Children abusing children: Children’s Mercy see’s dangerous trend involving children and porn

The SANE program's data shows perpetratros are likely to be between 11 and 15 years-old.

“Another thing we’re noticing is a lot of those sexual assaults are violent sexual assaults, so they include physical violence in addition to sexual violence,” said Jennifer Hansen, a child abuse pediatrician at Children’s Mercy.

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Children’s Mercy says they’re seeing a disturbing trend in child sexual assault cases.

Children are abusing children.

“I think that was kind of shocking to us all as we were collecting this data, is that almost half of our perpetrators are minors,” said Heidi Olson, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Coordinator.

The SANE program’s data shows perpetratros are likely to be between 11 and 15 years-old.

“Another thing we’re noticing is a lot of those sexual assaults are violent sexual assaults, so they include physical violence in addition to sexual violence,” said Jennifer Hansen, a child abuse pediatrician at Children’s Mercy.

Recently, the International Association of Forensic Nurses said the hospital is in the top five percent in the United States, which includes hospitals that see adults, in the volume of sexual assault victims they see.

Last year, Children’s Mercy saw 444 kids who were sexually abused within the last five days. That number rounds out to around 1,000 a year when they include the children who report sexual assault after five days.

Victims are most likely girls around 4 to 8 years-old.

Hansen and Olson say the number each year continues to rise. They can’t pinpoint for sure if it’s because Children’s Mercy is a recognized children’s facility with the capacity to serve more people, or if more children are reporting the assault now than in years past.

“To sexually assault someone else, that’s a learned behavior,” said Olson.

Nurses are also finding more and more that pornography is playing a role in these cases. That can include a victim being forced to see porn, a victim reporting that the perpetrator said they’d watched porn, being forced to do something shown in a pornographic video, or a victim being recorded doing a sexual act.

Hansen and Olson says they’re noticing kids are being exposed to porn at very young ages, around 4 or 5 years-old. They say a child can develop unrealistic and dangerous ideas about intimate relationships by being exposed to violent, graphic porn.

“We know that it’s probably multi-factorial. I think there are lots of things that contribute to this, but that is the question; How are we, as a society, failing in such a way that we have 11, 12, and 14-year-old boys, primarily, committing violent sexual assaults?” Hansen said.

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