Sexual abuse: ten warning signs for parents to look out for

Child molestation occurs almost every second of every day, yet it is far too under-reported by both children and adults alike. It is important to know exactly what molestation is and its warning signs so that if you do suspect your child is being sexually molested by anyone, you can be better prepared and can alert authorities immediately.

 

Below are warning signs that your child is been sexually abused:

 

SLEEP DISTURBANCES:

Watch to see if your child has issues when they sleep, such as bed-wetting, nightmares, if they are afraid to go to bed.

This is a major sign of trauma and fear of anyone touching them again while they are alone.

BEHAVIOR CHANGES:

Keep an eye out for sudden changes in your child’s behavior – big mood swings, withdrawal from everyday activities, fearfulness, and crying often.

This could be a sign of something deep going on with your child, but doesn’t know how to express it except for feeling guilt and shame.

 

TOILET TRAINING:

Pay attention to changes in your child’s toilet habits.

If your child changes their bathroom habits, it could be a sign of some issues going on with their private parts, or new and unchartered exploration of their bodies.

 

FEARS:

If your child begins to develop fears of particular places, certain individuals, or activities they once enjoyed, try to get to the root of their anxieties.

Watching for this kind of sign is extremely important – it is an indicator of something going on with your child, such as trauma, abuse, or molestation. If your child begins to develop fears of certain people, there is usually a reason for it.

 

TROUBLE IN SCHOOL:

If your child begins to have trouble in school, whether they are struggling with academics, acting out, or engaging in inappropriate acts having to do with sexual curiosity, consult your child’s school and get to the bottom of their issues.

It’s best for parents to stay in touch with their child’s school in regards to their kid’s performance and behaviors. If you learn that your child is acting out in a sexual manner while at school, this could be a sign of potential unwarranted sexual curiosity and activity at their young age.

 

MARKS & INJURIES:

Inspect your child’s body and make sure they don’t have any marks or bruises that they can’t explain.

This is by far one of the most prominent signs of abuse or molestation. Children tend to hide these types of marks out of shame or embarrassment. Periodically checking up on your child for these types of injuries, such as rashes, cuts, bruises, or limping, is crucial and something that must be done to help protect your child.

 

PRIVATE AREAS:

Make sure that your child’s private areas don’t have any issues – look for signs such as pain, itching, bleeding, fluid, or rawness.

Remind your child that you and only you and their doctor are allowed to look at or touch their private parts. If you notice anything peculiar about their genitals, it could be a serious warning sign of molestation.

 

MASTURBATION:

When your child discovers masturbation, observe its intensity.

Though this is a normal stage of curiosity and development, especially in teenagers, pay attention to whether your child is excessively masturbating to the point of it interfering with their daily lives. If you discover that your child has sex toys or if you find them using methods children don’t usually know, delicately find out where they got that information, as it likely could have been given to them by a molester.

 

RELATIONSHIP WITH PARENTS:

Pay close attention to your child’s behavior around the other parent.

Far too often, a parent or stepparent in the household is the molester. This type of molestation happens while the other parent is away or asleep and will never be discovered unless you notice the signs and talk to your child about it.

 

SEXUAL GAMES: A major warning sign is if your child begins to want to play sexual games with their friends or any adults.

If your child exhibits this type of behavior and you have no knowledge of teaching your child these types of things, be wary of where they learned it. It could be from a close friend or adult that could be potentially molesting them.

Educating your child on sexual molestation, maintaining an open dialogue, and being alert for potential warning signs your child is giving off are all good steps to take to prevent or put a stop to sexual abuse. Many children do not tell others of their molestation, so as a parent it is crucial to always keep an eye on your child to check for these types of behaviors and actions.

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