Norfolk or Pitcairn Island wouldn’t apply to the rest of us. There is little reason to think that pervasive abuse of boys by a man like Jerry Sandusky would not factor into raising the stats for boys.
Let me offer a counter example–1 in 4 girls eats cereal for breakfast, 1 in 6 boys has some kind of tomato in his diet.
I bet if you read that statistic you would have one of two responses–
Boy,those numbers are off!
Sure, but that cannot be all of the kids eating cereal and tomatoes.
The most scientific response to those statistics would be to dig deeper to find out why the kids were not having their diet accurately reported.
It would actually be a relief if the answer were in the children–they lied or felt ashamed of their cereal and tomatoes?
But the ugly truth is this: our society systematically pressures victims and their families to suppress stories of abuse. Our numbers are grossly inaccurate because no one wants to face the real numbers.
And by numbers I mean people
And by people I mean children
And by children I mean rape victims…who deserve our help, our assistance, our dismay.