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Warning signs for Possible sexual Abuse in Children

07 Apr 2015

 

Signs and Symptoms of sexual Abuse

Behaviour changes

  1. Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
  2. Seems distracted or distant at odd times
  3. Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty, or bad
  4. Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviours, language, and knowledge
  5. Seems distracted or distant at odd timing
  6. Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training
  7. Asks other children to behave sexually or play sexual games
  8. Mimics adult-like sexual behaviours with toys or stuffed animal
  9. Has new words for private body parts
  10. Resists removing clothes when appropriate times (bath, bed, toileting, diapering)
  11. An older child behaving like a younger child (such as bed-wetting or thumb sucking)
  12. Writes, draws, plays or dreams of sexual or frightening images
  13. Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
  14. Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity or withdrawal
  15. Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
  16. Talks about a new older friend
  17. Suddenly has money, toys or other gifts without reason
  18. Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
  19. Running away from home

 

Physical /Biological Changes

  1. Has a sudden change in eating habit :refuses to eat or loses or drastically increases appetite and has trouble swallowing.
  2. Pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
  3. Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
  4. Has trouble swallowing
  5. Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity, or withdrawal
  6. Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
  7. Self Harming/Injury
  8. Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
  9.  Self-injury (cutting, burning)
  10. Inadequate personal hygiene
  11.  Drug and alcohol abuse
  12. Sexual promiscuity
  13.  Depression, anxiety
  14.  Suicide attempts
  15.  Fear of intimacy or closeness
  16.  Compulsive eating or dieting

Tips that can prevent Child sexual abuse

1.Sexual Education:-Educating your child at a very young age 

  • In early childhood, parents can teach their children the name of the genitals, just as they teach their child names of other body parts. This teaches that the genitals, while private, are not so private that you can’t talk about them.
  • Parents can teach young children about the privacy of body parts, and that no one has the right to touch their bodies if they don’t want that to happen. Children should also learn to respect the right to privacy of other people.

 

2. Building communication by breaking the ice/age gap barrier 

  • Teach children early and often that there are no secrets between children and their parents,
  • That they should feel comfortable talking with their parent about anything -- good or bad, fun or sad, easy or difficult.

3. Beware of Strangers

  • Be aware of adults who offer children special gifts or toys,
  • Adults who want to take your child on a “special outing” or to special events.

4. Keep a safe friendly and educative environment

  • Enroll your child in day care and other programs that have a parent “open door” policy.
  • Monitor and participate in activities whenever possible.
  • As children age, create an environment at home in which sexual topics can be discussed comfortably.
  • Keep a book handy where the child can put in the required queries and that could be answered by your age appropriately
  •  Use news items and publicized reports of child sexual abuse to start discussions of safety, and reiterate that children should always tell a parent about anyone who is taking advantage of them sexually

.5. Action to be taken once confessed or confronted

  • If your child discloses any history of sexual abuse, make it a point to listen carefully, and take his or her disclosure seriously do not ignore.
  • If you don’t intervene, the abuse might continue, and the child may come to believe that home is not safe and that you are not available to help. Hence always make the child feel comfortable and wanted
  • Too often, children are not believed, and we tend to ignore while they communicate.
  • Contact your paediatrician, the local child protection service agency, or the police. Seek immediate help do not hesitate.
  •  Support your child and let him or her know that he or she is not responsible for the abuse.

6. Specialist and Helpers 

  • Bring your child to a physician for a medical examination, to ensure that the child’s physical health has not been affected by the abuse.
  • Most children and their families will also need professional counselling to help them through this ordeal, and your paediatrician can refer you to community resources for psychological help.
  • If you have concerns that your child may be a victim of sexual abuse, you should talk with your paediatrician. Your physician can discuss your concerns, examine your child, and make necessary referrals and reports. 


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