Signs of Sexual Abuse in Children

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Signs of Sexual Abuse in Children

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Posted By DAM Firm | August 30 2019 | child abuse

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 Signs

Physical warning signs can include things like:

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STDs, STIs)
  • Signs of trauma to the genital area (bruising, unexplained bleeding, blood on the sheets, etc.)

Behavioral Signs

Behavioral warning signs can include:

  • Resuming old behaviors they had grown out of, such as thumb sucking or bedwetting
  • Sexual behavior that is inappropriate for the child’s age
  • Not wanting to be left alone with certain people (adults or other children)
  • Avoiding removing clothes to bathe or change
  • Suddenly closing and locking their bedroom door

Emotional Signs

Emotional warning signs can be harder to spot but can be just as telling that something is wrong. These signs can include:

  • Talking about sexual topics or knowledge of sexual topics
  • Nightmares or refusing to sleep alone at night
  • Newfound worrying or fear

Technological Signs

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:

  • Your child password protecting their phone to keep you out
  • Cleared browser history
  • Sexual photographs on their electronic devices
  • Chat apps that are outside of parental controls

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.

What to do if you Suspect Your Child has Been Sexually Abused

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 Orange County personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through the entire process.

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