How to find out if your child has been sexually abused?
"I wish you had told me, I would have definitely stood by you my darling. Why didn't you tell me?" A mother asked her 8 years old son who finally confided in her about the sexual abuse he is going through.
Child Sexual Abuse is the most sensitive topic parents have to deal with. It may be worth your while to read my articles on What is Child Sexual Abuse, How To Help Your Child Protect Him/Herself From Child Sex Abuse and Ill effects of Child Sexual abuse, before I explain why some kids talk about the incidences and why some don't. I also would like to highlight some warning signs kids show in cases of abuse.
We parents, are always there for our children. We wish the best for them. We give them the best we can. We love them the most. Then why do our children not talk to us. Where is the problem?
Why kids don't talk to their parents in spite of having a 'normal' environment at home?
Children often don't talk about the abuse because they think it is their fault, or feel their parents won't believe them or, they have been convinced by their abuser that it is normal or a 'special secret'. Children may also be bribed or threatened by their abuser. A child who is being sexually abused may care for their abuser and worry about getting them into trouble.
Why some kids immediately speak to their trusted adult?
"Warning sign" is really just another way of saying "opportunity for prevention" – a chance for caring adults to recognise possible risks and to take necessary action to protect their children.
Children often show us rather than tell us that something is upsetting them. There may be many reasons for changes in their behaviour, but if we notice a combination of worrying signs it may be time to call for help or advice.
What to watch out for in your children:
1. Behaving in an inappropriate sexual way with toys or objects
2. You see your child withdrawn than normal or very clingy
3. Becoming secretive
4. Sudden personality changes or insecure
5. Sudden bed-wetting, sucking thumb
6. Inexplicable or sudden fear of particular places or people
7. Slang words or adult words for body parts or behaviour
8. Unexplained money or gifts.
9. Nightmares, sleeping problems
10. Not wanting to be alone with a particular person
11. Physical signs, such as, unexplained rashes, soreness or bruises around genitals or mouth, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy.
Any one of the above signs doesn't mean that a child was or is being sexually abused, but if many signs are seen, you should begin to ask questions and consider seeking help. Keep in mind that some of these signs could be from different areas of stress too.