Steward uses these dolls to
teach children how to tell
someone if they are ever abused.
Just because a child does not disclose or initially denies sexual abuse doesn't mean it is not happening. Sexual abuse is a secret crime, one that usually has no witnesses. Shame, secrecy, and fear keep a child from disclosing the abuse. Victims of child sexual abuse are often unable to trust, which contributes to secrecy and non-disclosure. Often, children do not tell about sexual abuse because they:(Quoted from PCAR's "Child Sexual Abuse" brochure).
- are too young to recognize their victimization or put it into words
- were threatened or bribed by the abuser
- feel confused by fearing the abuse but liking the attention
- are afraid no one will believe them
- blame themselves or believe the abuse is punishment for being "bad"
- feel guilty for consequences to the perpetrator
As PCAR also states, education is the best defense against child sexual assault. "An educated child has the ability to recognize dangerous/uncomfortable situations and will be more likely to tell you if abuse has occurred."