Sexual Abuse Warning Signs
Sexual Abuse is a crime, therefore if it is certain that abuse has occurred then it is likely that you have a case, whether civil or criminal. There are a number of signs and/or symptoms that your child may exhibit which can inform you that your child has been sexually abused, even if your child is unable to come outright and tell you that someone has violated them. There are also many warning signs that could point to a potential perpetrator.
Warning signs include:
- If you come to know someone that engages in any form of child pornography and they have been in contact with your child. It is presumed that between 30-40% of those who engage in child pornography commit sexual abuse towards children.
- You notice that an adult in your neighborhood or family is always engaging in social events with children and not adult friends.
- Someone who uses language to address a child or refer to a child that typically would be used when discussing sexual feelings or events.
- Someone who tells your child or any child to keep secrets from you.
- Someone who gives money to your child or buys them gifts on a routine basis or for no apparent reason or event (e.g. birthday or Christmas)
- A person who can become very defensive when asked simple questions about your child.
Symptoms present in a child that is being sexually abused include:
- Your child may suddenly begin to exhibit sexual behavior, which would noticeably be very odd for a child of that age.
- Your child may become very depressed for no reason apparent to you.
- In extreme cases your child may begin to mutilate himself or herself and perhaps even exhibit suicidal behavior.
- Your child may begin acting mean and violent towards other children both at school and around the neighborhood.
- In some cases your child may show signs or symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which may include nightmares, agitated behavior, anxiety, depression, and unusual fearfulness.
If you suspect that your child has been sexually abused, it may be critical to your child’s health that you take appropriate steps. These may include speaking with your child, his or her teachers, and health care professionals. If you have any questions in this regard seek professional assistance.