Could you imagine being pregnant and not even knowing it until you were in labor? Now, imagine how scary it would be to learn you were in labor if you were a ten year old girl.
Last Tuesday, a ten year old girl was in class and began to complain about a horrible stomach ache. The pain was so severe that teachers and school officials evacuated her to a nearby hospital, where doctors discovered that she was actually in the late stages of labor.
Upon being admitted to the emergency room, they discovered that she was seven months pregnant. Shortly thereafter, she gave birth.
Despite the mother’s incredibly young age and the baby’s prematurity, the delivery went through with no complications. Both are still recovering in the hospital.
According to the family, neither they nor the little girl had any idea that she was pregnant. A spokesman for the police department said, “The mother alleges that she, along with other family members, hadn’t noticed, taking into consideration the child’s small frame.”
After the delivery the girl confided to her mother that her forty year old stepfather had sexually assaulted her. The girl’s mother then notified authorities who interviewed the child. She told police that her stepfather had threatened to kill the family if she told anyone about his abuse.
The stepfather had not living with them at the time of the birth. He was arrested and soon confessed to raping the ten year old. They have charged him with rape of a child and possession of an illegal firearm.
In a statement to the police, the mother said that the girl had started to struggle with her studies and became withdrawn from her friends and family beginning in October of 2014, suggesting that this abuse had been going on for some time.
Pregnancy for girls this young is extremely dangerous. Girls under the age of 15 are are five times more likely to die during labor than women over 20 years of age. Because they are not fully developed, they may experience such complications as eclampsia, premature labor, prolonged labor, obstructed labor, fistula, anemia, or death of the baby or mother.
It is difficult to ascertain good statistics concerning child sexual abuse, because it is so frequently not reported, but according to research done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services puts the number at about one in five girls and one in twenty boys, making this a shockingly significant problem worthy of national action. The most vulnerable age group for children is between the ages of seven and thirteen. The research also finds that three out of four victims of child sexual abuse are victimized by someone they know well, including family members or authority figures.
Far beyond the immediate physical trauma of an attack, child sexual abuse can lead to a recurring pattern of victimization into adulthood, low self esteem and depression, suicidal thoughts, and many other serious emotional issues.
If you know of a child that may be at risk you need to tell authorities immediately. It may be inconvenient for a wrongly accused person to have to undergo investigation and defend themselves, but you may save a life.
Have you ever known a victim of child sexual abuse? Please share your stories with us here.