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The sexual abuse of children is a problem far larger in scope than many people realize. The public is aware of the major news stories but never think it could happen to them and their families. However, it could happen.
Statistics show us that around 10% of children under the age of 18 will be sexually abused. This includes about one out of every seven girls and one out of every 25 boys. We also know that around 90% of sexually abused children know their abusers. The abusers can be friends, neighbors, family members, teachers, and mentors. More and more, we are discovering that the abusers are members of the clergy.
Only 10% of sexually abused children are abused by a stranger.
As parents and guardians, it is important to be able to recognize signs of sexual abuse in children. However, that is not as easy as it seems, as there are physical and behavioral signs that you need to look out for.There are various physical signs and behavioral signs you need to be aware of. Some signs are easier to see than others, but you should always act on any suspicious or odd behavior.
Physical warning signs can include things like:
Behavioral warning signs can include:
Emotional warning signs can be harder to spot but can be just as telling that something is wrong. These signs can include:
Technological warning signs are just as vital to be aware of. As our technology changes, predators are finding new ways to entice and abuse our children. You should always be on the lookout for:
When discussing electronics, you need to know that this extends beyond their phone. Children can be abused or solicited through their gaming systems, tablets, computers, and more.
If you suspect a child is being abused, whether it is your child, a family member’s child, or any other child, you need to step in. Take to someone you trust about your concerns and figure out if you need to report what you suspect has happened to the child. If you are sure that abuse has taken place, contact law enforcement immediately to ensure that the abuse of the child no longer takes place.
If your child was abused by a member of the clergy, or you suspect abuse, you may need to secure a priest abuse attorney to help with your case. These situations can become complicated and are emotionally difficult, but your personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through the entire process.