What is Sexual Abuse – What are the signs?
Sexual abuse can be:
Touching a child’s genitals or private parts for pleasure.
Making a child touch someone else's genitals, play sexual games or have sex putting objects or body parts (like fingers, tongue or penis) inside the vagina, in the mouth or in the anus of a child for sexual pleasure.
There is also the serious and growing problem of people making and downloading sexual images of children on the Internet. To view child abuse images is to participate in the abuse of a child. Those who do so may also be abusing children they know.
Warning signs in children and adolescents of possible child sexual abuse:
Aggressive behaviour, sleep problems, bed-wetting or soiling – particularly if the child has not been doing this previously. There has been some kind of regression.
Problems with school work or missing school.
Risk taking behaviour during adolescence.
Becoming sexually active at a young age.
Suddenly starts to behave differently
Does not look after him or herself
Displays sexually inappropriate behaviour, including use of sexual language and sexual information which you would not expect them to know
Physical symptoms that suggest sexual abuse – these can include anal or vaginal soreness or an unusual discharge, and pregnancy
Avoids being alone with a particular family member
Fears an adult or is reluctant to socialize with them
Tries to tell you about abuse indirectly, through hints or clues
Describes behaviour by an adult that suggests they are being ‘groomed’ for future abuse.
THE ABOVE LIST IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS YOU AS A PARENT KNOW YOUR CHILD OR YOUNG PERSON BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE. CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE CAN RESPOND IN A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT WAYS – BE AWARE OF ANY CHANGE IN YOUR CHILD’S BEHAVIOUR OR PERSONALITY THAT IS OUT OF CHARACTER. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS – IF YOU THINK THERE MAY BE SOMETHING GOING ON, CHECK IT OUT.
Access the following Website for further information and advice: