Child sexual abuse is something which is the most traumatic experience for the child to undergo, the reason being even the child is not mature enough to understand and consent any sexual advance being made towards him/ her. It can be defined as any type of contact between a child and an adult which causes sexual arousal of the onlooker or the abuser.
This is the worst nightmare for the child to face in the lifetime and at such a tender age. But by being aware and making your child also aware of the few hints of sexual abuse you can protect your child from sexual abuse. Since it is an immoral, unethical and unsocial activity which crosses all the limits it can affect your child in many ways both physically as well as mentally.
Here are few signs which as a parent you should try and notice in your child to check if he/ she is not undergoing sexual abuse. Just in case you suspect any kind of abuse, you should take necessary action to stop it.
These signs can be seen in the form of mood swings in the child. The child might get irritated very quickly; avoid playing with mates, while playing might show aggressive behaviour. Try to spot out any major difference in his / her behaviour towards some place or person. The child will suddenly start fearing from darkness or starts reacting abruptly to playmates or friends etc. The child might start enacting the sexual intercourse or other sexual passes with his toys, child or might start masturbating or mimic the same acts which he / she is going through.
These can be seen in the form of stomach troubles or developing lesser appetite toward food. The child might start bed wetting or might get startled while sleeping. Nightmares and night sweats are also some of common physical symptoms. The child might complain pain or bruises in or around sexual organs, which directly indicates that he/ she is going through sexual abuse. Some kids become very sensitive and in return of sexual abuse they start harming themselves by cutting and bruising them, so keep a check on these possibilities.
Due to trauma of sexual abuse the child might suddenly become abusive and always keep a check on what do they talk. They might start keeping new names for their genital organs or might start referring some new adult friend. If they say that they share a close secret with their friend or adult caretaker which they have asked not to share with you then there is something fishy and you need to check it out.
Behavioural changes in caregiver
It is not just that the child will show change in behaviour but the caregiver will also show some changes, it is just that you need to notice them. Like he/ she might reduce the time of interaction of the child with other mates. He/ she might become over protective about the child and might not allow him to interact with his parents too. The care givers main motive will be to restrict the child’s interaction with others so that they might by mistake get to know about his bad deeds.
Few steps that must be taken to protect your child
Although every child is most precious for his parents and none of the parents would like their child to go through this nightmare of sexual abuse, but here are few steps which need to be taken to protect your child from aftermaths of sexual abuse.
Step 1: The first thing that you need to do is to check the signs of warning which your child has started showing once sexually abused. All the signs of sexual abuse have been listed above, so if you get to see or notice any behavioural signs in your child, then it’s time to ask her/ him. The child might start reacting abnormally and might refuse to get naked in front of you or might experience pain in his genitals.
Step2: Further investigate by keeping a check on the activities of the abuser and the child should be consoled and try to confirm your suspicion as quickly as possible. In such cases the care givers or the abuser starts to hide his activities by being over protective about the child and would try to get closer to you emotionally.
Step 3: The next best thing that you need to do is tell the child that there is nothing to worry for him/ her. DO not panic think and then act and specially not in front of the child. Try and teach the child that he/ she need to stay away from the abuser, once you get the abuse confirmed. Try to stay as close to your child as much as you can and deal with him with all your love and care.
Step 4: The next important thing is that you should consult your family doctor or take the child to the physician for physical check up to confirm that the child ahs undergoing sexual abuse. Once confirmed take the necessary steps, if you want you can report the abuse to the concerned authorities with the help of doctor and medical report.
Step 5: Always take the necessary action against the abuser, take him to the police or report his actions, so that he should be punished for this heinous crimes. The impact of sexual abuse is long term and very difficult to handle for the child may be punishing the abuser will help him in overcoming them.
Step 6: The whole family support is very important for the child at this time so that he does not undergo depression or feeling of shame or guilt. If need be you can take him to child counsellor for better therapy of his emotions and this will help him in overcoming the incident.
Teaching the kids about the sexual parts and some amount of sex education according to age is important for them.
This can be best done by the parents of the child , make him / her aware that the sexual organs are not to be touched by anyone , that is something really bad and if anyone tries to do so the child should raise the alarm immediately. All these things will save your child from future sexual abuse problem.
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