Monday, July 20, 2009

Recognizing Sexual Abuse in Your Child

How to Tell if Your Child is Being Sexually Abused

One of the worst fears that a parent has is that their child will be sexually abused. It doesn't matter how careful you are; you cannot protect your child 24 hours a day. It is a very scary world. If your child rides a school bus or is in daycare or just plays with other children, he or she is at risk. As much as we want to protect our children, we are still limited as to how much we can do.

It is important to let your child know about appropriate touch. It is important to let them know that they can always come to you if anyone is making them feel uncomfortable or scared. It is important that they know that you will not get angry with them if something happens to them. It is also important to know that if they can tell you that something horrible has happened to them, such as sexual abuse, and that you won't lose control. You need to remain calm even though you may want to kill the person who has hurt and molested them.

You may want to kill the person that has hurt your child, but remember that sometimes your child may love the person that has hurt them. If they hear you talking about how you would want to kill or beat up someone who has hurt them, they may not want to talk to you about being abused. I know that I would personally want to kill someone who sexually abused my child. I have been a survivor of sexual abuse and it is something that you can survive but it is very damaging. The idea of someone hurting my child is horrifying.

You may not have any reason to be concerned but if you ever notice these signs you may have a problem. I have listed some of the things that you may consider warning signs that your child has been sexually abused.

Signs of sexual abuse in your child.

1. Your child starts to withdraw and is not the happy child that they once were.

2. Your child starts to wet the bed or becomes compulsive and fearful.

3. Your child starts to cry and becomes extremely emotional for no apparent reason.

4. Your child begans to display inappropriate sexual behavior.

5. Your child starts having trouble in school, such as failing grades.

6. Your child's eating habits change. They may gain or lose weight unexpectedly.

7. Your child starts having nightmares and irrational fears. Fear of the dark or being alone.

8. Your child will not let you out of their sight.

9. Your child doesn't want to take baths or showers.

10. Your child loses interests in taking care of their personal hygiene.

11. Your child doesn't want to be hugged or kissed.

12. Your child starts avoiding certain people.

13. Your child loses interests in hobbies or sports.

14. Your child may become rebellious and angry.

These are just a few things that can be symptoms of sexual abuse by anyone. It doesn't have to be a family member or an adult. Children that have been sexually abused often abuse other children. This can often be more chilling because it is harder to detect. Many children have been sexually abused on school buses and in school playgrounds. It is a very scary world and even though we don't like to think about it, it still happens.

It is very important to talk to your child in a calm way about sexual abuse. It is also important to know that no matter how careful you are and how much you try to protect your child, that sexual abuse can still happen. I hope and pray that your child isn't a victim, but if you have any reason to suspect it maybe this article will help you detect it. Please find a counselor immediately for your child if you have any suspicions of sexual abuse.
Written by: Shana Dines, she is an Examiner from Indianapolis. You can see Shana's articles on Shana's Home Page.

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