Sexual Abuse of Children in Pakistani Society

A Google alert blazed the headline. “Reports on Child Labor and Sexual Abuse of Children in Pakistani Society”, from MEMRI, Middle East Media Research Institute.  2,012 cases of child sexual abuse were recorded from all over Pakistan during 2009; this number shows a 9.4% increase.  It means approximately 3.3 children were sexually abused per day.  The findings show that the victims were 68% girls and 32% boys.

Those of us in the United States who have so much freedom, so much leisure and luxuries tend to forget that parts of the world have great tragedy, extreme pain and distress beyond what we can imagine.  We cannot sit by and watch this happen without reaching out and doing something about it.  A five year old child in Pakistan who has been sexually abused is no different than a child in the US that experiences the same thing.Because of the resources we have to offer, the Pakistani children may be in more danger as they have so much less.  I say danger because it is truly exposure to injury, pain, harm, and loss. Too many people either think child sexual abuse really isn’t that bad or don’t want to think about it at all. This is understandable. Who wants to dwell on the repulsive details of what the word “child sexual abuse” means. But we must detach ourselves from the details in order to take care of the problem.

It is as if a sword has pierced the soul of these children. Few have any immediate help available. From the time the abuse happens their life has been cruelly altered. Their self esteem becomes non-existent.Their trust in others is gone. They have become hyper-vigilant. This will follow them throughout their lives. Their pain is silent. They stuff it into that part of their brain that has a door they must never open. Silence is why this childhood tragedy keeps growing. We must scream from the rooftops of the world that our children are in danger. If we think child sexual abuse at one out of four girls and one out of six boys is prevalent in the United States it is nothing compared to the statistics in other parts of the world. We smugly think ourselves so civilized and so advanced. As long as one child in our country remains, who has been abused sexually, we are neither.

We need to go to the source of their problems, the first time they were sexually abused, and move forward from there. If you want to get rid of a weed you don’t pull the leaves off, you dig out the root.  If as an adult you have a child sexual abuse problem you can mask the symptoms with anti-depressants, therapy that may or may not help, or hide it behind promiscuity, obesity, alcoholism, drug abuse and co-dependency issues. But none of these will go to the root of the problem, your root, the day your child sexual abuse started.

The Lamplighters has chapter in the United States, Africa, Canada, England and Australia. At the moment I am waiting to hear back from people in India and Sudan who want to start chapters. I’m an optimist and my vision includes one day having Lamplighter chapters in every country in the world. It is a huge job but all huge jobs start with a first step toward a long path. We must keep our feet on that path.Holding Lamplighter chapter meetings is a simple thing, a room full of people with a common denominator, child sexual abuse, all telling their stories, reaching out to others who have been where they have been.  If you can talk about it, you can treat it. My dream includes everyone who has been sexually abused getting REPAIRed so that they can be, like I am, the happiest person I know.

Please see our Blog at Please check out REPAIR Your Life: A Program for Recovery from Incest & Childhood Sexual Abuse and REPAIR For Kids on

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