When to Suspect Sexual Abuse
Here are a few things you can look for that you might consider clues that a child has been sexually abused. While these are helpful things and behaviors to look for, the presence and or absence of one of these, does not necessarily mean that the child has or has not been molested. This list is here to make you aware of the signs so that you can consider the possibility of sexual molestation in children with any these behaviors.
1) When you see a child that exhibits sexually provocative behavior, before you label the child a “slut,” you should consider that an adult may have sexually assaulted the child in some way.
2) When a child makes attempts to get either an adult or other children to take all of their clothes off , you should consider the possibility that another has done this to them, and this is why they are acting this way.
3) When a child is suspected or confirmed to have a sexually transmitted disease, consider that sexual molestation is the way that they contracted the disease.
4) When you wash a young girl’s underwear, she should not have a discharge. If she does, it is appropriate to suspect that she has been molested.
5) When a child acts out sexually either at home or school, you must consider the possibility that an adult has taught him or her to act in such a way.
6) When a child uses sexual language beyond his or her age group, this suggests that he or she has either been engaging in sexual behavior with someone outside of their age group, or has been exposed to sexual material like pornographic magazines and movies.
7) It is natural for children to be curious about sex. However, a child continually engaging in sexually harassing conversations or events after being told by an adult to stop should be considered a possible victim of sexual molestation Please pay attention to the children in your life.
8) Do not leave your children with random family members and in unattended situations with your new boyfriends and girlfriends; you can never be sure what another person is capable of.
HOW CAN I HELP IF I SUSPECT SEXUAL ABUSE?
If and child or teenager that you know does any of these things, there are some actions that you can and should take in order to help. If an adult is molesting a child, you should take action.
I hear a lot of people say, “I think the child likes it,” or “she knew what she was doing.” You must remember that sexual molestation and exploitation of a child is wrong, and it should be reported to the authorities. If you do not take action into your own hands, you might play as big a role in ruining the young person’s life as the person who has molested them. A child who exhibits overly sexual behavior needs to be seen and evaluated by a sex therapist who is an expert in dealing with children who have been sexually molested.
We mentioned that one of the red flags of molestation is when a child has inappropriate interest in children more than three years younger than themselves. This is an important and sad observation because these children who have been molested are at risk of molesting other children. If these children do not receive appropriate help from a trained professional, they may end up acting out the crimes that were done to them, on younger children.
Please do not ignore the warning signs. These children need serious help from a trained professional. It’s O.K. to be a hero, we need more of these. If you or someone you know is a victim of child abuse and/or sexual molestation, help is available. Call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD