(1888PressRelease) April 04, 2012 - Plymouth Meeting, PA -Today people are becoming more aware of the long-lasting effects of childhood sexual abuse and the havoc it can wreak in a survivor's life. But when we say"sexual abuse," we usually mean an adult victimizing a child. What happens when the predator is another youth?
Child-on-child sexual abuse is a little talked about subject in which sexual activity occurs between a child victim and another child or adolescent perpetrator. In such cases there is no adult sexual involvement, but there is a level of coercion, as the abusers typically use force, threats, or emotional manipulation to get what they want.
"Many people do not understand that child-on-child sexual abuse is extremely devastating," says Peter S. Pelullo, author of the newly released book "Betrayal and the Beast," in which he reveals his own struggles as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of two neighborhood teens. "Some call it 'playing doctor' or innocent curiosity. But there is nothing innocent about one person forcing themselves in a physical or emotional manner on another human being-no matter what any of their ages are."
According to Dr. Drew, who frequently invites Mr. Pelullo to be a guest on his show, children who target other children are often victims of sexual abuse themselves. At such young ages, they have no inherent knowledge of specific sex acts and most likely learn them from someone who is victimizing them, or from being exposed to pornography or other adult sexual activity.
Victims of child-on-child sexual abuse often manifest the same psychological and physical repercussions as children who have been preyed upon by adults, including:
"Child-on-child sexual abuse often goes unreported because adults simply do not know it's happening," says Mr. Pelullo. "This leads victims to believe the abuse might have been their fault, which further stigmatizes them and convinces them they should never report it or seek help. Now is the time to change that perception and bring awareness to this silent pandemic. Those who have suffered child-on-child abuse must have their experiences validated-and then be able to move on and start their journey to recovery."
Peter S. Pelullo was the founder of Philly World Records and owner of a premiere recording studio in the '70s, where he worked with the Rolling Stones, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Cashmere, and Eugene Wilde. He is now an entrepreneur and financier focusing on technology startups. During his journey in recovery, he created the Let Go…Let Peace Come In Foundation, which supports adult victims of childhood sexual abuse throughout the world.