Children can be very vulnerable to sexual abuse because they cannot defend themselves. They also have the tendency to be fearful, so they don’t just openly explain their situation to their parents or guardians, especially when the abuser is giving them threats of violence.
As the adult, you have the responsibility to make sure that your children are in safe spaces, away from sexual abusers. If children are not capable of explaining the situation to you, look for the signs of sexual abuse so you can know the situation yourself without the help of your children talking.
Physical signs are the easiest to see, because they are mostly backed up by physical evidence, such as injuries. The most common physical signs include:
- Bloody or torn clothes
- Bruising, especially in the arms and legs
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unexplained soreness, particularly in the mouth and reproductive and anal areas
The sudden changes in behavior in children can be signs of sexual abuse. The most common psychological signs include:
- Changes in eating habits
Sleeping problems, including nightmares
- Sudden withdrawal from social interaction
- Unexplained avoidance to a particular person
- Unexplained mood swings
- Unwarranted fear of being alone with a particular person
There are also changes in the development of a child that can be signals of sexual abuse. These developmental signs include the following:
- Learning of adult words, particularly those that involve body parts and sexual behaviors
- Poor academic performance
- Regression to younger behavior, such as bed wetting
Usage of toys and other objects in a sexual manner
If you see these signs, be cautious. But also remember that these signs do not automatically translate into sexual abuse. If a child you know have these signs and the parent is accusing you of rape, you may want to get legal help, such as these Nashville sex crime attorneys. Sexual abuse, especially towards children, is a serious issue, but we should always look at either side to deliver the proper justice for all parties.