Whenever someone (typically an adult) goes out to intentionally causes harm to a child, either psychologically, physically, or sexually, this is what is referred to as child abuse. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the latter of these – child sexual abuse.
What is it?
Due to their age and naivety around the subject, children are unable to consent to any type of sexual contact with anyone. When a person takes the decision to engage in sexual activity with a child, the act is criminal, and it can have a life long impact on them as a person. For an activity to be considered as child sexual abuse, it does not necessarily have to be physical. In fact, some types of child sexual abuse can include things like sex trafficking, masturbation, taking nude images, exhibitionism (exposing oneself), having obscene conversations and sending obscene messages.
Who is sexually abusing children?
The vast majority of people who sexually abuse children are in some way related to them, i.e. a family member. In fact, there is a sad fact that up to as much as 93 percent of child sexual abuse victims know the person who abused them. This person is not always an adult themselves, they may in fact be a sibling, a cousin, or even a playmate. Those adults that sexually abuse a child are typically people like family members, caretakes, instructors, coaches, or teachers who take advantage of their position of trust and the child’s vulnerability. This explains why private schools can be a hot bed of child sexual abuse activity. If this is something that your child may have experienced, then head here https://abuseguardian.com/private-school-sexual-abuse-lawsuit/ to find out how to get the justice they deserve.
The people who sexually abuse children are able to manipulate them in different ways in order to make them stay quiet. Their position of power is something that they use to either intimidate or coerce a child into submission.
The warming signs of child sexual abuse
Surprisingly, it can actually be really difficult to spot the signs of child sexual abuse, as they are not always obvious. Because the person doing it is often someone you know and / or trust, it can be difficult to identify them as someone who is sexually abusing your child. Some of the physical signs that you should look out for include the following things:
- Burning, itching, and / or pain in their genital regions
- Stained, torn, and / or bloody undergarments
- Frequent yeast and / or urinary infections
- Swollen, bruised, and / or bleeding genital parts
- Difficulty with sitting and / or walking
Some of the behavioral signs that you should look out for include the following things:
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and / or depression
- Self harming
- Bed wetting, night terrors and / or nightmares
- Changes in hygiene habits
- Running away from school and / or home
- Developing phobias
- Suicidal thoughts
- Grades dropping at school
- Being concerned and / or protective of siblings
- Regressive behavior
- Shying away from physical contact