This groundbreaking program shatters the Victorian notion of childhood innocence. It reveals that sexual abuse of children is also committed by other children. New research shows that over one third of child abusers are under the age of eighteen and one third of those are under eleven.
We meet both abused children and those who abuse others, and learn how they are often part of a cycle of family abuse. Prof. Judith Becker from the University of Arizona questions the Freudian assumption that children between the ages of six and twelve are in a latency period, uninterested in sex. She defines an abusing relationship as one where there is no informed consent, where there is an imbalance of power between the individuals, and when there is manipulation by the abuser to gain one's end.
One problem in intervention is a reluctance of social workers to label a child as an abuser. Another problem is the dearth of rehabilitation programs. Experts agree that early intervention is necessary, since deviant behavior becomes more entrenched in adulthood.
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