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Statistics Are Alarming - Children Sexual Abuse

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The statistics are alarming. Current estimations show that one-third of all children are sexually abused before the age of 18. That means 40% of all females and 30% of all males. What is especially shocking is that these estimations represent only a small portion of actual occurrences of sexual abuse. What is sexual abuse? Webster's Dictionary defines it as: the forcing of unwanted sexual activity by one person on another, as by the use of threats, or coercion; sexual activity that is deemed improper or harmful. There are many types of evidence used in determining whether or not a person has been sexually abused: physical, emotional coping mechanisms (good and bad). The question at hand is if Andy Evans raped Melinda Sordino. The answer to that is yes.

Specific physical indicators of sexual abuse include: bruises or bleeding in genital area or mouth, habit disorders (biting, rocking), eating disorders, headaches, stomach ailments, frequent accidents or self-injurious behaviors, and suicidality. Melinda exhibits many of these symptoms. A big piece of evidence is Melinda's habit of biting her lips: "I push my ragged mouth against the mirror. A thousand bleeding, crusted lips push back." (125). Melinda has problems with biting her lips because it is a constant reminder of Andy Evans: "His teeth ground hard against my lips..".."His lips lock on mine and I can't say anything..".. "Tears oozed down my face, over my bruised lips, pooling on the handset." (135-136). She does this because she wants to forget, but at the same time, she wants to have that memory in the front of her mind always just so that she can make sure it does not happen again. Another example would be the stomach problems and headaches that she gets: "My head is killing me, my throat is killing me, my stomach bubbles with toxic waste. I just want to sleep." (165).There is definitely enough physical evidence to support the fact that Andy Evans raped Melinda.

Specific emotional indicators of sexual abuse include: withdrawal, sleep problems or disruption, extreme fear of being touched, fear of authority figure, of being threatened, flashbacks, depression, low self-esteem, and a sense of not being believed. Melinda also exhibits many of these symptoms as well. Melinda has a flashback while witnessing the similarities of sexual abuse in another's actions: "Our frog lies on her back. Waiting for a prince to come and princessify her with a smooch? I stand over her with my knife. Ms. Keen's voice fades to a mosquito whine. My throat closes off. It is hard to breathe. I put out my hand to steady myself against the table. David pins her froggy hands to the dissection tray. He spreads her froggy legs and pins her froggy feet. I have to slice open her belly. She doesn't say a word. She is already dead. A scream starts in my gut--I can feel the cut, smell the dirt, leaves in my hair. I don't remember passing out." (81). Another piece of evidence is that Melinda has become withdrawn from her parents: "This is the Death Voice, the Voice

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