We all want our children to be safe and happy. No parent wants to imagine their child becoming a victim of a monster, but unfortunately, child molestation is more common than we think. In this article, we're going to discuss some signs that may indicate that your child is being abused cue scary music. Don't worry; it's not all doom and gloom. We'll also provide you with steps on what you can do if you suspect your little one has been harmed.
What Is Child Molestation?
Before diving into the signs that might suggest something fishy is happening, let's get clear on what constitutes as child molestation (or as we like to call it: disgusting behavior).
Child molestation happens when an adult or older individual engages in any kind of sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 (hint hint: underage = illegal). It could mean physical contact such as touching private parts or genitalia, fondling them or masturbating in front of them. It can take place between an adult and a kid who they have never met before or even within families where parents/guardians/perverts pass down generations-old traditions.
What Are The Effects Of Child Molestation?
The impact that sexual abuse has on children is enormous and often long-lasting (think lifetime trauma). Kids who experience this type of treatment are at risk for issues like depression and anxiety, low self-esteem (as if puberty wasn't enough) social withdrawal (nope nope NOPE)even suicide attempts so yes parents - this is one problem we cannot sweep under the rug!
Signs That Your Little One May Be A Victim Of Sexual Abuse
As parents/guardians/teachers/aunts/uncles/friends/(Really anyone), it’s important to clue yourself up on these tell-tale signs in case your kids or anyone you know are experiencing something harmful.
Changes In Behavior
Many victims of molestation become quieter, more withdrawn and may not want to join in activities that they once loved. They can also start bed-wetting (which is completely normal for young children BUT when grown-ups do it al-ha-ha-larm bells!)and experience night terrors.
Lack Of Personal Hygiene
If all of a sudden, the little angel who wouldn't forget to brush his/her teeth turns into an unkempt child, there might be something behind it. Fear and trauma can take over their brains thereby throwing them off their usual routine (these predators are ruining toothbrush dealerships - SMH).
Change In Appetite
Even if we hate hearing our kids whine about wanting snacks right after lunchtime (I swear I packed enough food for 24-hours), it’s important as caregivers/guardians/parents/friends/dinosaur enthusiasts etc., to pay attention when the eating patterns alter dramatically. The effects of sexual abuse can make children lose interest in eating or binge eat; hence observing changes will come in handy!
Physical Signs To Look Out For...
Here is where things get serious- looking out for physical signs (skips further reading):
Bruises Or Other Marks
Unexplained injuries like bruises on areas like thighs could suggest forceful acts which demand medical attention ASAP!
WARNING: What follows may cause readers' heart rates to increase by four times -OMG!!
Secretive Behavior (or sneaking around)
All parents know that sometimes, toddlers' games involve whispering among themselves or hiding things somewhere else cue every parent's eyes shifting towards the TV while pretending not to see what’s happening. However, if your older kids (Let's call them Tweens) suddenly start keeping secrets from you and going to extraordinary lengths to keep things hidden, it's time to call out the detective gear (Sherlock Holmes cape optional).
Trouble Walking Or Sitting
When someone falls on their bum during a slippery winter day, well- that cannot be considered as a sign of child molestation. However, if they complain of pain between those areas after return and display unusual walking patterns/standing postures - It would take too much effort not to question what’s going on.
How To Respond If Your Child Shows Signs Of Sexual Abuse
If your youngster is showing signs that suggest he/she may have been molested by anyone, here are some steps that you should follow (And fast!).
Tell Them You Love Them: Many children who experience sexual abuse feel guilty and ashamed even though it’s never their fault so telling them how much we care for them goes ALONG way!
Bring Up The Concerns: Ask if anything unusual has happened while reassuring your kids that he/she will not get in trouble for sharing information.
Contact Law Enforcement Agencies: In case there is enough evidence of an ongoing or recent illegal act against minors, informing district attorneys/Law enforcement officers/prominent figures makes sense!
Get Medical Help: No matter how big/small the accident seems to be (bruises worse than rotten tomatoes) medical attention becomes imperative!
Molesters do exist but now, with these tips learned from 'Signs of Child Molestation: How To Know, one can detect when his/her loved ones or others whom they know exhibit any abnormal symptoms therein curbing immoral acts before occurring at all (for PROTECTtion is always better than regret!) Remembering never hurts!